Mindfulness trains the mind to be aware of what is happening in the moment rather than dwelling on what has already happened or what may happen in the future. It provides us with techniques to note, manage and accept our emotions and enhances our ability to focus.
The benefits of regular mindfulness practice are well known – some of the most commonly noted include:
- Stress reduction
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased feelings of connection
- Improved self-acceptance
- Lower blood pressure/heart rate
- Immune system boost
Being mindful is an ongoing learning process that takes time and commitment. This suggests that the earlier in life we start, the more likely we are to develop a lasting habit.
Children can benefit from mindfulness in the same way as adults. Practicing mindfulness provides children with life skills they need in their school years and beyond, including:
- Emotional awareness and understanding
- Emotional regulation
- Improved resilience
- Empathy towards others
- Decreased challenging behaviour
- Improved academic performance
- Increased focus
In a previous post, some fun online resources were shared to encourage the development of a mindful outlook in young children. These included – Headspace for kids, Smiling Mind, Cosmic Kids, ClassDojo and GoNoodle.
There are numerous ways of incorporating the practice of mindfulness within education. Some schools within the UK regularly set aside time to do this – blending it into class routines, offering stand alone lessons or focused assemblies.
A provider, which offers training and mindfulness classroom curricula, was highlighted on a child development course I recently attended – Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP).
MiSP is a national UK, not-for-profit charity for young people and schools. Their aim is to:
improve the lives of a generation of children and young people by making a genuine, positive difference to their mental health and wellbeing.(MiSP)
The curricula they offer includes:
- .b for (secondary school)
- .Breathe (transition years)
- Paws b (primary school)
- .b Foundations
As well as training teachers how to successfully run mindfulness lessons, MiSP offers well-being workshops for school staff. To be a truly mindful school, all members of the immediate school community (children and staff) must be considered in well-being initiatives.
Does your child’s school (or your workplace if you’re a teacher) value mindfulness? Do they set aside time to develop the required skills in their staff and students?
If you know of any recommended providers offering teacher training and mindfulness classroom curricula within your country, please share them below.
Thanks for reading!
Kaiser Greenland, S. (2010). The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate. Free Press.
Kaiser Greenland, S. (2016). Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Families. Shambhala Publications, Inc.