Spending a few minutes every day meditating can give teachers and students a renewed sense of calm that lasts all day and benefits both emotional and physical health.
Most forms of meditation practiced in the UK today focus on the idea of mindfulness, which encourages a heightened awareness of daily moment-to-moment happenings. People use mindfulness to become more aware and accepting of their thoughts and emotions.
Mindfulness can be used in schools to make teachers and pupils more aware of how their daily experiences in school are impacting their state of mind. It can help them to centre themselves and calm their thoughts and reactions for the rest of the school day.
Meditation focuses on compassion. It can be used to cultivate more positive, caring thoughts and feelings towards other people. This can help form happier communities by dispelling negative feelings and forging positive relationships between students and teachers.
There are many scientific studies showing the benefits of practicing meditation. Researchers at Standford University, U.S., found that those who practiced mindfulness felt calmer in their everyday lives than those who did not.
It is also thought that meditation can help people lead longer and healthier lives by boosting the immune system.
A study at Santa Clara University found that developing self awareness can help people devise strategies for dealing with everyday stress. In a school environment, this could improve students’ grades and help calm exam nerves. It could even reduce bad behaviour and aggression in the classroom.
Andre Jones, head of religious studies and sociology at Goffs School, Hertfordshire writes: “Although meditation is not for everyone and can seem bizarre and pointless to many, its use in schools is now being championed by academics and educational charities.”
Many types of alternative therapy aim to centre the mind and increase mindfulness levels. To find out more, please visit our Therapy Topics page.
View and comment on the original Guardian article.