There’s a tool that is rarely taught in schools or households that can actually create better students and stronger children as a whole. That tool is called meditation.
Teaching children how to meditate at a young age can give them a head start to access the many benefits of meditation that can last a lifetime.
Your child can take up a meditation practice that will help them do their best in school.
So how can meditation for students be helpful? The practice of quieting the mind, otherwise known as mindfulness, is increasingly being practised across the board – from Google executives to classrooms as a replacement to detention (Bloom, 2016). Mindfulness specifically refers to the practice of paying attention to the present moment non-judgmentally. Observation of our thoughts and feelings allows us to better understand our emotions and react rationally to negative situations.
Read on to learn how these benefits can help your child thrive throughout elementary school, middle school, and beyond.
# Increased self-control and better focus
Meditation is an incredible tool that will help your student pay better attention in class.
It does this by activating higher regions of the brain, which improve a person’s ability to focus and block out noise in their environment. As you might imagine, this can be a powerful tool when it comes time to take tests and complete other stressful assignments.
# More empathy and respect for others
When children can do mindful meditation regurlarly, it helps them to control their action and their thoughts as well as increase the compassion within deep from their heart to the surrounding and other peoples. It can also make you more aware of your emotions so you're less likely to act impulsively and show more respect for others.
# Promote a sense of calm
One of the major benefits of meditation is that it flat out makes people happier in the moment and throughout their lives.
It floods your brain with endorphins while also helping rid your body of cortisol. This one-two punch creates a calmness that will allow your students to thrive through nervous situation.
That can be particularly rewarding if your child has ADHD or other conditions.
# Meditation is a Valuable Aide for the Turbulence of Adolescence
Since meditation helps people to find their center in the midst of the ups and downs, challenges, and mental clutter that is part of life, you’re arming them with a tool right when they need it the most.
Think back to your own adolescence.
It was likely a rollercoaster of changes, insecurities, and anxiety that you probably wouldn’t go back to if someone paid you. By arming your child with calmness and mental fortitude, they’ll make it through even the worst that adolescence throws their way.
# Helping children manage challenging conditions such as stress, depression, ADHD and hyperactivity.
Mindfulness meditation strengthens your ability to control your attention. It teaches you how to observe yourself and to focus on something. And it trains you to bring your wandering mind back into the moment when you get distracted. Meditation is thought to help with ADHD because it thickens your prefrontal cortex, a part of your brain that's involved in focus, planning, and impulse control. It also raises your brain's level of dopamine, which is in short supply in ADHD brains.
The practice has been shown to not only reduce stress, depression, and aggression but also change brain regions associated with emotional regulation, introspection, and awareness (Holzel et al., 2011).
# Helping children with Autism
In contrast to the current behavioural and psychopharmacological interventions for aggressive behaviours, mindfulness based interventions empower individuals to develop self-management strategies to regulate their challenging behaviours.
In a longitudinal study and intervention, researchers had adolescents with Autism learn the “Soles of the Feet Procedure,” which involved shifting attention from the emotional trigger to the soles of their feet (see below). Aggressive acts were significantly reduced from 14 - 20 per week to 4 - 6 per week after the 3 year follow up period (Singh et al, 2011).
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