Here is a link to an nbc news story describing the astounding results of introducing a program of two short periods a day of three minutes each for the entire school, students and staff, to meditate. This was done in two very troubled San Fransisco schools, which were literally transformed by this very simple intervention which doesn’t hurt anyone’s pocketbook! The results are hard to believe, yet that is the data that the study showed:
With this kind of information available, we should be urging policy makers to make this sort of program more widespread.
I also believe it would be beneficial to our world if part of the regular school curriculum taught experientially how to manage your emotions, how to soothe and ground yourself, have appropriate boundaries, handle and prevent bullying, role playing effective communication skills, etc. When my patients learn these types of extremely useful life skills that are required by everyone to manage life more easily, they often remark that they wish they had learned them long ago. And what better time to start than kindergarten, when children’s brains are more plastic, and healthy patterns can be more easily instilled early on to be strengthened in later grades? It’s a far better and more cost effective preventative way of doing things, rather than teaching adults who have already suffered so much and sometimes caused a lot of suffering to gradually re-program their brain.
We now know that functioning is both affected by intellectual intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ). We teach prevention for our physical health by promoting exercise, not smoking etc. We also need to teach prevention and handling of emotional distress, as everyone experiences it, and mental health problems are extremely common. Our educational systems do a good job at instilling knowledge, which is important, yet do far less to enhance emotional intelligence, which can be taught, and is essential in life.
Just imagine the effect that teaching this crucial material in school would have on our world! I would expect less emotional suffering, less addiction, less conflict and violence, and more harmony.