MINDFULNESS IN SCHOOLS = IMPROVED FOCUS,LESS STRESS, BETTER GRADES, AND EMOTIONAL REGULATION
In recent years, practicing mindfulness has become more and more popular, and its benefits have been well-known for a long time. However, its potential for helping children in the classroom is often overlooked. Mindfulness in schools can help children in a variety of ways, from improving their academic performance to increasing their overall well-being.
When mindfulness is taught in the classroom, kids learn to be more aware of their feelings and pay attention to the here and now. This helps them control their feelings and urges better, so they can stay focused and interested in their lessons. Mindfulness can also help children become more resilient, as it teaches them to cope with stress and difficult emotions in healthier ways.
What has been the impact in schools where mindfulness was implemented?
Because national test scores have gone down since the pandemic, schools are under more pressure to help students catch up in school. But experts warn that children must first prepare mentally for learning, and mindfulness can support this.
According to a study of mindfulness treatments in middle schools in the Boston area, academic success was linked to the kids' self-reported higher levels of "mindful awareness" or more intentionality in their actions. In a follow-up study, researchers did a randomized controlled experiment in which one group of students took lessons on mindfulness and the other studied computer programming. Akira Gutierrez Renzulli, a doctoral student in clinical science and child and adolescent psychology who took part in the study, says that the kids who took part in the mindfulness program said they "felt less stress" and had better attention. Renzulli calls the amygdala "the stress region in our brains." Students who had been trained in mindfulness showed less activity in this area, showing that the training had an effect on the brain.
Another study says that mindfulness can help students learn how to be more attentive and have a better learning mindset. This study also talked about the benefits on a social and emotional level, such as more compassion and empathy. Research has also linked meditation's ability to reduce stress to better student behavior, which is crucial for keeping children in the classroom and away from the principal's office.
In what ways can a school system implement mindfulness?
Mindfulness Rooms: A tranquil setting is drenched in sunlight and plants. Yoga mats, games, a seating area, and calming music are all present. Staffed by a teacher who is also a certified yoga/mindfulness instructor who teaches pupils in this class, deep breathing exercises and emotional awareness.
Replacing disciplinary actions such as detention or in-school suspension with mindfulness classes in the mindfulness room.
Adding a mandatory small mindfulness class for all children once a week. Such as a 15-20 min breakout class for each class group once a week.
Why aren't school systems implementing this?
The primary reason is funding. The secondary reason is acceptance and acknowledgement from the school boards. The tertiary reason is finding qualified practitioners to help implement these programs. The goal of the Mind and Body Movement is to help schools all over New Jersey put these programs in place for their students.
As Whitney Houston said in her #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, The Greatest Love of All, "I believe the children are our future." Teach them well and let them lead the way, Show them all the beauty they possess inside, Give them a sense of pride to make it easier, Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be"
The children have been through so much in the last three years. Let's give them the support they so desperately need.