Why mindfulness

See A Sample Mindfulness Moment

Every LLU video includes a Mindfulness Moment, where we teach 12 different mindfulness practices that help us get our mind and our bodies in tune.  Research has shown that these mindfulness practices are the mental exercises that actually build concentration and brain function.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Research has found mindfulness to improve ability to focus, decrease distraction, and lower stress and anxiety.

Improved Attention

Chiesa, A., & Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: a review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(5), 593–600.

Sedlmeier, P., Eberth, J., Schwarz, M., Zimmermann, D., Haarig, F., Jaeger, S., & Kunze, S. (2012). The psychological effects of meditation: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138(6), 1139.

Improved ability to complete objective tasks that require extensive concentration

Jha, A. P., Krompinger, J., & Baime, M. J. (2007). Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7(2), 109–119.

Improved Emotional Regulation

Roemer, L., Williston, S. K., & Rollins, L. G. (2015). Mindfulness and emotion regulation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 3, 52–57.

Less Reactive

Goldin, P. R., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-­based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 10(1), 83.

Improved ability to complete tasks even when emotions run high

Ortner, C. N., Kilner, S. J., & Zelazo, P. D. (2007). Mindfulness meditation and reduced emotional interference on a cognitive task. Motivation and Emotion, 31(4), 271–283.

Helping Others In Need

Condon, P., Desbordes, G., Miller, W. B., & DeSteno, D. (2013). Meditation increases compassionate responses to suffering. Psychological Science, 24(10), 2125–2127.

Better Self-Compassion

Birnie, K., Speca, M., & Carlson, L. E. (2010). Exploring self-­compassion and empathy in the context of mindfulness-­based stress reduction (MBSR). Stress and Health, 26(5), 359–371.

Neff, K. D., & Germer, C. K. (2013). A Pilot Study and Randomized Controlled Trial of the Mindful Self-­Compassion Program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(1), 28–44.

Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K. W., & Biegel, G. M. (2007). Teaching self-­care to caregivers: effects of mindfulness-­based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 1(2), 105.

Managing Stress

Chiesa, A., & Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-­based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: a review and meta-­analysis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(5), 593–600.

Pbert, L., Madison, J. M., Druker, S., Olendzki, N., Magner, R., Reed, G., … Carmody, J. (2012). Effect of mindfulness training on asthma quality of life and lung function: a randomised controlled trial. Thorax, 67(9), 769–776.

Better able to Overcome Stressful Situations

Hoge, E. A., Bui, E., Marques, L., Metcalf, C. A., Morris, L. K., Robinaugh, D. J., … Simon, N. M. (2013). Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Effects on Anxiety and Stress Reactivity. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74(8), 786–792.

Benefits For Students

Studies report that students show improved cognitive ability, enhanced social-emotional skills, and overall well being.

Attention and Focus

Baijal, S., Jha, A. P., Kiyonaga, A., Singh, R., & Srinivasan, N. (2011). The influence of concentrative meditation training on the development of attention networks during early adolescence. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 1-9.

Napoli, M., Krech, P. R., & Holley, L. C. (2005). Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(1), 99–125.

Semple, R. J., Lee, J., Rosa, D., & Miller, L. F. (2010). A randomized trial of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children: promoting mindful attention to enhance social-emotional resiliency in children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(2), 218–229.

Cognitive Learning Ability

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.

Behavior

Barnes, V. A., Bauza, L. B., & Treiber, F. A. (2003). Impact of stress reduction on negative school behavior in adolescents. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 1(10), 1–7.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.

Semple, R. J., Lee, J., Rosa, D., & Miller, L. F. (2010). A randomized trial of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children: promoting mindful attention to enhance social-emotional resiliency in children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(2), 218–229.

Empathy

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.

Social Skills

Napoli, M., Krech, P. R., & Holley, L. C. (2005). Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(1), 99–125.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.

Emotional Regulation

Metz, S. M., Frank, J. L., Reibel, D., Cantrell, T., Sanders, R., & Broderick, P. C. (2013). The effectiveness of the learning to BREATHE program on adolescent emotion regulation. Research in Human Development, 10(3), 252–272.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.

Anxiety

Napoli, M., Krech, P. R., & Holley, L. C. (2005). Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(1), 99–125.

Post Traumatic Symptoms

Sibinga, E. M. S., Webb, L., Ghazarian, S. R., & Ellen, J. M. (2016). School-­Based Mindfulness Instruction: An RCT. Pediatrics, 137(1), 1-­8.

Depression

Raes, F., Griffith, J. W., Van der Gucht, K., & Williams, J. M. G. (2014). School-­based prevention and reduction of depression in adolescents: A cluster-­randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness group program. Mindfulness, 5(5), 477–486.

Sibinga, E. M. S., Webb, L., Ghazarian, S. R., & Ellen, J. M. (2016). School-­Based Mindfulness Instruction: An RCT. Pediatrics, 137(1), 1-­8.

Benefits For Educators

Teachers that learn mindfulness experience personal benefits as well as an ability to teach and lead by example. Educators gain:

 Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout, and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7(3), 182–195.

Jennings, P. A., Frank, J. L., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Improving Classroom Learning Environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE): Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 374–390.

