Mindfulness meditation — learning to become more aware of ongoing experiences — increases well-being in teenage boys, researchers in Britain say.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England also describe mindfulness as a way of paying attention.
The study, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, finds 14- and 15-year-old boys trained in mindfulness had increased well-being — a combination of functioning well and feeling good — proportional to the time spent practicing the technique. Adolescents with higher levels of anxiety benefited the most.
“More and more we are realizing the importance of supporting the overall mental health of children,” Felicia Huppert said in a statement. “Importantly, many of the students genuinely enjoyed the exercises and said they intended to continue them — a good sign that many children would be receptive to this type of intervention.”
Huppert and colleagues analyzed 155 boys before and after four weekly 40-minute classes in mindfulness and 8 minutes a day listening to concentration/stress-reducing exercises. Students who attended religious studies were the controls.