Meditation has been proven to have a lot of amazing benefits!
Meditation can help to reduce your stress and decrease anxiety. It improves emotional health, enhances self-awareness, and even lengthens your attention span. Age-related memory loss can be combatted thanks to meditation, as can addictions.
Meditation generates kindness, understanding, compassion, and a greater sense of connectedness to the people around you. It improves sleep, reduces pain, and lowers your blood pressure.
Best of all, you can meditate anywhere, anytime, and for any length of time!
Meditation is a practice more common among adults than younger children or teenagers, but if children start it at a young age, it can lead to serious mental, emotional, and physical health improvements.
In fact, according to one new study, it may be a highly effective way to curb disciplinary problems!
One Baltimore school, the Robert W. Coleman Elementary, decided to take a different approach to dealing with students needing detention . Instead of putting them in the usual classroom setting, the children who received detention were instead placed in a meditation room.
The room was designed for comfort and effective meditation. Soft-colored pillows were spread across the floor, giving the children a comfortable seat for sitting cross-legged. The room was decorated using draped fabrics and soft lamp light rather than harsh overhead lighting. The children sent to detention are given exercises to help them practice meditation, closing their eyes and re-centering themselves as a means of combatting misbehavior.
But it’s not just the misbehaving kids that get sent to the meditation room. Children suffering from anxiety and stress can also request time in the room, where they are given 20-minute sessions with instructors who guide them through mindfulness practices, targeted discussions, breathing exercises, and Yoga exercises.
Children with stomach aches or headaches are also allowed to request to use the room, and the mindfulness and relaxation techniques help to ease their discomfort and calm their minds and bodies. Yoga, mindfulness practice, and breathing exercises are all combined to help the children feel better and get back to their regular schoolwork.
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The school also offers an after-school program that includes mindfulness training and Yoga, with meditation exercises that the children are able to use at home, at school, or anywhere they might find it helpful to meditate.
Already, the results have begun to speak for themselves!
For the first year after instituting the program, Robert W. Coleman Elementary didn’t give a single suspension. Children have written about how the breathing exercises helped them to relax and focus before their tests, or how the mindfulness techniques improved their home lives. With techniques that the children could take home and teach to their families, the hope was that the benefits of mindfulness and meditation could spread beyond the walls of the classroom.
The beauty of this system is that it doesn’t actually involve any punishments. There are no suspensions, no detentions, simply meditation. The children who misbehave are sent to the meditation room and walked through mindfulness exercises that help them to be aware of their behavior and actions. Thus, as they meditate on what has brought them to the meditation room on their “time out”, it helps them to be mindful of the consequences of their actions in the future.
This teaching methodology could offer amazing benefits for the children far beyond just improved behavior and fewer suspensions.
Children who have spent their formative school years practicing mindfulness and meditation will graduate and go out into the world armed with techniques that can help them to remain calm, manage their stress and anxiety, and be more self-aware of themselves and the world around them.
A society filled with teenagers, young adults, and professionals trained to think and act this way could be a much better, more polite, kinder society.
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