What are the benefits of mindfulness with youth?
Scientific studies find that mindfulness improves young people’s attention, emotion regulation, behavior in school, social skills, empathy, test anxiety and stress, among other benefits. For more information, visit www.mindfulschools.org/research.
Mindfulness has many health benefits that include:
- Reducing stress, anxiety, depression
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Higher brain functioning
- Improved cognition
- Lower heart rate
- Increased body satisfaction
- Decreased anger
- Increased immune function
- May reduce chronic pain
- Better quality sleep
Can mindfulness help improve academic performance or behavior issues?
Both quantitative and qualitative research indicate that mindfulness helps give students the mental and emotional skills needed to improve learning readiness, attentional stability, prosocial behavior, impulse control and emotional regulation. In turn, these changes can support improved academic performance and behavior.
Historically, our bodies have developed a flight, fight, or freeze response to help us avoid danger. Our amygdala responds to stimulus it deems dangerous and does not let our prefrontal cortex think and problem solve. When our amygdala takes over we are unable to think clearly. While this helps keep us safe in true emergencies, it is an overreaction to stressful situations like test taking or fights with friends. Mindfulness can give our brain time to activate our prefrontal cortex so we can problem solve.