What is Happening in our School!?!
What Is All This Talk About Mindfulness in Our Schools?
My kids started school last week and I was thrilled that there is a morning meeting everyday that focuses on mindfulness and sometimes includes meditation. I was so excited to hear this from my kids.
But what is mindfulness and why is it so important to our kids (and even adults too)
Mindfulness is the act of being present in a moment of time without judgement. Sounds easy, right? Actually this can be extremely hard to do, especially for those of us who hold onto the past, are always thinking about the future, or don’t know how to handle our emotions.
And don’t get me wrong, I still believe that our children need to have responsibility, activities, and expectations but we also, as parents and educators, need to realize when it is becoming toxic.
Something recently happened in our home-
We recently purchased a new home and I have a formal living room with not a lot of furniture to put in it. I decided early on that I wanted to make is more like a library with some reading chairs….well we have one chair, so the room is far from finished. My son began sitting in our chair when he wanted to read alone without interruption from his sister. I loved it. And then all of sudden the other day he was feeling some emotions that he couldn’t quite handle and said he was going to the quiet corner and he went and sat in that chair. He needed a break, had to take a breath, and calm himself down. I was amazed. He felt safe, understood his feelings needed to be addressed, and reacted in such an amazing way. He now calls that chair the quiet corner and so does his sister. And when they need a break, want to read, or just think….that is where they go.
Mindfulness can have some amazing benefits including things like improved immune system, memory, attentiveness, sleep, and even calm behavior but how do you get started?
Some easy ways to become mindful-
• Start a breathing exercise- on of my favorites is Dr Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique but even just start with some deep breathes
• Mindful eating-paying attention to your food by using all of you senses. This causes you to slow down and pay attention
• Go for a walk and just listen to the sounds of nature. Be present and be aware
What is your favorite way to live a more mindful life?
Some supporting studies
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20363650- mental training
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12883106- immune system