Once you have experienced the benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation practice within your own self then it’s natural to wish to pass on these techniques to others, especially to the next generation.
The Meditation Program is a practical and evidence-based approach to reduce stress and dramatically improve academic performance, student wellness, and the school environment. In this program, each day it will help balance their lives and improve their readiness to learn. It complements existing educational strategies by improving the physiological foundation of learning and behavior.
Most forms of meditation center on the concept of mindfulness. It makes one aware of their moment-to-moment experiences, accepting their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This kind of meditation can be used in school to make students and teachers aware of how their daily experiences of school life are affecting their state of mind and, hopefully, to calm their reactions and thoughts throughout the rest of the school day.
Here are the tips on simple breathing meditation session that you will surely enjoy and beneficial with your students:
- Discover your student’s knowledge about meditation. For example, it’s a good time to say that this meditation isn’t religious. It is just a simple process of focusing on the sensation of the breath.
- Introduce meditation. Explain to the students that for the next five minutes or longer as you progress they are going to sit quietly and practice breathing meditation.
- Let the students sit comfortably in their chairs. The most important phase of the meditation posture is to keep a straight back and have relaxed shoulders. You can play a video about the meditation posture so they will have an idea what’s the proper way to do it.
- Ask the students to gently close their eyes. This helps to prevent disturbance and begins to calm the mind. Closing your eyes for 15 minutes can feel strange, and for some students who come from high-risk backgrounds, it can even feel like you are exposing yourself to danger. When the students know they are in a safe space and that everyone else is participating in the same activity, they can let go of some of that fear.
- Watch or Listen to a meditation video/music track. You can choose how long the meditation is, gradually extending the length of the session depending on feedback and interest from students.
The benefits of this type of program in school will help the students feeling more focused and less stressed. Somehow, it seems abstract and subjective to some students. If you can help make the connection between a focused, disciplined mind, and students’ own challenges and goals, athletic performance, academic achievement, creative expression, or anything else that is relevant to them. It will help them gain more from those techniques.
- Alternatively, you can deliver the meditation yourself. First of all, gain experience of meditation by meditating regularly. Guiding meditation requires skill and patience.
- Bring the meditation to an end progressively. Remind students to become aware of the room around them, any sounds they can hear, and their feet on the floor.
- Make a short discussion after the meditation. How was the students’ experience? Was it what they expected? Would they like to do another meditation? If so, would they like a longer or shorter meditation?
- Explore how the students could carry the experience into the rest of their day. For example, if they are feeling stressed they could stop for 30 seconds and think about their breathing.
Meditation must be voluntary. There should be multiple options for other activities such as drawing or sustained silent reading in a safe and quiet environment. The effects of mindfulness meditation tend to be dose-related, the more you do, the more effect it usually has. Most people find that it takes at least 20 minutes for the mind to begin to settle, so this is a reasonable way to start.
A less formal approach to mindfulness can also help you to stay in the present and fully participate in your life. So, don’t let stress harm your mental health.
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