Concern for our physical and mental well-being is currently one of the main social trends. We all try to create new habits that will help us have a more balanced lifestyle. In the context of this new trend, a new concept has gained ground and we are hearing more and more about it benefits: mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a relaxation technique that teaches us to be fully aware of our emotions in order to reduce the frustration and anxiety we feel when we are unable to change certain adverse or negative situations in our lives. The origins of this concept can be found in eastern meditation practises. It develops our ability to focus on the present in both body and mind and be in tune with our surroundings.
Mindfulness in the classroom
The quest for physical and mental well-being and personal satisfaction has led to the creation and implementation of fun and entertaining initiatives not only in the professional environment, but also in educational institutions like schools and universities.
If we teach and educate students how to improve their mindfulness and physical and mental well-being at school, this will lead to better results and performance.
It has been proven that relaxation, concentration and physical and mental well-being techniques improve mindfulness, and also increase students’ levels of satisfaction and creativity. Consequently, centres from the Best Schools in Spain network incorporate mindfulness exercises into classes to increase students’ concentration.
Less stress, better concentration and improved emotional skills
Mindfulness is associated with the ability to regulate emotions. Mindfulness can cause changes in the brain related to lower reactivity and an increased capacity to perform tasks, even when our emotions are activated. Therefore, when applied in the educational sector, mindfulness helps teachers and students alike reduce their stress levels, increase their attention and concentration, and be able to control their emotions. As stress can have a negative effect on the brain when it comes to learning, if mindfulness helps reduce stress, it will also help students improve their results and academic performance.
Additionally, teachers that practise mindfulness can strengthen their ability to interact calmly and efficiently with students, while also helping students to behave better in class and act less impulsively and more respectfully.
Seeing as mindfulness is focused on training full consciousness and attention in order to voluntarily control these mental processes, practising these techniques is a good way to increase our ability to pay attention and concentrate. As these abilities grow with these techniques, experts are starting to recommend mindfulness as a complementary therapy for attention deficit disorders.
Lastly, evidence is emerging to suggest that the use of mindfulness techniques from the very first stages of schooling helps students develop the skills they need to deal with problems and build constructive social relationships. Students of all ages and academic levels that practise mindfulness can develop their self-knowledge and understand their inner world to reach a sense of balance, concentration and calm that nurtures creativity, happiness, tolerance and compassion. It develops values and abilities such as confidence, adaptation and kindness, while also teaching us how to control complex emotions, impulses and worries. In turn, this helps us accept and understand ourselves.
In short, practising mindfulness helps us regulate our emotions, reduces stress levels, encourages calm, improves attention and concentration, improves academic performance, positively affects creativity, makes it easier to understand our inner world and allows us to educate resilient and positive students.