Expanding research offers a promising look at how Mindfulness experiences can help kids, teachers and parents.
Below, you'll find a tip-of-the-iceberg synopses of research relevant to education, as well as articles meant to make this easy to digest. Continued research is needed & ongoing, of course. We'll update this page periodically to reflect these findings.
THE BRAIN SCIENCE & BENEFITS
Technology has made it possible to observe the brain in action. Researchers can now witness firsthand the impact of mindful practices on your brain, whether that is yoga, mindful walking, observing the body, or listening to sounds.
For instance, after just weeks of mindfulness practice, research indicates that the areas of the brain central to conscious choice-making increase in grey matter, while other areas of the brain show less activation in stressful events. The studies are focused and numerous, and open many questions for continued study.
Here are a few articles that provide an overview of these research findings:
- "What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain?" Tom Ireland. Scientific American. June 2014.
- "Science Shows Meditation Benefits Kids Brains and Behavior" Alice G. Walton. Forbes. Oct 18, 2016.
- "Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain. Harvard Business Review." Christan Congleton. Britta Holzel. Sara Lazar. January 8, 2015
Looking for more? Visit the UMASS Center for Mindfulness Research Page here.
Since 2000, more and more research has looked at how kids of all ages can benefit from mindfulness practices, of which yoga is one. Here's what we see:
- Increased attention (even with ADD/ADHD)
- Emotional regulation & decreased reactivity
- Reduced stress & anxiety
- Supports treatment of depression & addiction
Enjoy a few easy-to-read articles below:
- "Mindfulness in Education Research Highlights." Emily Campbell. Greater Good. September 16, 2014.
- "Mindful Parenting for ADHD: Mindfulness may add more than you expect to ADHD care." Mark Bertin. Mindful. September 16, 2015.
- "Kids With Anxiety Disorders ‘Significantly’ Benefit From Mindfulness Exercises By Changing Brain Activity." Samantha Olson. Medical Daily. July 24, 2016.
- Link to Mindful Schools Research Page.
WITH TEACHERS & SCHOOL STAFF
Working with kids is exhilarating, inspiring and incredibly demanding. Adults with the skills to calm themselves and regulate their own stress-levels, report being happier in their jobs. This also makes a difference for kids. Learn a bit more about how mindfulness practices support teachers and school staff in this way:
- "Seven Ways Mindfulness Can Help Teachers." Patricia Jennings. Greater Good. March 30, 2015.
- "Why Teachers Say Mindfulness is Transforming the Work." Anya Kamenetz. Mind Shift. August 19, 2016.