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!