MIT recently released two new studies revealing the benefits of mindfulness practice with middle school students. Mindfulness, the practice of focusing in on the present moment, has shown positive effects on not only mental health, but on academic performance.

“By definition, mindfulness is the ability to focus attention on the present moment, as opposed to being distracted by external things or internal thoughts. If you’re focused on the teacher in front of you, or the homework in front of you, that should be good for learning,” says John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology.

The two studies revealed that mindfulness practice for the middle schoolers helped lower stress and students reported less negative or fearful thoughts in general. Researchers believe this could be a positive addition to the curriculum. If we can help students focus during the school day and also combat negative thoughts and feelings, this could have a big impact on academic performance overall.

Being mindful can help us focus on the present task at hand, while lowering negative thoughts and emotions.

“Mindfulness is like going to the gym. If you go for a month, that’s good, but if you stop going, the effects won’t last. It’s a form of mental exercise that needs to be sustained.”

Mindfulness isn’t just important for children, but adults too. Everyone can benefit from focusing in on the moment and excusing negative thoughts.

To learn more join counselor, wellness coach, and mindfulness teacher Heather Nielsen as she leads a 15 minute guided mindfulness practice.

Each week has a different theme and practice style, all geared towards “awareness, curiosity, and compassion” to help manage the stressors of health and life.

Click here to join our Mindful Monday practice.

To learn more, “Two studies reveal benefits of mindfulness for middle school students” – MIT news