Kemeny, M. E., Foltz, C., Cavanagh, J. F., Cullen, M., Giese-­Davis, J., Jennings, P., … Wallace, B. A. (2012). Contemplative/emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338.

Roeser, R., Schonert-­Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., … Harrison, J. (2013). Mindfulness training and reductions in teacher stress and burnout: Results from two randomized, waitlist-­control field trials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 787–804.

Jennings, P. A., Frank, J. L., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Improving Classroom Learning Environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE): Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 374–390.

Jennings, P. A., Brown, J. L., Frank, J. L., Doyle, S. L., Tanler, R., Rasheed, D., DeWeese, A., DeMauro, A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2015). Promoting teachers’ social and emotional competence, well-being and classroom quality: a randomized controlled trial of the CARE for Teachers Professional Development Program. In C. Bradshaw (Ed.), Examining the impact of school-based prevention programs on teachers: findings from three randomized trials. Washington D.C: Symposium presented at the Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting. (Submitted for Initial Review).

Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout, and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7(3), 182–195.

Actually Changes Our Brain

Mindfulness is like building brain muscle. Especially in the developmental years, regular mindfulness practice adds mental fortitude.

The Amygdala is responsible for the fight, flight, and freeze response. Those that practice mindfulness are able to minimize emotional hijacking and this part of the brain has less gray matter density 

Lutz, A., Slagter, H. A., Dunne, J. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2008). Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(4), 163–169.

Desbordes, G., Negi, L. T., Pace, T. W., Wallace, B. A., Raison, C. L., & Schwartz, E. L. (2012). Effects of mindful-­attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-­meditative state. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6.

Hölzel, B. K., Carmody, J., Evans, K. C., Hoge, E. A., Dusek, J. A., Morgan, L., … Lazar, S. W. (2010). Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5(1), 11–17.

Is where the emotions originate and helps regulate the amygdala. Following mindfulness the midbrain produces more gray matter density

Goldin, P. R., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-­based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 10(1), 83.

Hölzel, B. K., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S. M., Gard, T., & Lazar, S. W. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 191(1), 36–43.

The forebrain’s primary purpose is to put logical thought process before emotional impulse.  After mindfulness the forebrain is more activated and developed.

Chiesa, A., & Serretti, A. (2010). A systematic review of neurobiological and clinical features of mindfulness meditations. Psychological Medicine, 40(08), 1239–1252.

What Everyone is Saying

“I like the mindful minutes” “It teaches us cool stuff about our brain” “it has helped me in stressful situations” “it’s calming”
Inspired Students
Middle School & High School
Two great things about utilizing LIfe Launch at our school are that we have opened the door to have conversations about difficult things that students have to deal with, and we have a common language to talk with students and each other. Even as the principal of the school, I’ve been able to talk with students in classes or in my office about emotions, stress, stress-tolerance tools, mindfulness and other topics that would have been difficult to bring up without the foundation of the Life Launch program.
~ Sandy Ferrell
Principal, Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School
"Life Launch has given me the tools to help students develop life long skills. I have witnessed students use the skills they have learned through life launch when they are stressed or anxious."
Mrs. Hatch
Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School
"Yes I have seen so many positive changes in my son. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all at the school and how much you love and support him. I know that it's in huge part because of you and your efforts that he is improving and his life is going much better. Thank you again for all your love and support."
Thankful Parent
Parent

Frequently asked questions

In our fast paced digital society we have almost eliminated intentional independent thought from our day.  20 years ago in order to retain viewer interest media standards said you needed to change what was on screen at least every 7 seconds.  Today we are down to less than 3 seconds.  

As media speeds up, our ability to maintain focus and retain information decreases.  Research shows that by engaging in mindfulness practices we increase our attention and ability to focus.  Simply put it is like a mental muscle that we haven’t exercised and aren’t used to.

Professionals have developed many variations of mindfulness practices.  It’s a little like asking how many ways are there to lift weights.   

Life Launch University teaches 14 different mindfulness practices and presents them at random throughout the series to maintain engagement and provide participants plenty of opportunity to master these brain exercises.

Absolutely not.  Thanks to recent research and the discovery of Neuroplasticity, we now know that the brain has the ability to change and grow throughout the lifespan associated with brain stimulating activity.

So you’re never to old to benefit from participating in these mindfulness practices.

Yes! Not everyone of course.  There’s always going to be those 3 or 4 kids that won’t take it seriously, but the program continuously reinforces participation. We’ve got a lot of feedback from both teachers and students that they really appreciate the designated time to spend inside their own head.

As digital media continues to invade our every thought, we find students find it refreshing to explore, organize and find the power to decide what to do with their own thoughts.  They learn to become the master of their own thoughts and not let thoughts control them.  They find it very liberating for the most part.  

It is also most effective when they see the teacher participate in the mindfulness moments as well, leading by example.

Yes!  Some teachers use a mindfulness moment video to help students prepare for tests or perceived stressful activities.  This idea was first inspired by a student that she recognized a significant difference in her ability to focus and recall information after participating in mindfulness.  We hope educators and students use these tools anyway they can to improve mental health, emotional resilience and scholastic achievement.