This is what I found on CBSNEWS.COM:

In our “School Matters” series, stress-reducing exercises in mindfulness are gaining popularity across the world, with apps like Headspace and Calm gaining more than 100 million users. Now, schools are exploring how these techniques can help students battle mental health issues.

At Arnold Academy, north of London, students are learning to open up about their anxieties.

Their list of concerns runs long, from homework to the pressures of dealing with technology and social media.

To tackle these tensions, their school, and nearly 400 others across England, are trying something new: short, daily doses of relaxation and mindfulness.

One history teacher, Rachel Bradford credits the exercise with contributing to an 80% drop in reports of misconduct at Arnold Academy –after just two-and-a-half months.

“It would be impossible for there to be such a big reduction in behavior issues if it weren’t partly attributed to the relaxation techniques,” Bradford explained.

Here are some relaxation techniques reported by Harvard Health, based on a technique “first developed in the 1970s at Harvard Medical School by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson”:

 The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response. It’s a state of profound rest that can be elicited in many ways. With regular practice, you create a well of calm to dip into as the need arises.

1. Breath focus. In this simple, powerful technique, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations.

2. Guided imagery. For this technique, you conjure up soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and focus.

3. Yoga, tai chi, and qigong. These three ancient arts combine rhythmic breathing with a series of postures or flowing movements.

7. Repetitive prayer. For this technique, you silently repeat a short prayer or phrase from a prayer while practicing breath focus. This method may be especially appealing if religion or spirituality is meaningful to you.

Experts recommend practicing 20minutes a day, and sampling several techniques to see what works best for you.

Get more information and additional techniques at Harvard Health Publishing.

Information provided by CBSNEWS.COM.

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