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Blog: The lessons we can all learn from mindfulness

Pupils as young as 10 are learning mindfulness meditation in Guernsey

It's been a real eye opener to see mindfulness being taught in schools.

When I was a student in the 1980s and 90s, there wasn't such a thing as PSHE. Health and wellbeing was covered in PE classes where we had bizarre one off lessons talking about tampons, boys and were shown how to put a condom on a cucumber. Tokenism at best, disturbing at worst!

It makes me wonder therefore whether my generation has a skills deficit when it comes to understanding and processing emotions.

Mindfulness is a great tool and is something I've personally benefited from in my 30s.

So it's satisfying to see students today are getting ahead of the game with their own form of mindfulness education.

GSCE pupils in Jersey are doing a '.b' course to learn about mindfulness

The 10 week '.b' course teaches them about the science of emotions and how thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all chemically connected.

They understand how their brains work, why they feel what they feel and most importantly how to manage difficult emotions in the most helpful way possible.

This is not buddhism by the back door. Nor is it hippy mumbo-jumbo.

This is secular form of meditation that is backed by scientific evidence.

Trials have shown that after a mindfulness course, students experience greater well-being, improved concentration and focus in classes and exams, as well as better coping strategies for everyday adolescent stresses.

Scans have also shown mindfulness improves areas of the brain that have been physically harmed by depression and anxiety. After an eight week course the fight or flight centre (the amygdala) visibly shrinks, while the areas of the brain responsible for learning, memory and emotional regulation (the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus) visibly grow in size.

Guernsey wants to make mindfulness an

Such are the benefits that more Channel Island schools are incorporating mindfulness into their timetables.

Guernsey even aims to make mindfulness an "integral part of school life" come September.

It's a real antidote to the stressful lives many of us seem to lead - so busy being busy.

But even busy bees have time to stop and smell the roses.

So let's hope the next generation, with their newfound skills, can teach us that important lesson.