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Top 3 Distractions that Make Children Fail In School

Top 3 Distractions that Make Children Fail In School

It seems more and more kids are distracted these days; with things like smart phones, tablets and the vast amount of information on the Internet, it’s no wonder that the current generation of school children find it difficult to focus and stay on task for long periods of time.  While it’s true that things like checking email, updating Facebook statuses, playing online video games and watching movies are big distractions, I’d like you to consider another distraction that you may have forgotten about: the health of their mouths, which often leads to failure at school.

Yes, the taboo topic: oral health.  Like it or not, the health of children’s mouths can be a huge distraction and contribute vastly to the success or failure of children in school.  Most of us have dealt with either cavities and/or gum disease at some point in our lives; after all, over 80% of the world’s population suffers with gum disease and cavities within a lifetime.

1.  Cavities can cause children to fail in school

Cavities are the single most common chronic childhood disease.  In fact, cavities are five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.  In the U.S. alone, cavities and gum disease cause kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually.

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Children experiencing mouth pain are easily distracted, unable to concentrate on schoolwork, and have problems with schoolwork completion. Untreated cavities can also cause headaches, physical dysfunction, poor appearance and speech issues—problems that greatly affect a child’s quality of life and ability to succeed in school, ultimately leading to them failing in school.

A recent study in Los Angeles, CA at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC reported that children living in the LA area who had complained of tooth pain were about four times more likely to have a GPA lower than the average versus children who did not have mouth pain.

2.  Heavy plaque left on the teeth

Let’s face it, children’s words are often cruel, and plaque that sits on teeth not only smells bad, but it also causes the teeth to look yellow or dirty, which can be a source of teasing or bullying.

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Your teeth don’t have to be straight and beautiful, but if they are dirty, other children are more likely to notice it and make a big deal about it, a distraction that leads to self-esteem issues and failure in school.

Also, recent studies confirm that the bacteria in plaque are responsible for everything from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease, and a variety of chronic illnesses.  The bacteria inside plaque is full of nasty viruses, and other disease causing bacteria that wreaks havoc on immune systems, and starts to build up in childhood.  We can help put a stop to the rise of these diseases if we focus on home care while children are young.

3.  Bad Breath

Young or old, who wants to be around stinky mouth?  Here’s the problem: most kids that suffer with bad breath don’t know it, but everyone else around them sure does.  In the event that your child does suffer from bad breath, the first thing to know is that many times it comes from plaque on the tongue or the teeth, which needs to be focused on when cleaning.  However, if time goes by and you have exhausted all possibilities, you may need to see a doctor to make sure it is not stemming from an issue with tonsils, adenoids or sinuses.

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A silver lining to the dark cloud

Now, it all may seem doom and gloom, but there is one great thing to know:  these issues are all preventable, and most often treatable at home if you know the steps and the right products to use.

For instance, did you know that xylitol (a natural sweetener found in birch and corn husks) helps to neutralize the acids in plaque, and helps to re-mineralize the teeth?  It is sweet like sugar and is found in many forms such as candy, gum, toothpaste and granular form.  When taken after meals, it helps to neutralize cavity-causing plaque, and freshen breath. Six to ten grams (1-2 tsp) a day is all you need to really help with these issues.  The trick is to have it throughout the day and not all at once.

Also, learn what foods feed bacteria (breads, crackers, rice, pasta, simple carbohydrates, and dried fruit, for example), and what foods help neutralize bacteria (pineapple, nuts, seeds, cheese, broccoli and cucumber, for example).  Finish your meals and snacks with neutralizing foods instead of acidic ones.

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Incorporating new techniques

Lastly, really knowing how to take care of your mouth is the biggest piece to the puzzle that rarely gets taught and demonstrated by dental professionals.  We are told that brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist for cleanings is all that is needed, but if that were the case, most of us would be healthier than we are.  Truth be told, after seeing and cleaning thousands of mouths, most people get to about 80% of the bacteria in their mouths, but the 20% left behind is the most detrimental.

Try switching up your routine to get to areas that you might miss.  For instance, start brushing your teeth on the lower inside area closest to the tongue, or you could easily sit with your toothbrush and massage your gums while reading great articles at Lifehack.org, no toothpaste required!

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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