9th Grade Science Practices Mindfulness and Meditation
Written By Grant Bowmen
Before reading this article, sit up straight, close your eyes, and take five long breaths in and out.
I ask you to do this, just as I ask my students at the beginning of each class because meditation has a variety of positive effects such as improving anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia. It has been extensively researched by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research) and continues to be an active field of scientific investigation.
"What we're trying to do is just be able to pause that thought process, this narrative that we tell ourselves in our mind, for a little while, escape it, and check-in with yourself." - Grant Bowmen
Freshman year of high school for many can be a hurricane of stress, social pressure, and physical exhaustion. To provide a safe harbor from this storm, I invite students to come in, make a cup of tea, and take part in a guided meditation experience. Headspace is the resource I use since it provides a curriculum for aspiring meditators to learn skills efficiently with each lesson building on the last. Lessons are audio files 3 - 5 minutes in length with the majority of time spent actively meditating. In my own classroom, I've found this creates a calm, serious, and vulnerable tone that is carried into activities and discussion.
This is not a religion; it does not need to be spiritual. It is simply a form of mental training. I tell my students to be skeptical and I encourage you to do the same. Give it a shot and if it's not your cup of tea, the cost is five minutes. If it is, please share it with the people you care about.