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The Benefits of Mindfulness in Schools

Mr. Thomas Brangs

As a teacher of mindfulness at The Independence School, I often wonder how I can enrich the minds of my students and introduce them to the researched benefits of cultivating a mindfulness practice. There have been several instances where I have been asked by students, parents, members of staff, or even my subconscious what the definition of mindfulness is! Simply put, mindfulness is the art of paying attention to what is happening right now, in the present moment. Think of it as a tool for one to use to calm down and focus on what they are doing.

One way to practice mindfulness is by taking deep breaths and focusing on our breathing, proverbially 'anchoring' to your breath. Similar anchors can be connected to one's foundation of self through body awareness and connection with sounds.

The practice of mindfulness has several potential benefits for students and teachers alike. Some of the key benefits are as follows:

Reduced stress and anxiety: Mindfulness practices can help students and teachers manage stress and anxiety. By teaching students how to focus on the present moment and observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment, mindfulness can help develop resilience and help us cope better with stress.

Improved attention and focus: Mindfulness practices can enhance students' ability to concentrate and pay attention. Students can develop better self-regulation skills and learn to direct their attention to what is important.

Improved academic performance: By reducing stress and anxiety, improving attention and focus, and enhancing emotional regulation skills, mindfulness practices can ultimately lead to improved academic performance.

Increased well-being: Mindfulness practices can promote well-being by fostering positive emotions, empathy, and compassion toward others. By promoting a sense of connectedness and kindness, mindfulness can create a more positive and supportive school environment for everyone. 

Incorporating mindfulness practices into schools has benefits for the entire school community. The research is ongoing, but we do know that just 15 minutes per day can shift a mindset!

Further research into mindfulness and suggested readings can be found through Mindful Schools, located at the link here:

Dr. Dahra Williams

About the Author

Mr. Thomas Brangs is an Independence faculty member and Mindfulness Instructor.

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