The stress of exams can be overwhelming and are often viewed as a ‘rite of passage’ however is there any way to soften the blow (other than lots of revision and preparation?)
‘Mindfulness is about helping young minds flourish in the broadest sense.’ Cullen agrees: ‘For some kids mindfulness may be about managing stress or anxiety, but for others it’s about how they play on the sports field, practise music, dance or drama, or maintain concentration during homework.’
Students using mindfulness
Mindfulness is being used by students all over the world in an attempt to help them stay focused and calm in stressful situations, such as exams. The versatility of the technique is thought to assist in simple day to day tasks as well as to alleviate and even protect against more significant long-term psychological states.
A range of real-world applications
The military, big business and the education sector are turning to ‘mindfulness’ to help alleviate work-related- stress, even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as more a clinical approach to deal with anxiety and depression. The evidence suggests it can be effective, certainly when compared with cognitive therapy which has the disadvantage of requiring specialist one to one intervention. Mindfulness is often promoted on the notion the simple techniques can be learnt by anyone and it is very quick to learn, 10-15 minutes. Mobile app’s such as Headspace and Smiling Mind (here is a page with some others) attempt to engage directly with individuals of all ages to develop an appreciation of being ‘anchored in the moment’. The BBC are currently promoting a series of programmes dedicated to mapping the growth of mindfulness in British society, from the historical Buddhist roots to the apparent application in a range of secular contexts. Click here to access the programmes.
The work of Professor Mark Williams
Mark Williams is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, Welcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and has been a strong influence in the rise of mindfulness in the UK, below is the first of his audiocasts on mindfulness via youtube – you can access the rest directly from track one.