No matter how strong of a student someone might be, everyone goes through periods of stress and anxiety. Students often take on multiple responsibilities at once, such as school, part-time jobs, extracurriculars, and family obligations. They may feel like they never have enough time to relax and look after themselves. Whether it’s a lack of exercise or a healthy diet, not enough time to indulge in hobbies or socialize with friends, students face a lot of pressure to focus on school and get good grades. However, if they take the time to practice mindfulness and good habits, they can live a more balanced life. Why should students learn mindful behaviors, and how can mindfulness help them succeed?
When people think of the word “mindfulness”, the practice of meditation tends to come to mind. While meditation is a big part of mindfulness, there are other things that students can do to be more mindful. For example, some people find it hard to concentrate on one thing for long periods of time. Sitting still and focusing on their thoughts alone may not work for them. Instead, they can try other mindfulness-based techniques, such as listening to calming music, doing breathing exercises, or making art. Mindfulness is about slowing down and doing one thing at a time with intention. It encourages people to move away from multitasking and make the time to do something for themselves.
Stronger Focus and Better Communication
First and foremost, mindfulness helps students improve their cognitive skills. Studies have shown that when students practice mindful behaviors like meditation and yoga in school, they perform better on assignments and tests. Once they’ve learned how to slow down and pay attention to what they’re doing, their newfound focus enhances their ability to organize and recall information, plan projects and create schedules, and concentrate on the task at hand. Mindfulness also helps students become better communicators. When they’re given time to reflect on their thoughts and emotions, they can articulate themselves in more meaningful ways. Rather than reacting instinctively, students have a better understanding of self, meaning they can communicate more clearly and mindfully. This also improves their social skills and their relationships with their teachers, friends, and family.
Reduced Stress and Improved School-Life Balance
Students are under a lot of pressure to do well in school and all other aspects of their lives. Stress can take a toll on their mental and physical health, as well as their performance in school. When students practice mindfulness, it helps them manage their stress by teaching them how to focus on what matters. For example, visualization exercises and body scans ask students to bring awareness to their mind and body. Instead of thinking about an upcoming due date or a major exam, their attention is solely on themselves and how they’re feeling. This self-awareness helps bring students’ stress levels down, which in turn, improves their sleep. When students look out for their own well-being, they become better at recognizing when they’re doing fine, and when they need a mindful moment. As a result, they learn how to balance their commitments with their personal health and happiness.
Regulated Emotions and Positive Thinking
Students often take on a lot of responsibilities at once, both inside and outside of school. When they feel overwhelmed by all their obligations, they may feel frustrated, upset, or even angry, negatively impacting their ability to think clearly. These emotions can also make them impatient and impulsive, which can lead to negative consequences such as poor performance or bad communication. Mindfulness teaches students how to calm down, reflect on their feelings and emotions, and respond in a more productive manner. For example, journaling helps them make sense of their feelings and identify what caused them to feel a certain way. Self-reflection helps students be more in control of their own emotions. It also helps them concentrate on the good things in their lives and recognize what makes them happy. Positive thinking leads to better outcomes in all areas of their lives.