Just 10 minutes of transcendental meditation can help reduce attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in kids.
During the study, the researchers from George Washington University followed a group of middle school students with ADHD who were meditating twice a day in school for 10 minutes.
After three months, they found over 50 percent reduction in stress and anxiety and improvements in ADHD symptoms in the students.
"The effect was much greater than we expected," said Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D., a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist and lead researcher on the study.
"The children also showed improvements in attention, working memory, organization, and behavior regulation," she added.
Grosswald said that after the in-school meditation routine began, "teachers reported they were able to teach more, and students were able to learn more because they were less stressed and anxious."
The study involved 10 students between 11-14 years, who had pre-existing diagnoses of ADHD.
"Stress interferes with the ability to learn-it shuts down the brain," said William Stixrud, Ph.D., a Silver Spring, Maryland, clinical neuropsychologist and co-author of the study.
"Medication for ADHD is very effective for some children, but it is marginally or not effective for others.
"Even for those children who show improved symptoms with the medication, the improvement is often insufficient or accompanied by troubling side effects.
"Virtually everyone finds it difficult to pay attention, organize themselves and get things done when they're under stress. So it stands to reason that the Transcendental Meditation technique which reduces stress and organizes brain function would reduce ADHD symptoms," Stixrud added.
The study appears online in journal Current Issues in Education.