I learnt to meditate as a student in high school
Considering this was a few years ago (yes, quite a few!) .. I now reflect on what an inspiring and forward thinking opportunity this was.
And for me, it was life changing
Being a student at any age is tough. Add to that, being a teenager is tough. There is so much to process, and life moves fast, and there are complex social challenges and self learning to be done .. then there is the amount of formal learning at school and the expectations around performance.
Those late nights of studying, the pressure to maintain a single-focus drive towards final examinations, which hold the keys to our future and university entrance competitiveness .. can lead to feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and stress.
It is usually around this time of year that parents begin to notice the rising sense of urgency, lack of sleep, tension and sometimes fear, that teens are beginning to feel in the lead up to exams.
This is the time of year, I begin to receive calls from worried parents as they realise they are not sure what they can actually do to help their kids cope.
EXAM EASE FOR STUDENTS
As a meditation teacher, and a mum, I know that meditation and mindfulness exercises, provide us with amazing and vital life skills; including how to calm and still ourselves when we need or want to;
* which supports learning, listening and self-knowing
* cultivates greater EI (emotional intelligence), compassion and empathy
* assists us to develop and fine tune our ability to focus and concentrate
* gives us the practical tools for self managing stress and releasing tension (when we need to)
* and choose how we react or act in life
“Teaching our children how to be mindful, to appreciate quiet and to have inner peace is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow on them”, Rob Moodie, Professor of Global Health, Nossal Institute of Global Health.
Last week, I read how Henley High students (Adelaide) have been meditating immediately before taking maths and science tests. Meditation was introduced by the Maths and Science teacher, who believed it could assist the growing numbers of students showing signs of stress before tests.
“Some of the students feel tense, get sweaty and breathe heavily before a test” she says.
Her methods are part of a school-wide “mind matters’’ wellbeing program which the Principal Eddie Fabian who said it was important students learn coping strategies for potentially stressful and difficult tasks, and “also prepares them for their Year 12 high stakes exams,”.
This is the time of year when we may begin to see the signs of study related stress .. lack of effective sleep, eye strain and headaches, changed eating habits, worry and rising anxiety over seemingly small matters, tears and mood swings.
Around this time last year (April 2015) The Age published an article Mindfulness very slowly moving around the world’s classrooms that spoke to the rapid uptaking of ‘mindfulness’ across many sectors including education.
“Research has overwhelmingly highlighted the many benefits of the practice in adult populations, including enhanced performance, improved emotional management and reduced workplace stress; inspiring even more workplaces to implement mindfulness training programs.
These favourable results have led educators to consider the potential value of mindfulness meditation in schools to improve student concentration and overall wellbeing; particularly given the myriad multimedia distractions they face and the rising incidence of anxiety and depression”.
Alongside the amazing Gaby Robinson, mother and U-Bounce guru .. we have a new class program for STUDENTS in YEARS 10, 11 & 12 which will include:
Movement: invigorating and energising rebounding and fitness boxing exercises to release tension or anxiety, and tap into happy hormone stores
Mindfulness meditation: learning valuable exercises and tools to release worrying thoughts, anxiety, mental and emotional tension, find refuge and calmness in working with the breath, and promote a greater sense of wellbeing and positivity.
Date: Thur 4 May to 25 May
Venue: U-Bounce Fitness, 4/81 Beach Road Sandringham