Did you ever act out in school? Well, if you were anything like me, you did- and you probably were punished in a similar method as well. You know, come to think of it, I went through a variety of different punishment methods starting with the barbaric wooden paddle, to holding books in my hands with my arms outstretched and my nose touching the wall. Thankfully, times are changing and schools are using healthy methods to teach children how to process their emotions.
One such school is Robert W. Coleman Elementary, in Baltimore, Maryland. Rather than making children stay after school, or endure ridiculous punishments, kids who act out are referred to the Mindful Moment room.
This room is a safe place for children who are upset or disruptive to collect themselves and calm down. When the children are brought to the MM room, a staff member takes them through centering practices, like breathing, to soothe their emotions and stresses. The students are asked questions that invite them to discuss the issue that brought them to the room, focusing on how they felt during the experience, and how they feel currently. Usually these visits last around 20 minutes, but some situations call for an extended allotment of time.
The MM room was brought to fruition through a partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a Baltimore-area nonprofit that has been assisting in the mental growth and development of children since 2001.
“It’s amazing,” Kirk Philips, the HLF staff representative at Robert W. Coleman Elementary, says to Upworthy. “You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.”
The results are absolutely astounding. The 2013-2014 school year yielded zero suspensions for the elementary school, and the 2015-2016 school year showed a marked reduction in the amount of students who were referred to the MM room.
What’s more is that these learned teachings don’t stay within the walls of the elementary school- the students take them home with them.
“We’ve had parents tell us, ‘I came home the other day stressed out, and my daughter said, Hey, Mom, you need to sit down. I need to teach you how to breathe,” co-founder of Holistic Life, Andre Gonzalez, tells Oprah.
There have been countless studies that reflect positive results from implementing meditation in school scenarios. Like this one that shows an increase in attendance and decrease in suspensions for high school students, published in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. Or this one that showed a 40% reduction in psychological distress, including stress, anxiety and depression with students who used meditation, published by the American Journal of Hypertension. There are studies that show increased intelligence and creativity, better cognitive performance, reduced depression, decreased risk of cardiovascular problems, and more, simply by using meditation techniques.
Can meditation solve all of our problems? Probably not. But with results like these, it would be silly not to try.
The original article can be found here.