We recently conducted a 8 week Mindfulness for Wellbeing course for youths at a institution in Singapore. The course was held once a week uninterruptedly in the mornings and about 30 youths attended it. We conducted a Pre-Course self-assessment to measure the youths’ levels of Happiness, Stress and Self Awareness. This was carried out to measure the difference in the levels before and after the 8 week course.
During the course it was observed that the youths initially found the mindfulness practices an uphill task. By the time they were in their 4th week, we observed surprising changes in the behaviour of the youths. Youths who normally came late for the weekly sessions started to arrive on time and also started to participate with more enthusiasm. A few youths who were disruptive during the sessions started to focus and became more cooperating without any coercion on the part of our Mindfulness Teacher. We also noticed a gradual comfort with Silence among the youths.
In another facilitated discussion, the youths shared that they noticed the following changes within oneself:
- felt calmer and learned how to be calm
- could focus on their school work and able to concentrate on study
- could enjoy the music they were listening to
- they felt happier hanging out with friends with reduced problems
- learned to relieve themselves from distress
- learned to appreciate their food and started to taste the food they were eating
- learned to manage emotions
- learned to focus on one thing at a time
- stress relief
- could pay attention
- could think ahead
- able to calm oneself down when angry
- improved confidence by having eye contact with people
- thinking carefully before talking and acting by closing eyes and relaxing the mind
- being punctual for school
At the end of the 8th session we conducted a post-course self-assessment. The findings were as follows:
An increase in Self-Awareness
An increase in Happiness levels
A reduction in Stress levels
The above findings showed that Mindfulness had a significant positive effect on the levels of Happiness, Stress and Self-Awareness.