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Can Mindfulness Improve My Student’s Grades?

It would be wonderful if there were a magic wand that could improve your student’s performance in school immediately. Unfortunately, no such wand exists. But the next best thing is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice that students must build up over time. Daily practice is necessary, but as they experience the benefits of mindfulness, they are likely to improve in ways that actually do benefit their performance at school and outside of school. Let’s look at five main ways that mindfulness helps improve student success.

5 Ways Mindfulness Improves Student Success

  1. Increased Focus The practice of mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment, which is essential to academic success. When the mind wanders, it’s almost impossible to work on a paper, study for a final exam, or benefit from a three-hour lecture. Students have so many projects to complete each term and there are so many distractions. But those who practice mindfulness are better at self-regulation and more equipped to see assignments through.

  2. Stress Relief Life as a student is stressful. Between getting to each class on time, managing the workload that comes with multiple classes, and memorizing countless facts, it’s easy for students to panic. Georgetown University did a study on students who practiced mindfulness strategies versus those who did not. Those who practiced mindfulness showed reduced stress hormones, a decrease in negative thoughts, reported feeling less stressed in their daily life, and showed improved overall well-being.

  3. Improved Creativity One of the benefits of mindfulness is creativity. It increases divergent thinking, which is the ability to come up with new ideas—a primary component of thinking creatively. Whether your child is brainstorming for a creative writing course or they need a topic for their thesis, creativity is important in academic life. Mindfulness has been shown to increase cognitive flexibility, which leads to an increase in creativity. This benefits students in nearly every area of their lives.

  4. Reduce Depression It is estimated that one-third of students suffer from depression and anxiety. Mindfulness training and techniques are key to improved self-awareness and focusing on the present moment. JAMA Internal Medicine found that practicing mindfulness meditation just 20 minutes a day helps students with self-regulation and helps them manage the depression and anxiety that come along with busy schedules and rigorous course loads, improving daily life functions and overall well-being.

  5. Improved Retention To succeed in school, students must remember what they are learning. In 2013, a study found that the benefits of mindfulness included improved student retention of the information conveyed during lectures. Because students are continually bombarded with information, it can be difficult for them to recall important facts from lectures. Mindfulness exercises can actually help with that.

In the Academic Setting, Mindfulness is Proven to Increase

  • Academic achievement

  • Focus on the present moment

  • Social skills and self-regulation

  • Self-esteem

  • Sleep habits and overall physical health

  • Compassion including self-compassion

Mindfulness is Also Shown to Reduce

  • Obsession with social media

  • Stress levels

  • Mental health issues

  • Fatigue

  • Bullying, as a result of compassion and self-compassion

Mindfulness and School Performance

It seems like there is a kind of magic wand that can help improve your child’s performance at school. But more importantly, mindfulness can improve your child’s satisfaction with their life. Children of all ages can learn about mindfulness by reading Kelly Caleb’s Now Cow books and by practicing mindfulness exercises with you, their parent, teacher, or therapist. With the proven benefits listed above, you probably want to get started today!

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If you’re a parent, therapist, teacher, or another caregiver of adolescents, we invite you to check out Operation Jack’s Village—an organization that focuses on a comprehensive approach to adolescent suicide awareness and prevention. Help your adolescents survive, thrive, and soar.

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