One of the unfortunate disparities between impoverished children and other children is that the underserved don’t readily have available the tools needed to cope with stress. This can end up being completely devastating since high, prolonged stress is one of the most dominant byproducts of poverty. That’s where meditation comes into play.
One way people around the country have tried to alleviate this is by offering meditation groups. They’re usually in the form of classes in school for students at least weekly. There have been studies on the effects. One effect they’ve noticed after introducing meditation to students is that they have increased attention. Meditation and mindfulness require great amounts of focus. The more you do it, the stronger that muscle memory gets. Over time your ‘focus muscle’ is strengthened and your overall focus helps you to pay better attention to details. You’ll also pay attention for longer periods of time. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has also been noted to help increase focus and some schools are working to get it offered in house.
Once meditation is introduced there’s also a boost in class attendance and academic success. A few schools in California even saw that once introduced, there were fewer suspensions and the children were overall less aggressive. Meditation gave them the headspace needed to slow down and think before reacting more often. In adults and children, meditation reduces anxiety. More schools hope to implement mindfulness-based stress reduction as well.
Meditation in school also offers a little safe haven away from outside trauma. There are so many children who are facing major, chronic stressors in their home life. When children go through trauma at home, whether they fully understand the situation or not, their bodies and minds largely shut down. Meditation intervenes to rejuvenate them. The tools they teach in school are taken home and implemented whenever you need for overall higher quality of living.
While we’re pushing for schools to implement these practices, they can be taught to any child in any situation by any adult. Meditation and mindfulness are skills that we can all benefit from no matter what.
When you try them out, let us know how it goes ! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly blog.