Educating Students On Meditation
Meditation can help students be less stressed and more compassionate. But how many districts are ready to sign on?
More and more studies are showing direct links between meditation and health benefits. A study led by researchers at John Hopkins found that just eight weeks of meditation training was as effective as medication in treating depression, anxiety, and pain.
At Harvard, scientists using neuro-imaging technology showed how meditation positively affected the brain activity of the chronically stressed, a condition that the Benson-Henry Institute reports is related to more than 60 percent of all doctors visits.
When a school in New Haven, Connecticut, required yoga and meditation classes three times a week for its incoming freshman, studies found that after each class, students had significantly reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in their bodies.
In San Francisco, schools that participated in Quiet Time, a Transcendental Meditation program, had twice as many students score proficient in English on the California Achievement Test than in similar schools where the program didn’t exist. Visitacion Valley Middle School specifically reduced suspensions by 45 percent during the programs first year. Attendance rates climbed to 98 percent, grade point averages improved, and the school recorded the highest happiness levels in San Francisco on the annual California Healthy Kids Survey.
Other studies have shown that mindfulness education programs improved students self-control, attentiveness and respect for other classmates, enhanced the school climate, and improved teachers moods.
While Quiet Time isn’t the final solution for a broken education system, its a game-changer for many students who otherwise might have become dropouts. Thats reason enough to make meditation a school staple, and not just in San Francisco. Sources: forbes.com sfgate.com
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