Mindfulness in Schools
Why do we need mindfulness programs in schools?
The primary purpose of mindfulness practices and mindfulness programs is to enhance overall well-being (physical, mental and social emotional).
Todays children and adolescents, as well as adults, are regularly exposed to toxic stress. Toxic stress occurs when life's demands consistently outpace one's ability to cope with those demands. Social-media use, increased testing in schools, and social-pressure and bullying all contribute to a child's level of toxic stress. Healthy stress allows children and adolescents to develop resilience during periods of change, while toxic stress impedes natural physical and mental development.
What are the benefits of mindfulness programs in schools?
Some of the major benefits of mindfulness are compassion, focus, attention, emotional regulation, and calming. While mindfulness is not a silver bullet, research in the field is growing to indicate that mindfulness-based programs in schools are well-liked by students and there are no adverse effects of the practice.
The benefits also extend to the teachers. Studies show that teachers who practice mindfulness can experience lowered stress, more connection with students, and higher job satisfaction. Schools have reported a decrease in truancy and suspensions and an increase in positive school climate after implementing mindfulness-based programs.
Won't this be taking time away from learning and test-prep?
Lessons are usually short in duration. Short breaks are good for our brain, creativity and productivity. Breaks from academic tasks can actually help students retain information and make connections or synthesize learning material. Many studies suggest taking a movement break and there are countless mindfulness exercises that involve movement with the breath. Furthermore, breaks to check in on the mind and body, promote self-care and self-reflection. These two skills will carry students to success in high school and college as they take on more and more responsibility.
Isn't this a religious program in schools?
Mindfulness curriculums focus on what the student experiences in the present moment free from judgment or reaction. With this deepened self-awareness through personal reflection, students are better able to make choices that are informed by equanimity, clarity and calm. This allows students to become more tolerant of others who may be different from themselves.
Our programs are secular in nature.
MINDFULNESS FOR K-8
Elementary students who practice mindfulness exhibit greater prosocial behaviors, emotional regulation, and academic performance. (Harpin, Rossi, Kim, & Swanson, 2016)
Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who practiced in a five week mindfulness program reported decreased stress, allowing them to focus on school. (Costello & Lawler, 2014)
Children with ADHD displayed less aggression and conduct problems when exposed to mindfulness therapy, which helps them focus on their academics. (Singh, Soamya, & Ramnath, 2016)
If you would like to see what mindfulness looks like on the middle school level, check out this Release Video by Mindful Schools
MINDFULNESS FOR TEENS/YOUNG ADULTS
Teenagers studying for a general education certificate who participated in a mindfulness program experienced lower depression and anxiety, which contributed to improved academic attainment. (Bennett & Dorjee, 2016)
Adolescents are in a developmental process of individuation They are forming a sense of self and all that entails, including comparative and evaluative thought (comparing self to others; feelings of inferiority and superiority, etc.) and a heightened awareness of meaning. Adolescents are marked by the inability to manage strongly impulsive states. Mindfulness may benefit youth by indirectly managing strong impulse reactions.
Adolescent and Substance Abuse/Dependence - Mindfulness training targets experiences of craving and negative affect and their roles in the relapse process. Mindfulness increases discriminative awareness, with a specific focus on acceptance of uncomfortable states and challenging situations without reacting "automatically." (Mindful Schools)
MINDFULNESS FOR ADULTS on site
AT THE WORKPLACE