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Back To School Part 4 – Study Breaks

11 February 2018 No Comment

As I mentioned in my last article, the number one thing I recommend for students (and their parents) are regular breaks. Stand up from your desk/table/computer/laptop/tablet/phablet every 30 minutes. Move around, stretch your neck or shoulders, take a few deep breaths, then sit down and start again.

If you want to take your game to the next level, incorporate some meditation, mindfulness, or relaxation techniques. Next door to our clinic is the OpenGround Mindfulness Training Centre, and when I spoke to Tim Goddard there she recommended the HeadSpace app as a great place to start if you want to get a basic introduction.

The impact on memory, concentration and other cognitive tasks is quite profound. For example, according to an article on Time.com, “Mindfulness Exercises Improve Kids’ Math Scores”.

The article quoted research done on 99 children in Year 4 and 5. The kids were given a 4 month program of mindfulness training, involving things as simple as 3 minutes of slow breathing. The researchers measured things like “behavioral assessments, cortisol levels, children’s self-reports of their own wellbeing, reviews from their peers about sociability and the objective academic scores of math grades.”

The results were dramatic. One researcher said “I really did not anticipate that we would have so many positive findings across all the multiple levels we looked at”. Some findings were that children with the mindful intervention:

  • had 15% better math scores,
  • showed 24% more social behaviors,
  • were 24% less aggressive and
  • perceived themselves as 20% more prosocial.
  • They outperformed their peers in cognitive control, stress levels, emotional control, optimism, empathy, mindfulness and aggression.

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