Three leading universities have teamed up to conduct research into the benefits of teaching mindfulness to pupils in schools.
The results of the study show that mindfulness really can improve attention spans, reduce stress levels and lead to better performance in the exam hall.
Around 250 pupils from six schools took part in the study. All were aged between 12 and 16.
The pupils were given a nine-week course in mindfulness techniques designed to help them take control of their thought patterns.
When the same pupils were followed up during exams, they showed fewer depressive symptoms, lower stress levels and an overall greater well-being than the group who did not receive mindfulness lessons.
One mindfulness technique the children learned was to visualise their thoughts as buses. They should see themselves board positive thoughts and let negative thoughts rush by.
Professor Willem Kuyken from the University of Exeter said: “If a young person is sitting outside an exam hall 10 minutes before an exam and gets preoccupied with thoughts like ‘I’ve not revised enough, I’m going to fail,’ mindfulness training can train them to see their mind creating these thoughts, to step back and to choose not to put more fuel on the fire.”
A number of schools in the UK are already trialling the scheme, which is known as the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP). So far it has received very positive responses.
Hypnotherapy uses visualisation techniques to change negative thought patterns. To find out more about how hypnotherapy could help you, please visit our Exam Nerves page.
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