Teaching teenagers mindfulness could improve their academic performance

Focusing on the present moment can improve academic outcomes and reduce stress. Faced with this finding validated by two studies, the researchers suggest to integrate this practice in the programs.

Two new Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studies suggest that mindfulness - that is, concentration on the present - can improve academic outcomes and adolescent mental health.

"By definition, mindfulness is the ability to focus on the present moment and not be distracted by external elements or inner thoughts," says John Gabrieli, professor of cognitive science and author of the study. on the teacher in front of you or on the homework in front of you, it's a good way to learn. "

Less activity of the amygdala

The researchers showed for the first time that mindfulness training can have an impact on adolescent brain activity. The results of the first study were published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.

In this study, grade 6 students who received mindfulness training were initially less stressed but their brain scans also revealed less amygdala activity, a region of the brain that manages emotions such as fear.

In the second study, whose results were published in the journal Mind, Brain, and Education, the researchers tried to evaluate the link between mindfulness and academic results. Adolescents most likely to be mindful also had better grades and fewer absences than others.

Mindfulness in the school curriculum

The researchers suggest making these mindfulness learning an integral part of the teen program. "What's interesting with mindfulness is that there are already well-established ways to teach it," says Gabrieli.

"Mindfulness is like going to the gym," continues Gabrieli, "go for a month, that's fine, but if you stop going, the effects will not last."

Video: 10 MINDFUL EXERCISES. How To Be Present. RENEE AMBERG (April 2020).