Get Your Socks Off
Updated: Dec 23, 2019
New research published shows that one hour a day on social media is enough to reduce the happiness of children. Girls are most affected by Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp and Instagram with an impact on how they feel about their appearance, school and sense of being accepted by peers. The findings and report can be viewed here at the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference. All around the world teachers and learning facilitators are turning to 'mindfulness' to try and redress the unhappiness created by living in the digital age where less thought is put into how we speak and act towards each other when the press of a button is all it takes to make a connection. The International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) in Vietnam has been developing a mindfulness programme for students, staff and parents over the past three years. Its staff are actively teaching the practice of mindfulness to students to empower them to take charge of their futures, as well as their education. Adrian Watts, Head of School at ISHCMC, comments: 'We are facing a crisis with adolescent health statistics. Mindfulness can have an amazing effect upon student calmness. By bringing students into the present and focusing on the right side of the brain, students can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Having the skill to bring oneself into the present and stop worrying about the past, which you can’t change, and the future, which you don’t know, has to be a good skill to be taught and become proficient at using' (1). Yoga is arguably the original mindfulness practice, even before Buddhism, (some scholars have argued that Buddhism as a religion apart from Hinduism did not arise until long after the Buddha had passed). An answer, surely, is to get our children to take off their socks and head for the yoga mat where they can learn mindfulness and combat obesity all at the same time.