BUFFALO, N.Y. – Mindfulness and meditation techniques are being used in schools across the country. A recent study by the University of California-Davis and the non-profit organization, Mindful Schools, shows mindfulness triples students’ ability to focus and participate in class activities.
It’s not a big deal to see fourth graders meditating and kindergartners practicing mindful breathing at a mindful elementary school. Every class here has students doing the same thing.
Heidi Palmiero-Potter a 4th Grade Teacher at Harris Hill Elementary School in Buffalo, New York admits students, “They’re less impulsive with each other, they think about their words before they speak so it definitely spills to into the daily routines.”
“Mindfulness can be different things like meditating, deep breathing,” shared 4th grade student, Adam Elbousty
And 3rd grade student, Preston Payne said meditating is, “Like you breathe really slowly.”
Michelle Braun-Burget, a school psychologist at Harris Hill Elementary School, began testing these techniques three years ago with students.
Braun-Burget said, “What I’m finding is there are a lot of students even at this age, which is K through fifth grade, five year olds to ten, and eleven year olds, who are anxious and nervous and have trouble focusing.”
Braun-Burget mentioned now students are more self-confident.
“They’re just more aware of themselves and what makes them upset, what makes them nervous and they have better control now of how to deal with it,” Braun-Burget shared.
Palmiero-Potter also explained, “If someone’s having a hard time students give them the strategies also. I’ve heard students say do your breathing.”
“The point behind the techniques that mindfulness brings is helping those children learn coping strategies no matter what their circumstances are,” expressed Braun-Burget.
Mindfulschools.org said it has trained teachers in all 50 states and in more than 100 countries so far, impacting more than 750,000 students.