Mindfulness is all about training yourself to focus on the present moment and accept your feelings, physical condition, and thoughts. According to mindfulness.org, mindfulness “suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except … that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious” (mindfulness.org).
So why do we need mindfulness in schools?
- MINDFULNESS IMPROVES CONCENTRATION
In Chiesa, Calati and Serretti’s article Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings in Child Psychology Review (Volume 31, Issue 3), it is found that “Mindfulness training could enhance several domains of attention, could enhance some domains of memory and executive functions, and each specific subcomponent of mindfulness training has different effects on cognition” (Chiesa et al, 2011). A focused mind is a successful mind.
- MINDFULNESS IMPROVES ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
According to Morisano et al, “setting, elaborating, and reflecting on personal goals improves academic performance” (Morisano, Dominique; Hirsh, Jacob B.; Peterson, Jordan B.; Pihl, Robert O.; Shore, Bruce M. Journal of Applied Psychology, Volume 95, 2010). When one uses goal setting as a part of mindfulness, one is able to focus and improve academic success. Setting, completing and achieving goals gives us a sense of accomplishment, which improves motivation and confidence. In order to get to that place, one must practice mindfulness in order to focus and set reasonable, achievable goals and complete them.
- MINDFULNESS INCREASES SELF-DISCIPLINE, SELF REGULATION AND RESPONSIBILITY
As part of Life Skills Group’s Mindfulness in Action training, students have the opportunity to develop self-awareness, and increase impulse control, focus and empathy. Designed for both Primary and Secondary students, Mindfulness in Action utilises scientifically proven mindfulness techniques, effective pedagogical practices, and cross-sectional research in cognitive affective neuroscience to teach students to pay attention to their experiences in a non-reactive way. Mindfulness gives people the ability to focus on their behaviours in order to self-regulate. Taking responsibility promotes self-discipline, which leads to success with behaviour and academia.
- MINDFULNESS IMPROVES CONFIDENCE, RESILIENCE AND RESPECTFUL BEHAVIOUR TECHNIQUES
When a young person is focused and in tune with their own behaviour, they are aware of how their presence impacts the world around them. Mindfulness training enhances a person’s ability to see past the nose on their face and gives them stronger interpersonal communication skills, which develops confidence. Confidence breeds resilience and resilience leads to success.
- MINDFULNESS IMPROVES EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND WELLBEING
Not only does mindfulness help focus, concentration and relaxation, but it also allows the mind to slow down and take things a step at a time. Taking the time to consider issues and situations allows better emotional response. With more focus and awareness, wellbeing and mental health is improved.