In light of all the problems that seem to constantly plague the country’s educational system, teaching kids meditation techniques likely isn’t at the top of anybody’s to-do list. So, why should schools include meditation breaks during the day?
This mind-body exercise has physical and mental health benefits that make it easier for kids to cope with the rigorous demands of school in a healthy way. This, in turn, helps them perform better and enjoy their time in school.
This article will explore meditation programs, their effects on cognitive performance, and the positive effects they can trigger in young children and college students alike.
What Are Meditative Practices For Kids?
Today, a typical classroom setting is designed to facilitate the acquisition of quality academic skills.
And, in most cases, this classroom environment does improve academic achievement. However, the psychological stress this induces in kids may lead to negative emotions.
Academic stress is also one of the major problems children experience, starting as early as kindergarten.
What’s more, a study conducted in 2018 pointed to academic tests as one of the major triggers behind anxiety symptoms and the absence of peace of mind experienced by many college students.
Meditation practices offer a relief that won’t affect your academic performance.
Teaching children to develop a solid mind-body connection with meditation techniques can alleviate their stress levels and promote emotion regulation.
Simply taking a short break between lesson plans to stop, focus, and breathe can help improve children’s brain activity and ensure a calm mind.
Meditation in schools won’t just increase academic performance, but its positive effects will also affect children’s physical health. Meditation boosts immune responses while also positively impacting your blood pressure levels and heart rate.
Common Types of Meditations For Children
Kids can leverage various types of meditation during quiet periods of the school day. The type of meditation you choose for your kid should be easy to grasp.
Due to how old the concept of this activity is, there is a wide variety of techniques that your child can use during meditation sessions in schools.
Let’s explore some of these examples.
Concentration on a Sensation, Word, Image, or Thought-Type Meditation
- Transcendental meditation training
- Mantra repetition techniques
- Deep breathing meditation sessions
- Vipassana mindfulness
- Mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction
Movement-Based Meditation Programs
- Qi Gong
- Tai Chi
Mindfulness in schools removes toxic stress and boosts energy levels, making it an extremely efficient stress-relief technique. However, you may need to opt for more physically engaging meditation techniques tailored to your child.
This is because many young children don’t like to sit still for long periods of time. This makes a yoga class more ideal for a classroom setting with young children.
A proficient yoga instructor can handle the various psychological stressors and negative effects encountered during the school day. Schools should include meditation breaks during the day, as they will undoubtedly yield good results.
Benefits of Meditation
Before implementing mindfulness training or transcendental meditation in schools, it is vital to first take a look at what such a move will achieve.
Incorporating elements of meditation into lesson plans creates a wide variety of opportunities for children. These include:
Promoting Better and Longer Attention Spans
No matter how sophisticated the modern education system is, it won’t succeed if students don’t pay attention in class.
More specifically, children taught mindfulness meditation skills displayed considerably lower hyperactivity rates after an 8-week study.
Other research into the power of mindfulness training revealed the same results. While more study is required, the evidence for mindfulness meditation techniques shows that it helps kids’ attention spans.
Providing a Reprieve From Toxic Stress
Outside the classroom setting, many children are dealing with a lot of stress. This can range from chronic stress to even full-on trauma.
As is only to be expected, when a child is dealing with a serious home situation, they can’t spare the energy to think about class. Consequently, their stress continues to grow.
Meditation in public schools can help a child lower their cortisol levels and better manage stressors.
Although mindfulness in schools is not enough to deal with trauma situations at home, it can be a powerful step in the right direction for the child.
Promoting Better Self-Awareness and Establishing Self-Identity
Mindfulness training or yoga classes can help to empower the self-identity of a child. These techniques also result in improved executive function when made a part of their daily routine.
What’s more, this mind-body exercise improves the child’s ability to self-regulate and plays a role in impulse control.
Fostering Social and Emotional Development
Meditation combined with social-emotional learning programs can help children develop a more refined sense of social responsibility.
A study conducted on meditation at school reported that kids become more social in the classroom environment and have lower cortisol levels after meditation.
Guided by a yoga instructor or another meditation expert, mindfulness exercises can help put children more at ease with those around them.
Should Schools Include Meditation Breaks During the Day?
Meditation techniques have a lot of benefits and opportunities for children today. It should be an important part of their school day and included in their daily routine.
Although schools should include meditation breaks during the day, many changes would need to be made first. There is little doubt that the results would be well worth the effort.
The positive emotions and energy levels meditation elicits can help children harness their true potential without wearing them out.
To better understand how to go about this, consult with an expert mindfulness team today.