Mindfulness offers a set of short simple practices which can be incorporated into daily life. They can be learned very easily and have been shown to be hugely effective in helping people to gain a sense of wellbeing and control over their lives.
Some of the problems which Mindfulness can help to address include:
General anxiety and habitual worrying, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, depression, poor concentration, a lack of motivation, negative symptoms of stress, loneliness, repetitive negative thoughts, a sense of a loss of control over our lives and that there is never enough time to do everything that we need to do.
Why has mindfulness become so popular?
The pressures of work and home against the noisy backdrop of society and the media can drown out our sense of self...
As a way of coping with so many demands, we do more and more on autopilot and without conscious awareness. Eventually, we can feel that we are missing out on our lives, that somehow life is passing us by in something of a blur, rather like looking out of the window from a highspeed train.
Mindfulness brings us back to our five senses and as stress levels and repetitive thoughts and habits are reduced, we feel energised and connected to ourselves and our environment in ways which bring our intentions and actions back into alignment. This makes us more effective, resourceful and resilient. People who practise mindfulness describe increased conscious awareness as a place of choice, intention and feeling fully alive.
Is there a scientific basis to mindfulness?
Neuroscientists concur that the plasticity of the brain at any age is such that we can shape our ability to concentrate more fully and for longer periods of time. Our thoughts trigger chemical releases which directly affect the physiology of our brain and bodies, both immediately and in the longer term. Where these are negative, there are detrimental effects to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Where these are positive, the opposite is true.
Why teach mindfulness to children?
Childhood is an especially good time to learn mindfulness as practising short mindfulness techniques regularly has been shown to be an effective way to develop mental and emotional resilience and a significantly enhanced ability to cope effectively with stressful situations as and when they arise.
It has been said that teaching a child mindfulness techniques is for their mental health what daily teeth brushing is for their dental health. We wouldn't dream of not teaching our children to brush their teeth daily from a young age!
It’s about using short science-based meditative techniques to improve concentration, creativity, mood control and general health and wellbeing...
What mindfulness teaching do you offer
for children and schools?
As a teacher, I became so convinced of the far-reaching benefits of mindfulness for children that I trained with The Mindfulness In Schools Project in order to teach their course devised by both Education and Mental Heath specialists to children age 7-11 years old. This course, called Paws B, is backed by extensive research and through it children learn about:
Specific areas of the brain and how these affect our ability to focus, make good choices, recognise when we need to steady ourselves when our body or mind is busy or out of balance.
Ways that mindfulness can support them in many day-to-day activities, including developing concentration and memory, behavioural self- management, and in relationships with family and friends.
Ways to respond rather than react – and therefore make better choices and take best care of themselves and others.
How can I find out more about the Paws B Mindfulness course?
Children report enjoying the lessons (there are twelve 45 minute lessons in the full course) and find the learning supports them in a broad range of situations from being able to concentrate and focus more easily in school to helping them feel calmer in exams and competitions. Many have described how t helps them with their relationships with family and friends.
You can read a summary of feedback about Paws b from over 1500 students here: https://mindfulnessinschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Website-Feedback-for-Paws-b-NP-1.pdf
Further reading about the body of research evidence around mindfulness for chlldren (and also adults working in schools, can be found here: https://mindfulnessinschools.org/the-evidence-base/