The tranquility of silence. Do you ever experience it? As a parent or teacher of gifted kids, you may have difficulty experiencing even a moment of silence. Many gifted kids have a hard time “turning off.” They talk a lot. They think a lot. They share ideas a lot. You get the picture. Certainly there are introverted and introspective gifted children, but many of the students I meet are far from that. Most of them simply don’t know how to turn off. They are always on full-steam ahead mode with their minds, mouths and bodies.
Don’t get me wrong. I like energetic, healthy students and I like bright, bubbly students. But I often find myself telling some students that it’s okay to “do nothing” sometimes. They give me a blank, incomprehensible stare in return. What I mean is that some students could benefit from a moment to recharge and reflect.
What exactly are the benefits from a daily enforced quiet time? The research is pretty compelling to ask students to unplug or unwind for a while. According to the David Lynch Foundation students who practice meditation twice a day exhibit less stress, less violence, greater happiness and higher creativity. Even better, tmhome.com suggests that transcendental meditation can increase fluid IQ and show positive gains in academic achievement. Not to be confused, meditation and quiet time are two different things, but meditation cannot be achieved without first experiencing some quiet in the day.
Quiet time is the first easily enforceable step to receiving the benefits of a relaxed mind and body. Set aside some time each day to read, create, reflect and unwind. Use this time to paint, draw, journal, pray, stretch, put together puzzles, or design elaborate fantasy play worlds. Think about life goals, desires, and plans. Just be sure to do it alone, consistently, and quietly.
Moving to a meditative state takes desire and often, guidance. Plan positive images and ideas for consideration during this time. Don’t let negativity rule the thought process. Start for a short amount of time and build up to a desired length of time. Reflect about the process and results, too. Soon the quiet time will become a welcome oasis in the middle of a charged-up hectic life.