Fourth-graders at Eagle Crest are relaxing their minds every day after recess by practicing mindfulness techniques. The students are encouraged to sit in comfortable positions, with their eyes closed while breathing slowly and intentionally.
Studies show that mindfulness interventions help improve attention, self-control, emotional resilience, memory, and immune response among others. Other benefits of daily mindfulness for students, include strengthening one’s attention, increasing awareness of thoughts resulting in higher compassion, and aiding in calming the mind.
“It has been amazing to see the students' improvement in behavior,” said Nicole Lacroix, fourth-grade teacher. “Mindfulness has given them the tools to self-regulate and calm their bodies.”
Several students shared their thoughts on their mindfulness practice:
"I like when we do mindfulness because if something happens at recess, or I think about something big from the past... after doing mindfulness, my mind is clear and I feel calm," said one student.
"If I have a problem or chaos around me, I start taking deep breaths and that makes me feel calm,” said another student “I can ignore what's going on around me."
Studies find that children benefit from practicing mindfulness in the short-term and later in life as well. These practices lead to improved mental cognition, social-emotional skills, and wellbeing.