A Solution for School Bullying
Hundreds of public and private schools throughout the U.S. and around the world have benefited from the Transcendental Meditation program during a ‘Quiet Time’ period. In this program, students have the option to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique.
The (US) National Center for Educational Statistics estimates that one third of students ages 12-18 are bullied at school and online. High divorce rates among parents, violent entertainment, and drug abuse by youth—even the use of prescription anti-depressants—are suspected of contributing to the problem. However, these factors are now being recognized as symptoms of an underlying cause: an epidemic of stress in our society.
Quiet time in school
Hundreds of public and private schools throughout the U.S. and around the world have benefited from the Transcendental Meditation/Quite Time program, where students have the option to sit quietly for a few minutes or to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique.
A recent study conducted by the University of Connecticut found that at-risk adolescents in three high schools reduced levels of stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, and emotional problems when practicing the TM technique over a period of four months at school, as compared with controls.1 The TM technique is an effortless, non-religious meditation that is easy for students to learn and practice during school or on their own.
The brain and adolescent behavior
According to neuropsychologist Dr. William Stixrud, “When the nervous system becomes settled and quiet during Transcendental Meditation, the stress response starts operating normally. As a result, children are simply less impulsive.”
The process of quieting the mind and body through the TM technique increases coherence between the two hemispheres and the front and the back parts of the brain. “More integrated brain functioning improves the ability in children to control their impulses,” says Dr. Stixrud. “They get in trouble less; they act without thinking less; they can better inhibit the tendency to get distracted.”
Helping victims of bullying
TM practice can also help strengthen children that are potential victims of bullying by building self-esteem and resilience to stress. Research studies have demonstrated that the TM technique not only reduces stress, it increases inner happiness and results in improved flexibility, social ability, and confidence.2 When adolescents practice meditation, they tend to find approval from within rather than needing it from the outside, which leads to greater independence, less influence from peer pressure, and less abusive behavior.
- ‘At-risk adolescents reduce stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity through Transcendental Meditation.’ Robert Colbert, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut (US). Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine, March 2008
- ‘Transcendental Meditation reduces stress and increases happiness among middle school students.’ Rita Benn, PhD, Director of Education, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center, University of Michigan. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, April 2003
Relevant Scientific Research Findings on the Transcendental Meditation program
- Increased tolerance
- Reduced stress
- Reduced substance abuse
- Increased calmness
- Reduced hyperactivity
Increased EEG Coherence during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. International Journal of Neuroscience 14: 147-151, 1981.
At-risk adolescents reduce stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity through the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Robert Colbert, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut (US). Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine, March 2008
More Benefits in Education
- Increased attendance and decreased suspensions for high school students
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1:10, 2003
- Reduced ADHD symptoms and symptoms of other learning disorders
Mind & Brain: The Journal of Psychiatry 2 (1): 73-81, 2011
- 40% reduction in psychological distress, including stress, anxiety and depression
American Journal of Hypertension 22(12): 1326-1331, 2009