All students have difficulty focusing on lessons and tasks, even as they get older. However, some students never learn proper methods to self regulate their stress. They may have a tendency to become angry, upset, unfocused, or incredibly overwhelmed. Parents and teachers can educate students about strategies that allow for students to release this tension and refocus their attention to their schoolwork.
One method that allows students to calm their thoughts is visualization meditation. Students will choose a person or place to return to when they feel overly stressed or angry. They may practice this technique during daily meditation sessions, or simply choose to enter this “happy place” when necessary. This does not have to be a lengthy process, especially when students are actively learning in a classroom setting. It can be a simple thought process lasting less than a minute, so that the student can calmly return to their work.
If a student has a particularly difficult time concentrating, then focused meditation may be the most effective technique. This includes consciously regulating one’s breathing to direct attention to the task at hand. Students can utilize the breathing technique of their choosing, but should try to select one that would not disrupt a classroom. Taking slow, deep breaths while closing the eyes can recreate the surrounding environment. As a result, the individual will re-enter the classroom with a calm and chosen mindset.
When feeling the anxiety take a physical toll on one’s mind and body, try the body scan method. This is an effective technique for students that have anxiety attacks who must focus on calming their physical self in order to mediate their mind. They should sync their body and mind by creating a mental and physical scan. Sit down, and concentrate on releasing the tension from each individual body part, first focusing on the toes then travelling up to the mind. Students will then be able to ease their thoughts, specifically if they pay attention to their current discomfort and anxieties.
Resting meditation may take a few minutes to adequately have an impact on the student, but can effectively achieve a calm state. Students may sit or lay down, and then allow their mind to truly rest. They should not feel the need to think about a specific question or problem, but simply focus on breathing slow. By spending the time to relax the mind, the individual will externalize negative and overwhelming thoughts.
The concluding tip to help students self regulate within the classroom is education. Promote mental health, and communicate to students about why meditation is important. Provide different meditation and breathing techniques for students to try on their own time and then bring into the classroom. The goal is to teach students how to become less stressed in their daily lives and reduce anxiety.