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Why Meditation Should Be A Part Of School Education

Why Meditation Should Be A Part Of School Education

Proponents of meditation who support the positive results and outcomes from this exercise believe that this practice should be a critical component in schools for the benefit of students of all ages. In fact, even the Dalai Lama noted once that if every eight-year-old in the world was taught meditation, “we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

In today’s society, people become overly preoccupied with work and their social lives that they lose sight of who they truly are, deep down inside. People morph themselves in many ways in order to fit in, whether it’s with their family, at the office or with a group of friends. This also can cause people to become self-centered and lose sight of the world around them. But some fans of meditation believe that if humans felt at peace with themselves, in tune with themselves, from an early age and were taught meditation in school, they would tap into their passion, their creativity, their interests, and core.

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Benefits Of Meditation

There are many perks of meditation, especially in helping school-aged students excel not just academically, but personally and spiritually. One study by Harvard University professors Sara Lazara and Catherine Kerr showed that this form of mental exercise, when regularly practiced, can bring about changes in a person’s mental state and resting electroencephalogram patterns that continue even once the meditation session is done. In this study, Lazar and Kerr concluded that regular sessions of meditation could be directly linked to an increased thickness in the subset of cortical regions in the brain related to somatosensory, auditory, visual and interoceptive processing. It also slowed the age-related thinning of the frontal cortex. People who practice meditation are less prone to stress, worry and illness.

In a study conducted by Robert Schneider, Clarence Grim and Maxwell Rainforth, a group of people who suffered from coronary heart disease took part in either a transcendental meditation program or a health education program. After 5.5 years in the study, the group that participated in the transcendental meditation program showed a 48 percent reduction in their risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Meditation also has brain-boosting power. A study by Giuseppe Pagnoni and Milos Cekic compared the gray matter in the brains of people who practiced Zen meditation versus non-meditators over a considerable period of time. While gray matter typically shrinks with age, the gray matter of those Zen meditators was not reduced at all.

Meditation Is Not A Religion

Meditation is not a religion, but rather a practice or exercise, supporters say. The term meditation refers either to a state of mind or to the practices and techniques utilized to meditate.

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Meditation Heightens Mindfulness

In a sizable study of more than 3,5,00 people who participated in mindfulness meditation programs, the study leaders Madhav Goyal and Sonal Singh detected evidence of decreased anxiety, a drop in depression and a reduction in pain levels.

Meditation In Schools

It isn’t too late for the next generation still in school to reap the benefits of mindful meditation. Activist Will Stanton recently wrote a book called Education Revolution that proposes a new global education model called The Six Dimension Model that focuses on meditation. Stanton believes that students who engage in meditation in school would bond with all living things and feel less of a need to compete with peers.

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Meditation’s goal is to promote relaxation, build an internal energy or life force and develop compassion, love, generosity, patience and instill forgiveness. While there are different forms of meditation that have been linked to numerous religious traditions and beliefs, it is designed to merely cleanse the mind and soul of concerns, and even boost health. Meditation can be done sitting, standing or even while carrying out daily tasks like Buddhist monks do. But no matter how you try it, you will enjoy the benefits of meditation and our world just may be a better place if it is introduced in the school system.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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