Schools in California are using mindfulness to help with student stress management.
Studies show that breathing exercises help students cope with stress so they can better focus on studies.
The pandemic and racial tensions has caused an escalation in stress at school and many education leaders are turning to mindfulness to help students manage stress.
How Mindfulness Helps Student Stress Management
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude. It is traditional done by focusing on the movement of breath around the body. This simple exercise has been shown to help with managing stress . Research conducted by the Harvard Center for Educational Policy Research reveals that mindfulness can help students cope with stress.
The exercise of quiet breathing and focusing on the present moment, mindfulness is a way to become aware of one’s emotional state and usher in a sense of calm. It can be particularly helpful for young people as a means to boost attention skills and cope with stress, according to a 2019 report published by researchers at Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research .
Over the past few years, more than 1000 teachers in Los Angeles Unified School District have undergone mindfulness training, as well as training in yoga, tai chi, and other methods of helps students with stress.
Heather Davis Puerzer, first-grade teachers at Foothill Elementary, part of, Pittsburg Unified, states that even though lessons are now taking place online, mindfulness is more important than ever. “[Everyone is feeling traumatized right now and [can benefit from mindfulness]… My kids seem to really get something out of [being mindful]”.
JG Larochette, director of the Mindful Life Project, says that mindfulness has burgeoned in interest ever since the beginning of the pandemic in March. The organisation offers a free mindfulness app available here. Downloads have skyrocketed more than 250 percent in the past eight weeks, and Larochette says this is no surprise.
Learning to recognise emotions in a non-judgmental way is pivotal for help students with stress management and can also help with brain development according to research. Chronic anxiety can alter children’s emotional regulation and potential cause long-term disorders. Being mindful can counteract anxiety to prevent that from happening. Lorochette reminds us that the brain is adaptable. “The good news is that the brain has plasticity,” he said. “It can adapt and change. The younger you start, the better.”
Our guide to teaching meditation in schools reveals everything you need to know as an educator to start helping students manage stress with meditation so they can focus on essays, exams, and other important work.