Mindfulness has become a hot topic both in schools and the community in general. Recent research indicates that skills in awareness, focus and presence can enhance students’ wellbeing and academic success.
But how does mindfulness training contribute so positively to wellbeing?
Here’s 5 reasons mindfulness is so important to a child’s future:
MINDFULNESS IMPROVES CONCENTRATION, WHICH LEADS TO BETTER LEARNING
By focusing energy and thought, and filtering out distraction, learners’ concentration is improved and their studies benefit. In a world of infinite distractions, mindfulness is the best way of allowing the brain to process the information necessary to complete important tasks and remain unaffected by interruptions. Through this, a student’s brain is trained to focus and succeed. Weare states, “Mindfulness has been shown to contribute directly to the development of cognitive and performance skills in the young. When children and young people learn to be more ‘present’ and less anxious, they often find they can pay attention better and improve the quality of their performance in the classroom, on the sports field, and in the performing arts. They often become more focused, more able to approach situations from a fresh perspective, use existing knowledge more effectively, and pay attention,” (Weare, Katherine, “Developing mindfulness with children and young people: a review of the evidence and policy context" Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 8 Issue: 2, pp.141-153).
MINDFULNESS CAN PROMOTE BETTER RELATIONSHIPS
Flaxman and Flook’s research found that mindfulness training can affect an individual’s ability to develop successful social relationships: “A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study demonstrated a correlation between mindfulness practice in couples and an enhanced relationship. The couples reported improved closeness, acceptance of one another, autonomy, and general relationship satisfaction,” (http://marc.ucla.edu/workfiles/pdfs/MARC-mindfulness-research-summary.pdf).
MINDFULNESS CAN CREATE MORE ACCEPTING COMMUNITIES AND KINDER GLOBAL CITIZENS
There’s no doubt mindful children will be more aware and better equipped to conduct themselves as global citizens, critical thinkers and empathetic humans. Being present in the moment, and recognising how oneself and others fit into the world is crucial for a civilised, accepting community. Mindfulness can help create a better world and future for our children.
MINDFULNESS CAN HELP PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
There is research showing that mindfulness creates better family relationships, with Flaxman and Flook reporting that the: “Parents of children with developmental disabilities described increased satisfaction with their parenting, more social interactions with their children, and less parenting stress as a result of mindfulness training.”