The Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness, as defined by Merriam-Webster is the act of, “maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences”. This practice has been incorporated into some recent homeroom sessions to inform the student body of how to effectively regulate stress and improve every day performance. Some common sources of stress among adolescents include academic pressure and family or peer conflicts – all of which sometimes appear to be beyond one’s control. Everyone encounters stress in their lives, and it is imperative that major stressors are effectively dealt with.

Although stress can sometimes be positive – for example, pressure to perform well academically – an excess can quickly become dangerous. If left untreated, chronic stress can pose serious health risks, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke due to a continuous increase in heart rate and the production of stress hormones. Mindfulness may be achieved through a variety of methods including meditation, the pursuit of enjoyable activities and conscious breathing, and observation of one’s surroundings. Those who consistently practice these kinds of techniques are likely to have a calmer composure, and a more appropriate response to stressful situations. It may also be possible to increase one’s lifespan due to a decreased risk of developing stress-related health deficits in the future. For these reasons it’s essential that students are given the tools to successfully deal with stress.