The benefits of mindfulness are well-documented, and there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that mindfulness training can be an effective way to help students focus and learn. A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that mindfulness techniques can help students improve their academic performance and that the effects of such training can last for up to six months after it has ended.
Incorporating mindfulness in the classroom has many benefits, including improved focus, concentration, and memory; increased self-awareness; decreased stress and anxiety; and enhanced well-being.
So, without further ado, explore this classroom training, how it can benefit students, and how you can incorporate it into your teaching.
What is it?
Since the 1990s, mindfulness-based interventions have been increasingly used in clinical settings to treat various mental and physical health conditions. In recent years, there’s been a growing interest in using such techniques in educational settings. This typically involves teaching students simple practices, such as mindful breathing and body scan meditation in the classroom.
Several different programs have been developed specifically for use in schools, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBST-T), which is based on the adult program of the same name, and Teaching Mindfulness to Adolescents (TMA).
Many providers of e-learning courses for educators offer this training. The 2-hour course teaches through practical applications and thoughtful contemplation. As a teacher, you’ll be able to model and teach these practices to your students.
How can it benefit students?
The perks of mindfulness in the classroom have been well-documented. Some of the benefits include:
Improved focus and concentration:
One of the most common benefits reported by students who practice mindfulness is an improved ability to focus and concentrate in class. Teachers have also reported that students who practice it are better able to pay attention and follow instructions.
Reduced stress and anxiety:
Many students feel immeasurable pressure to perform well in school. This could lead to stress and anxiety, which can interfere with learning. However, practicing such an exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can, in turn, help students learn better.
Increased self-awareness and empathy:
Many students who practice it report becoming more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This increased self-awareness can help them better understand and relate to others, leading to more empathy.
Improved physical health:
It has also been shown to improve physical health, reducing stress-related physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue.
All of these benefits can lead to improved academic performance for students. In addition, it has also been shown to improve sleep quality, which can further help with focus and concentration in class.
How to incorporate it into your teaching methods?
If you’re interested in incorporating such practices into your teaching, you can do a few things to get started.
One way to start is by taking a course yourself. This will give you a deep understanding of the practice and allow you to model it for your students.
Incorporating it into your teaching doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. You can benefit your students by taking a few minutes to lead a brief exercise at the beginning or end of class.
If you’re looking for more guidance, several mindfulness programs and resources are available specifically for educators. So, there’s no requirement to reinvent the wheel. The bottom line is that incorporating it into your teaching can be a simple and effective way to help your students focus and learn.