Students today have many reasons to feel stressed. From heavy course loads, full extra-curricular schedules, violence at school, friendship drama, and juggling school and work, the stress levels are definitely rising.
The psychology of teachers is also compromised when faced with stressful conditions, such as high-stakes testing, or students with severe psychological problems, leaving them feeling burnt-out, discouraged, and ready to quit.
It is not surprising that more and more students and teachers are turning to mindfulness as a way to cope with negative stressors.
The importance of mindfulness in education is extensively documented by researchers. Promoting mindfulness in the classroom can develop a common language among teachers and students to help manage stressful and anxious situations.
Are you interested in including mindfulness in your class? Read on to learn what mindfulness is all about and its benefits to students and teachers.
What is Mindfulness in Education, and How Can You Practice It in the Classroom?
Mindfulness refers to the awareness that comes from paying attention to the present moment. Mindfulness involves moment by moment awareness of your thoughts, sensations, and feelings in a process that relaxes your mind and body to relieve stress and improve concentration.
Most times, mindfulness in education is done through guided imagery and breath control techniques that allow students to focus on experiencing and engaging with their surroundings.
Mindfulness can refer to both the state of being mindful as well as the daily practices that help to bring it about, such as meditation.
Teachers can use the following mindful activities to help learners at any level.
This is a quick mindfulness activity that is great in stressful situations. It involves taking deep breaths in a relaxed posture and paying total attention to how the breath feels.
Breathing color exercise
n this technique, students think of a relaxing color and another that represents frustration, anger, or sadness. Then, they imagine breathing in the relaxing color and exhaling the negative color.
The exercise encourages students to sit or lie down and check in with how their body feels, without judging themselves. The cues can include questions such as, where do I feel sore? How do my neck/back/face muscles feel? They respond by relaxing that part of the body.
This exercise is a great way to reconnect when having a moment of stress. Students relax and reflect by thinking or writing answers to the following questions: What are five things I can see? Four things I can touch? Three things I can hear? Two things I can smell? One thing I can taste?
It involves setting aside a few minutes of class for students to write what they are grateful for and briefly share with their partner or think them to themselves. Being grateful maintains a healthy balance of what is happening in our life.
Still, with heightened academic pressure, especially in higher levels of learning, students are dealing with unprecedented stress and anxiety levels.
Stress can make it difficult for you to focus in class, keep up with assignments, or juggle multiple responsibilities such as school and extracurriculars.
Luckily, you can relieve academic stress by getting high-quality writing help from pro essay writers at CustomWritings who write original essays for students from scratch, in a strict accordance with academic requirements.
Importance of Mindfulness in Education: The Benefits for Students and Teachers
There is a growing body of research that points towards the tangible benefits of mindfulness for both students and instructors. Here is a summary of the benefits for students and teachers:
1. Increased concentration
Mindfulness helps students recognize stress areas and gives them the power to manage them effectively.
A mindful awareness increases appreciation of what’s going well. The process can keep you focused on lectures, assignments, or study materials for a significant amount of time.
2. Reduced stress and anxiety
Internal and external pressures often cause stress and anxiety in students at all levels of learning.
However, research suggests that mindfulness can help students to stop dwelling on self-criticism and external influences by helping them to focus on the life they want to live each day.
Mindfulness activities effectively improve the well-being and mental health of students.
3. Promote social and emotional learning
The type of education network that a student is exposed to often determines what they know about social interactions and emotional management.
Some display empathy and emotional understanding more than others. Learning basic mindfulness practices can improve a student’s awareness of emotions, ability to handle challenges, and empathy for others.
4. Improved cognitive performance
Mindfulness has been shown to boost cognitive performance when responding to time-sensitive tasks.
The practice also improves working memory and planning abilities. Mindfulness in elementary education sharpens students’ learning attention, effectiveness, and memory.
5. Manage behavior
Incorporating mindfulness activities in early childhood education, such as daily gratitude and breathing exercise, can help students to develop effective self-regulation, manage impulsivity, reduce conflict, and minimize rebellious behavior.
However, teachers shouldn’t use mindfulness as a disciplinary tool.
6. Help students who struggle with perfectionism
Perfectionism and mindfulness cannot exist together. Practicing mindfulness means regarding yourself and everything around you without judgment.
Hence, one of the benefits of mindfulness in education is that it helps students who focus obsessively on certain imperfections to see the benefits of taking risks and making mistakes.
1. Reduced stress and burnout
Mindfulness can help teachers to recognize their emotional patterns and proactively regulate how they respond to stressful situations.
Savoring positive moments on the job feeds the true connection that teachers have with students. Also, attending a mindfulness conference or guided meditation can help teachers to deal with burnout.
2. Increased self-compassion
Teachers can easily get overly concerned about getting through lesson plans and end up unconsciously rushing through.
The importance of mindfulness in the classroom is that it lets teachers slow down and take time to understand what’s happening in the classroom and what students need. Also, asking how they are feeling is a moment of self-compassion.
3. Increased teaching efficacy
Invoking mindfulness education in the classroom can help teachers to be mindfully present when it is most needed.
It allows teachers to pay attention to students’ needs and set a positive learning environment. The teachers can communicate more effectively and maintain a strong relationship with students, increasing teaching efficacy.
Mindfulness in Education Can Help Students and Teachers to Blossom
Practicing mindfulness in the classroom can help students to stay calm, engaged, and focused on learning and maintain positive social indications. For teachers, mindfulness gives them a sense of calm needed to intervene appropriately and make learning a pleasure for everyone. Try the activities in this post to include mindfulness in your class.
Do you wish to free your mind from endless thinking?
Discover How to Stop the Constant Chatter of the Mind