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Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is all about being in the moment, calmly acknowledging one's thoughts and feelings. A state of mind where there is an awareness of one's own presence, concious in the now.

 

When I first heard of mindfulness many years ago, I thought it was the new buzz word that people were using and that it would be forgotten in a few years time. However, the more I looked into it, the more I realised that this state of mind was so important in our modern society, a vital skill that we should definitly be teaching our young people to help equip them for our modern world.

 

I began teaching simple methods of relaxation and breathing to our smallest people in the school in Nursery over six years ago. I was amazed to see the difference it had on their ability to regualte their own emotions and how they were learning to calm their minds. I even had a little 3 year old noticing that her mum was "stressed" and teaching her how to feel calm!

 

We are now teaching mindfulness throughout the school, as we recognise at Homefields the importance of this skill. The older children are taught about the brainwaves and the different state that our bodies/minds are in with the different brain patterns. There is no way we can learn or remember facts, if our bodies are in the anxious "fight or flight" mode. There is no way we can make the correct choices on the playground, if our minds have the "red mist" clouding our temper. Breathing and mindfulness can help balance the body and mind and help with both of these challenges that we face everyday in the school environment.

 

We also have fun with mindfulness in class. As well as learning how to breathe and relax, we have fun noticing what it is like to be in the moment. There is nothing like watching a class of 4 and 5 year olds, holding a piece of chocolate on their tongue and letting it melt - yes - not biting and chomping it down as quick as possible but really enjoying it! The squeals of excitement and sheer joy is amazing.

Try it next time you buy chocolate, so difficult but very rewarding!

 

Mindfulness Activites You Can Try At Home

Mindfulness Kaleidoscope - Youtube

Lots of children like this as they can “lose” themselves in the colours. It is important to talk first about why we want our minds to rest. Sometimes children will want to talk all the way through as the colours and patterns are so pretty. You can work up to your child sitting in silence. Make sure you give a warning that the activity will end when you count to 3. Talk at the end about how relaxed and calm they now feel and how nice it is to feel this way

Mindfulness Colouring

There are so many pictures free on the internet (this also helps with pencil grip, control and stamina for writing). This is lovely to do together. Put some relaxing music on in the background and limit the colours (take choice away it becomes about the act of colouring not the choosing

Mindfulness Journey

You can either make one up yourself or there are loads on the internet that you can listen to. Encourage your child to lie on their back, as still as possible – notice if any body parts feel “twitchy” or “restless”. This is ok – just notice and let it go. It is something to work on to get your whole body to completely relax. You can have a go at tensing the whole body up – notice how horrible this feels (this is anxious/ stressed/worried/ scared/angry) now let your body relax and let go – this is calm/ happy/ relaxed – this is nice!

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