Will Williams, founder of Beeja Meditation [a specific form of mindfulness], say kids absolutely need meditation to deal with exam stress, as well as the pressure of social media.
It’s no secret that stress among kids and teens is at an all time high. The latest research shows that 30% of teenagers feel anxious or depressed specifically because of stress. And meditation has been touted as perhaps the best way for kids to handle stress.
Will Williams of Beeja Meditation, a London based company that teaches a form of mindfulness specifically for stress and anxiety, has been advising the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of the many ways in which mindfulness helps teenagers with stress and anxiety. He firmly believes that meditation should be taught at schools. And he has been working with 36 education ministers around the world in an effort to have mindfulness taught as schools.
There are many proven benefits of meditation for kids and teenagers. Not only does it help them to overcome the stress and anxiety of exams and social media, it can also help them perform better in school.
Williams has already taught more than 1,700 British schoolchildren to meditate. He believes that meditation is vital for teenagers in order to reset the nervous system, which can be damaged through cumulative stress.
Speaking to The Standard, he stated, “We have created a world where everything is moving a million miles per hour and there is a huge chasm between what we are biologically able to process and how fast everything is moving… Humans are experiencing up to 30 times more stimulation than they were 100 years ago. The brain is overwhelmed by information.”
Williams states that there are big benefits of teaching meditation at school. It helps kids to deal with stress and pressure and it also can improve their academic performance. This is backed with extensive research that shows the meditation improves cognitive abilities in both kids and adults.
One of the biggest causes of mental health problems today is the sheer amount of information and noise we are all prone to, including kids and teens. From ads to social media to TV to gaming… there is a constant stream of information that can cause mental fatigue, stress and other mental health problems. One of the main issues is that we never truly give ourselves an opportunity to unwind. When most teenagers say they are “relaxing” they are general playing video games or watching movies. It’s constant stimulation. That constant stimulation needs to stop from time to time if we are to protect kids’ mental health, and one of the best ways to achieve that is with the practice of mindfulness and meditation.
Tips From Williams On Meditation, School, And Mental Health
- Do not revise after 8 because information retention is worse at this time.
- No screens in the first or last hour of the day because the nervous system needs warm-up and cool-down times.
- Take two 12 minute breaks a day to shut eyes and meditate.
- Take time to engage the creative brain
- Practice breathing meditation techniques.
- Get into yoga [here are 28 different types of yoga with benefits]