Mindfulness is finally making its way into schools, helping our kids live happier lives
The methods employed in the schooling of our children have seen little in the way of meaningful progress through the decades. Thankfully, an eruption of emotion or a moment of disobedience is no longer met with physical punishment, but taking one positive step forward doesn’t necessarily mean our education system has entirely reached its pinnacle in terms of equipping our children with knowledge in the correct manner.
Throughout human history, we have sought to understand how the body works, but in more recent times our understanding of the mind has come to the fore. Body and mind work in unison, and so it is important to maintain a healthy balance within both. The teaching profession has finally started to realise that helping children to be more mindful of their own emotions, and the emotions of those around them can have wonderful benefits for kids interacting with a world that is still very new to them.
Modern day society brings all kinds of pressure as we grow up and walk the path of adulthood, embarking on our career. If the next generation have been taught how to deal with those stresses in a positive relaxed way, imagine the impact that could have on society as a whole. The Dalai Lama once said “If every 8 year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world in one generation”. While this is a very bold claim that some might be sceptical of, there should be little doubt that teaching mindfulness will have a positive impact on our children.
There is currently a four-year mindfulness trial in progress across twenty-six schools in the UK, and the results have been largely positive. The ‘Mindfulness in Schools ‘ project has been rolled out in twelve different countries since 2007, reporting higher levels of well-being among those who took part. Children also performed better in concentration tests after spending a week doing regular meditation, which suggests that mindfulness techniques could help improve grades along with children’s state of mind.
With the door now open for mindfulness to become part of the curriculum, and studies showing positive results so far; there is every reason to be hopeful that it will become part of our national policy on education within the coming years.
About the author
Craig Bradshaw is a Soul & Spirit staff intern.
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