A study on a mindfulness program for vulnerable children found that mindfulness improved emotion regulation, mood, empathy, confidence and self-esteem, coping and social skills, and their ability to pay attention and focus (Coholic & Eys, 2016). It wards off depression, increases academic success and is a good coping tool for stress.
United World Colleges (UWC) has a reputation for its mindful education where structured activities, independent time and a focus on health and wellness are integrated into the curriculum. Opening the Mindfulness Centre is in line to support UWCT’s already elite core programs to produce thinkers and movers.
UWCT’s current location is ideally next to one of Asia’s leading sports training and wellness facilities, Thanyapura, and in close proximity to the only FINA-approved swimming pools in all of South-East Asia. These two sports arenas are the training and coaching ground for some of the world’s best triathlon athletes.
A Mindful Student Body
A pioneer in UWC’s social-emotional learning and mindfulness (SEL&M) education, UWCT furthers its 21st education curriculum with the opening of the school’s Mindfulness Centre. Students from Nursery to Grade 12 can use the centre daily to practice secular mindfulness such as “paying attention to the present moment, on purpose, with kindness and curiosity”.
Adding the Mindfulness Centre, the school hopes that “by being curious about, and attending to, our present moment experiences, we learn a lot about our reactions, our patterns, and ourselves. Students begin to understand that they have a choice and can take space to respond rather than react to everyday stresses.”
Dr. Alan Wallace, world-renowned Buddhist Scholar, officially opens the Mindfulness Centre. A Tibetan Buddhist monk ordained by the Dalai Lama, he also has a degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford University.
Dr. Wallace dedicated over 40-years to philosophical study and Buddhism. Yet, he is continually seeking innovative ways to integrate Buddhist competitive practices with Western Sciences.
“Cultivate a sense of ease, stillness and clarity in their body-mind and sustain this with a flow of mindful, discerning presence” to prevent stress to counteract the exhausting and counter-productive habit of mind-wandering, Dr Wallace recommends to parents.
Benefits To Students
Your child’s well-being affects how he/she think, learn and engage. Learning how to be mindful of their own thoughts can help children feel more positive about themselves and the way they relate to others. Here are other benefits for students who practice mindfulness.
- Elementary students exhibit greater pro-social behaviors, emotion regulation, and academic performance.
- Teenagers studying for a general education certificate experienced lower depression and anxiety. They also show improved academic attainment.
- Children with ADHD display less aggression, which helps them focus on their academics.
- Students are more resilient to the daily struggles. Mindful practice keeps them calm and provides them with an effective skill to cope with the pressures of daily life.
Students who practice mindfulness are also able to demonstrate better concentration and focus. They are also calmer kids with less behavioral issues. With such great benefits, no wonder UWCT is such a strong proponent of Mindful practice.