Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Rest.
Some children are not able to do so right away, and according to neurological research, the inability to concentrate can be linked to early experiences of trauma. This trauma, which stems from things like abuse or neglect, can prevent learners from feeling safe enough to pay attention in class, as reported in an article by Julie Fraga at Mindshift.
Fraga describes how one school in Oakland, California called upon mindfulness expert Laurie Grossman to help its students with emotional and psychological support. Mindfulness practices include meditation and breathing exercises with intentional focus on being present. The results were incredible. As reported by Fraga,
“Before the children began practicing mindfulness, the teachers had struggled to help the students recognize their emotions, pay attention in class and communicate their feelings verbally instead of using their fists. After beginning the practice, a sense of serenity entered the classroom, and the teachers and school administrators recognized how much mindfulness had changed the school climate.”
While some students struggled at first, they eventually became comfortable with the exercises, so much so that the students became the leaders of the exercises. They also felt led to write a book about mindfulness for students, by students.
To read more about the effects of mindfulness on these students, read the full article here.