Over the past 2 decades hundreds of studies and research projects have been done on mindfulness practices. Fortune 500 companies provide mindfulness instruction to their employees to reduce stress. Hospitals refer patients who suffer from emotional and physical pain to mindfulness courses. Schools in the USA are using mindfulness practices to help students succeed. ref:http://www.mindfuleducation.org/
A randomized-controlled study done during the 2011-12 school year demonstates the social and emotional benefits that occured over a 6 week time period. Children showed an increase in attention, calmness, social compliance, and caring towards others.
Research has found that Mindfulness Training for children increases attention and social emotional awareness.
- Students are able to stay more focused and pay more attention in class.
- Awareness of their body, thoughts, and emotions increase.
- They experience less test anxiety.
- Classroom management improves because mindfulness improves impulse control and interpersonal skills.
- Executive function increases, a key predictor of academic success.
Mindfulness Training leads to structural changes in the brain that develop and enhance the qualities of:
- attunement to others
- increases executive function
- better impulse control
- longer attention spans
It has been shown effective in treating illness, anxiety, stress, and depression.
The Association for Mindfulness in Education research page has many articles on studies that have been done:
2. The Columbia Teacher’s College offered Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy to 9-13 year olds. Its study demonstrated that upon completion there were fewer attention problems and increased social emotional resilience.
3. A study done with First to Third Graders in Arizona shows an increase in social emotional behaviors and decrease in ADHD and test anxiety.
4. After completing an 8-week mindfulness program, Second and Third graders demonstrated an increase in their executive function.
5. This study by Randye Semple suggests that mindfulness can decrease anxiety in children.