Quiet Time in Schools: Benefits of Transcendental Meditation for Children

Transcendental Meditation programme is a strong and unique educational tool for methodically releasing tension and strengthening the innate potential of students and instructors.

Children need to feel comfortable at school since pressure, worry, and fear impede learning. And when students report dangerous levels of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion, it’s reasonable to assume that something’s wrong.

Recent multidisciplinary research has emphasised the need to acquire social, emotional, and mental abilities in order to enhance our overall well-being. A range of favourable outcomes in adulthood have been linked to such abilities, including increased physical health, improved education, more income, financial security, and a decrease in delinquency, hazardous conduct, and drug abuse.

Over the last few years, Transcendental Meditation has gained popularity and attention as a type of school-based therapy to help students establish good mental habits and improve their overall well-being.

Due to the fact that it promotes universally applicable psychological processes that are critical to the formation of both cognitive and non-cognitive abilities, Transcendental Meditation is regarded as an appealing method for supporting learning. The hypothesis is based on findings that this meditation may increase activity in certain parts of the brain that have an influence on cognitive performance, as well as emotional and behavioural control and regulation.

 According to current research, this meditation practice is associated with improved self-regulation and mental health, as well as decreased anxiety, reactivity, and depression. Early intervention and prevention are thus essential policy priorities, and they have become even more critical as a result of the problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated the situation. 

Transcendental Meditation is the practice of allowing the mind to simply settle down into a state of inner tranquilly through the use of a sound or mantra. It is possible to achieve effortless consciousness by repeating a mantra, which is a soothing sound without intellectual meaning. This allows one to achieve a state of uncomplicated awareness without the need for attention or thinking. The practice does not need any shift in religious beliefs, philosophical principles, or way of life.  It varies from other meditation methods in that it focuses on transcending the surface level of the mind rather than focussing on the present moment. The effects of TM are both psychological and neurophysiological in nature.

Current research presents an example of TM being used in UK classrooms. Quiet Time (QT) is offered by the Transcendental Meditation organisation, and entails the repetition and utilisation of a sound (mantra) to bring the mind into a state of deep relaxation. School teachers are educated in QT via four one-hour meditation courses spread over four days, which are conducted by skilled TM practitioners. Teachers are given instructions on how to conduct QT sessions in the classroom. They practice QT for a month at the beginning of the academic year and then begin presenting the QT curriculum to their pupils. Students practice QT for 10–15 minutes at the start of the school day and for another 10–15 minutes at the end of the school day during the academic year. 

Teenagers who practice TM have shown to have improved brain function, as evidenced by increased frontal electroencephalographic coherence and brain integration, which results in significant improvement of short and long-term memory, as well as cognitive function, rational thoughts, and emotional regulation.

Transcendental Meditation techniques are being used in schools to assist children in developing their socio-emotional abilities because they provide children with frequent interaction with large numbers of peers during their critical developmental years when long-term habits are formed.

Recent research from the University of Dublin examined students’ well-being, social competence, emotional regulation, cognitive functioning, and academic accomplishment after practicing Transcendental Meditation during the past academic year. The study’s main goal was to determine whether or whether it is feasible to implement and evaluate QT in schools. The researchers selected 89 sixth-grade pupils in the United Kingdom.

Research showed that QT practice improved students’ mental abilities, such as concentration, increasing their attention span (fewer mistakes made in the task). As for well-being outcomes (which were only examined in the Irish context), it seems that girls who engaged in the QT practice reported lower emotions of anger, fear, and frustration than those who did not participate.  As a result of the practice, students’ relationships with teachers and peers also improved significantly, resulting in children having more friends after the practice.

The findings imply that when conducted on a regular basis by qualified instructors, Transcendental Meditation’s QT is a sustainable and acceptable technique in a school-based context.   


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