In today’s fast-paced world, it is a well-known fact that stress is a common occurrence. Everyone is affected by it, but it is mainly children these days that seem to be exposed to inordinate amounts of weight in their daily activities.
With the constant pressure to perform in their daily lives, it is little surprise that many children find it difficult to adjust and often suffer from mental and physical complications as a result. There are several studies which show that compared to previous generations, the current generation is the most “stressed out” (Sifferlin, 2013). This is due in no small part to the current nature of competitive education and a more active engagement with social media. Bearing all this in mind, schools and educators have been trying to find methods and activities to mitigate these stressful effects on learners. And though the field of study for effects of practices like meditation with relation to both children and education is not as extensive as it should be, it is a process that has been gaining more and more attention in recent years.
With specific regards to children, meditation first and foremost helps as a way for them to centre their thoughts. It is a reasonably common instinct for kids to jump from one mental process to another, rarely sticking to one idea or action for too long. This can have lasting problems, in that focusing on specific things becomes difficult. It is also a very common complication for students with learning disabilities such as ADHD. Therefore, by integrating a little meditation into the educational process, students can learn to reach a state of calm, where the focus is put solely on helping the learner achieve that state and, by extension, their overall goals.
Educators need to pay special attention to the factors that are triggering stress reactions in their students, as this is not merely something that should be addressed for educational benefit alone, but for ethical reasons as well. So, for the sake of healthy emotional development as well as educational de-stressing, meditation can be applied here as well. If the mind can free itself of tension, it can function at peak performance. It is a well fact that meditation-based activities dramatically help children to deal with constant stressors in their daily lives. Thus, implementing these activities based on the varied levels and types of stress they are facing is of extreme importance. Researchers are of the opinion that physical components must also be carefully woven into traditional meditation practices since there is a strong possibility of failure if traumatised kids are asked to only sit still in quiet contemplation (Harnett & Dawe, 2012).
Through careful integration and implementation of meditation along with activities tied to the same into the educational process, learners can find a simple and easy enough method to reach their fullest potential. With care, observation and understanding, educators may be able to use these methods to help their students reach a state of emotional security and stability so that they may be better able to achieve their goals.
Sifferlin A. The Most Stressed-Out Generation? Young Adults (2013).
Carboni, Jessica A., Roach, Andrew T. & Fredrick, Laura D. (2013) Impact of Mindfulness Training on the Behavior of Elementary Students With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. Research in Human Development.
Harnett, P. H. and Dawe, S. (2012) The contribution of mindfulness‐based therapies for children and families and proposed conceptual integration. Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
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