What if we learned meditation at an early age? Could that possibly help buffer the inevitable stressful events in childhood as well later in life?
This morning I was thinking, what if a mindfulness practice came as natural as say, multiplication tables or spelling? What if it was taught in schools?
Is there a chance that if children learned meditation it would be helpful for them in dealing with those “you’re so not-cool” messages from other kids?
I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about Mindful Schools – a non-profit organization based in Oakland,CA that teaches mindfulness to children in schools.
Mindful Schools’ mission is to integrate mindfulness into education through in-class instruction and other resources to promote and support mindfulness in education. A mindfulness practice can help children deal with stress, improve their ability to focus, resolve conflict, and improve their attention spans.
How would things have been different in elementary school, high school, college and graduate school if I had been practicing mindfulness meditation since second grade?
Dr. Emma Warnecke and her colleagues from the Menzies Research Institute in Australia showed that a mindfulness practice reduced stress and anxiety in medical students even through a simple self-administered intervention – a daily audio CD with a guided mindfulness practice.
Participants in the intervention group demonstrated significant reductions in scores on the Perceived Stress Scale and the anxiety component of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. And, follow-up at 8 weeks post-trial revealed that the effect was maintained.
So, what do we do if we didn’t learn meditation in elementary school?
While younger brains are certainly more malleable, beginning a mindfulness practice at any age is showing positive effects.
A mindfulness meditation practice can help you out of this “something’s wrong with me” complex that so many of us fall into when we’re dealing with stress, anxiety and fear.
If you want to learn some mindfulness meditation techniques to use in dealing with this “trance of unworthiness”, check this out.
If you’d like to learn more about Mindful Schools you can find out more here.
When did you start your mindfulness meditation practice? Please leave a comment below.