IT'S a typical weekday, high school students are lying on the floor of their classroom, eyes closed, listening to the soothing sounds of tranquil music, gently guided by their teacher as they breathe deeply, exhaling all worries away and their minds drift off…

Now, I know you must be wondering, what on earth are they teaching at Peebles High School? What about prelims, exams, studying, grades?

But what do all these pressures bring to the fragile mind of a young person, and how do they process the stress to ensure their mental wellbeing?

In steps Suzi Gibson, who has been running mindful meditation sessions with Peebles High pupils as part of Health Week for the past five years.

And so a group of pupils dropped their pencils, calculators and chemistry tools and walked through the doors of a more unique classroom setting, kicking off their school shoes and leaving their cares behind them as the lay in the comfort of Space 108 in Peebles.

Can mindfulness meditation really help pupils concentrate amid the distractions of 21st century living?

I decided to experience for myself the sessions offered freely to the pupils by Suzi, who guided sessions at the high school before opening her studio at Greenside, Peebles, in January 2016.

Admittedly I had always been a bit sceptical about meditation. I mean seriously, how can sitting on a floor in the lotus position, inhaling the pleasant oil aroma while the ambient sounds of dolphins singing and ocean waves crash, bring me peace of mind?

I’m a wife, mother, writer, and like most people, my life is busy and my head is bursting with thoughts from which there’s no escape.

But I entered the beautiful airy studio with an open-mind and intrigued about the experiences of the pupils.

On this particular afternoon, I feel like I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders. Thoughts are racing through my head like a train out of control. But immediately I feel a sense of calmness speaking to Suzi, as she explains the techniques she is using and gently guides me through the smooth ride to a quiet mind…and I am, going, going, gone…

I am in a state of deep peace and the mind is calm, so much so, when I hear Suzi’s soft instruction to open my eyes – I don’t want to. I love it here.

So now I can see why meditation could potentially tackle a myriad of problems suffered by young students, including mental health. This is a growing problem in the Scottish Borders, with evidence suggesting almost 2,000 children and young people in the region will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives.

The sessions are offered to groups of pupils from S1 to S3, who arrive at the studio giggling with excitement and anticipation for their new experience.

Suzi explained: "There are some nerves and awareness of peers, especially if there is a mix of ages. The great thing is, once they close their eyes, it becomes completely about their own experience. Fidgeting and chatting stops, there is a sense of calm, and some sleep which is great because they perhaps need it."

Each group is given an insight into the benefits of meditation, as well as exploring how stress becomes unhealthy, warning signs, and how to build resilience through practical techniques that can help reduce anxiety.

The meditation guru shared skills with the pupils which, if put into practice daily, can be life-changing.

Suzi said: "They are all very relaxed and quite amazed at the experience. I hope they leave with the knowledge that they have the ability to create calmness within themselves using some of the techniques they have learned, leading to greater concentration, focus, creativity and well rested teens."

The visible difference in the pupils during the session at Space 108 has astounded school staff. "Some of the teachers and staff who have attended over the years can’t quite believe the quiet and calm that begins to settle in the room. I’ve had a few parents afterwards tell me how much their kids enjoyed it," said Suzi.

"There is a lot of anxiety and tension in our kids today, sometimes a feeling of being relaxed is a little alien to them, then they experience it. That’s the important bit, they have an experience of relaxation and calm, not an intellectual understanding that it is good for them, but an actual experience."

Research has proven that mindfulness and meditation is very beneficial to a person’s mental health, and many schools are incorporating it into their classrooms, teaching philosophies, and disciplinary programs.

In fact, some schools are choosing to replace detention with meditation with it even being used as behavioural therapy in classrooms.

Whether this trend will catch on remains to be seen, as there are many parents who still prefer traditional discipline, with youngsters being given their marching orders to the principal’s office for unruly behaviour.

But one thing is certain, the pupils of Peebles High School reaped the benefits of their mindful meditation sessions with Suzi during Health Week last month.

Principal teacher of pastoral care Kirsteen Robertson, said: "The studio is beautiful, the students immediately notice how soothing the space is, the lovely smell and lighting. The sessions give our students strategies to relax, think calmly, reducing stress and anxiety and improve sleep. It’s just amazing to see how some of them react."

Having embraced meditation and its healing benefits, I leave the studio feeling renewed, carefree and a little lighter on my feet. The everyday worries and thoughts I described like a train racing out of control? They’d disembarked at station 108, where Peeblesshire’s very own princess of peace resides.