Evidence That It Works
While research on the effects of mindfulness on children is still in the early stages, a 2016 review of 12 studies suggests some promising outcomes for young children relative to attention, self-regulation, and motor skills. A 2014 meta-analysis that focuses on 24 studies of K-12 students showed demonstrated changes in students’ attention and resilience to stress, including positive emotions, self-esteem and self-concept, and well-being.
Why Does It Matter?
“Mindful breathing” is a simple process—it involves observing the breath and redirecting attention to the breath when the mind wanders.
This activity is helpful because it can give children an anchor for their attention–their breath–a place to focus when they might feel carried away by emotions. Students who practice mindful breathing regularly may feel less anxiety, more focus, and a greater sense of calm in the classroom.