For my classroom lessons the students are currently involved in learning what it means to be mindful. Mindfulness simply stated by Psychology Today is, “a state of active, open attention to the present.” Thus far we have focused on learning how to take a mindful breath (ie. inhaling and allowing our belly to expand and exhaling allowing the belly to deflate like a balloon) and how to mindfully treat others (ie. being aware of the power of our words/actions and their impact on others). Further lessons will focus on being mindful of how we feel, move, and eat as well as focusing on our senses. Overall, students are learning to be present in the moment instead of being reactive or overwhelmed by all the noise that is going on around them.
Mindfulness is not another thing that we have to add to our plate. Already when we teach our children to be more aware of their emotions, surroundings and decisions we help them become more purposeful in their responses and actions. Research, according to Mindful Schools, has shown that mindfulness helps students with attention, emotional regulation, compassion and calming. We already have the capacity to be present and aware of what we are doing in the moment. The students are learning to listen and pay attention to those innate qualities that they have with mindfulness exercises.
There are many simple ways to practice mindfulness. The following are just a few options that you may want to try at home with your child: Paying attention and experiencing our environment with all of our senses, finding joy in the moment, assessing our mood and putting strategies in place, noticing and naming how we are feeling/what we are thinking (eg. I am feeling worried right now, I need to take a deep breath), eating a mindful snack together (eating slowly and being aware of how the food tastes), taking a mindful nature walk, and focusing on our breathing to calm down in order to help us navigate through tough/negative moments.
As always if you have any questions feel free to reach out.
HMS School Counselor