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Mindful boys

Submitted by shelbydburns on Tue 09/14/2010 - 05:46

Meditation can help adolescent boys. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered that “mindfulness”, the process of learning to become more were of our ongoing experiences, can increase a sense of well-being in adolescent boys.

155 boys were studied from two schools after they participated in a four week course on mindfulness. The classes required them to attend four 40 minutes classes, one per week, which presented the principles of mindfulness and gave them exercise to increase their awareness. Bodily awareness was studied by asking the boys to become aware of where their bodies were touching chairs or the floor. They were also instructed in breath awareness and to be mindful of their motions when walking. The boys were also encouraged to listen to eight minutes of music a day. These exercises are intended to increase awareness and concentration.

“More and more we are realizing the importance of supporting the overall mental health of children. Our study demonstrates that this type of training improves well-being in adolescents and that the more they practice, the greater the benefits. Importantly, many of the student s genuinely enjoyed the exercises and said they intended to continue them - a good sign that many children would be receptive to this type of intervention. Another significant aspect of this study is that adolescents who suffered from higher levels of anxiety were the ones who benefitted most from the training,” said Professor Felicia Huppert of the Well-Being Institute at the University of Cambridge.

Although it was a short program, the results were demonstrable. The students who participated had increased levels of well-being proportional to the amount of time they spent on the exercises.

Huppert concluded, “If you practice being in the present, you can increase positive feelings by savoring pleasurable on-going experiences. Additionally calming the mind and observing experiences with curiosity and acceptance not only reduces stress but helps wit attention control and emotion regulation - skills that are valuable inside and outside the classroom.”

Source: Journal of Positive Psychology, EurekAlert


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