Monday, January 24, 2011

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION INCREASES WELLBEING IN ADOLESCENT BOYS

Mindfulness, the process of learning to become more aware of our ongoing experiences, increases wellbeing in adolescent boys, a new study reports.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge analysed 155 boys from two independent UK schools, Tonbridge and Hampton, before and after a 4-week crash course in mindfulness.

After the trial period, the 14 and 15 year-old boys were found to have increased wellbeing, defined as the combination of feeling good (including positive emotions such as happiness, contentment, interest and affection) and functioning well.


"More and more we are realising the importance of supporting the overall mental health of children. Our study demonstrates that this type of training improves wellbeing in adolescents and that the more they practise, the greater the benefits. Importantly, many of the students 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."

For the experiment, students in 6 classes were trained in mindful awareness – mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a "way of paying attention. It means consciously bringing awareness to our experience, in the present moment, without making judgments about it" [as described in the Mental Health Foundation report Be Mindful issued in 2010].

That report makes the case for making meditation-based therapy available to everyone who experiences recurrent depression.

The report highlights the proven effectiveness of treatments such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and shows how developing services could reduce the cost - human and economic - of depression to society.


Students in the 5 control classes attended their normal religious studies lessons.

The classes covered the concepts of awareness and acceptance, and taught the schoolboys such things as how to practice bodily awareness by noticing where they were in contact with their chairs or the floor, paying attention to their breathing, and noticing all the sensations involved in walking.
The training consisted of four 40 minute classes, one per week, which presented the principles and practice of mindfulness.

The students were also asked to practice outside the classroom and were encouraged to listen to a CD or mp3 file for 8 minutes a day. These exercises are intended to improve concentration and reduce stress.

All participants completed a short series of online questionnaires before and after the mindfulness project. The questionnaires measured the effect of the training on changes in mindful awareness, resilience (the ability to modify responses to changing situations) and psychological wellbeing.

The researchers found that although it was a short program, the students who participated in the mindfulness training had increased levels of wellbeing which were proportional to the amount of time the students spent practising their new skills.

Professor Huppert continued: "We believe that the effects of mindfulness training can enhance wellbeing in a number of ways. If you practice being in the present, you can increase positive feelings by savouring pleasurable on-going experiences. Additionally, calming the mind and observing experiences with curiosity and acceptance not only reduces stress but helps with attention control and emotion regulation – skills which are valuable both inside and outside the classroom."

NOTE. This blog sets out a simple form of mindfulness sitting meditation.

MINDFULNESS FOR SPECIAL-NEEDS STUDENTS

MINDFULNESS AND YOUTH TRAUMA

MINDFULNESS, FUNDAMENTALISM AND A TALE OF TWO CITIES

GOLDIE HAWN'S LOTUS GROWS IN THE MUD

TEACHING CHILDREN TO BE MINDFUL

MINDFULNESS AND TEENAGERS' BRAINS


IMPORTANT NOTICE: See the Terms of Use and Disclaimer. The information provided on this blogspot is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your medical practitioner or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on this blogspot. For immediate advice or support call Lifeline on 13 1 1 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. For information, advice and referral on mental illness contact the SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) go online via sane.org





No comments:

Post a Comment