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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 December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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