Mindfulness

Well-being and learning can’t be separated. One supports the other. Well-being underpins the way children feel about themselves and how they relate to others.

We all have mental health, it is just as important as our physical state. Everyone has it and we need to take care of it, no matter what age. Mindfulness is one way to start doing this; training for the mind.

Mindfulness

Well-being and learning can’t be separated. One supports the other. Well-being underpins the way children feel about themselves and how they relate to others.

We all have mental health, it is just as important as our physical state. Everyone has it and we need to take care of it, no matter what age. Mindfulness is one way to start doing this; training for the mind.

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Mindfulness is . . .

Paying attention to things as they happen

A life skill

Evidence based

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Why . . .

Enhance well-being, feel happier and calmer

Help concentrate and therefore learn better

To get on better with others

Help cope with stress and anxiety

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Calm skies offers . . .

1:1 sessions

Small group focused work

10 Session .b curriculum for 11-16 year olds

12 Session Paws b curriculum for 7-11 year olds

Why

  • Enhance self-awareness
  • Improve relationship skills
  • Increase attention and concentration
  • More energy
  • Increase sense of calm
  • Enjoy better health and sleep
  • Develop empathy

  • Learn how to relax and regulate emotions
  • Improve decision-making skills
  • Increase self-esteem and optimism
  • More control over immediate emotional responses
  • Recognise worry and manage difficulties
  • Cope with exams and academic stresses
  • By developing a more mindful awareness helps children to appreciate what is going well and flourish

Mindfulness is …

Bringing your attention to the present moment with openness, kindness and without judgement. Simply focusing your attention to the here and now, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future.

Mindfulness Vs. Meditation

These two terms are often thrown about together so the difference is that meditation is the formal practice of mindfulness, often referred to as training for the mind. We meditate to exercise the mind. The informal practice of mindfulness is bringing our attention into our daily life whenever we can.

How does it work? (The science bit that is well worth a read!)

We can train our mind to change our brain. By training our mind, just like we train our muscles, allows for significant and positive shifts in our brain.

In this way practising mindfulness is mental exercise that literally strengthens the brain’s grey matter in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, two key learning areas, supporting the minds ability to focus, pay attention and remember – the more we practise the stronger the mind becomes. Therefore, mindfulness is like gym for the mind. We don’t just go to the gym to enjoy the benefits of fitness for the half hour we’re there, we go to the gym in order to enjoy the benefits of fitness for 24 hours of the day, and that’s the same approach we need to be taking for our mind.

By practising mindfulness regularly will start to create new pathways in the brain that will change the way the brain works resulting in improved mental health, physical health and well-being.

Click here for a great poster outlining the different areas of the brain that can be developed and work as a team during mindfulness practice.

Is it difficult?

At first the mind wanders constantly, but with practice we learn to focus our attention and direct it more skilfully. This helps break the grip of unhelpful mental habits, judgements and impulses, making way for greater calm, and for more helpful, kinder and rational thinking about all aspects of life. However, it takes practice!

How does it work?

(The science bit that is well worth a read!)

 

We can train our mind to change our brain. By training our mind, just like we train our muscles, allows for significant and positive shifts in our brain.

In this way practising mindfulness is mental exercise that literally strengthens the brain’s grey matter in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, two key learning areas, supporting the minds ability to focus, pay attention and remember – the more we practise the stronger the mind becomes. Therefore, mindfulness is like gym for the mind. We don’t just go to the gym to enjoy the benefits of fitness for the half hour we’re there, we go to the gym in order to enjoy the benefits of fitness for 24 hours of the day, and that’s the same approach we need to be taking for our mind.

By practising mindfulness regularly will start to create new pathways in the brain that will change the way the brain works resulting in improved mental health, physical health and well-being.

Click here for a great poster outlining the different areas of the brain that can be developed and work as a team during mindfulness practice.

Is it difficult?

At first the mind wanders constantly, but with practice we learn to focus our attention and direct it more skilfully. This helps break the grip of unhelpful mental habits, judgements and impulses, making way for greater calm, and for more helpful, kinder and rational thinking about all aspects of life. However, it takes practice!

What we do at Calm Skies

We offer several options and are completely flexible as to the needs of the individual person, family or school. We are trained to deliver both .b (Read More) and Paws b (Read More) curriculums to whole classes or small groups if more appropriate. These programs were created by classroom teachers and mindfulness experts with the aim of giving young people mindfulness as a life skill. It is taught with striking visuals, film clips and activities that bring mindfulness to life without losing the expertise and integrity of classic mindfulness teaching. In addition, all of the Yoga sessions incorporate both formal and informal mindfulness practices throughout.

Quick and Easy Mindful Activities to try today

 

What we do at Calm Skies

We offer several options and are completely flexible as to the needs of the individual person, family or school. We are trained to deliver both .b (Read More) and Paws b (Read More) curriculums to whole classes or small groups if more appropriate. These programs were created by classroom teachers and mindfulness experts with the aim of giving young people mindfulness as a life skill. It is taught with striking visuals, film clips and activities that bring mindfulness to life without losing the expertise and integrity of classic mindfulness teaching. In addition, all of the Yoga sessions incorporate both formal and informal mindfulness practices throughout.

Quick and Easy Mindful Activities to try today

 

So what is mindfulness NOT?

You may have heard of the word ‘mindfulness’ being thrown around a great deal recently, both in the media and amongst friends and family and not always in a positive light. The overuse and sometimes misuse of the word can often leave us feeling confused, perhaps unsure as to what it is all about and a sense of it being a wishy-washy, quick-fix and quite frankly, mystical concept.

It is not about clearing the mind of all thoughts.

It is not about just having positive thoughts.

It is not about quietening the mind.

It is not linked to any religious practice or belief.

It is not just about relaxing.

It is not a magical or mystical concept.

So what is mindfulness NOT?

You may have heard of the word ‘mindfulness’ being thrown around a great deal recently, both in the media and amongst friends and family and not always in a positive light. The overuse and sometimes misuse of the word can often leave us feeling confused, perhaps unsure as to what it is all about and a sense of it being a wishy-washy, quick-fix and quite frankly, mystical concept.

It is not about clearing the mind of all thoughts.

It is not about just having positive thoughts.

It is not about quietening the mind.

It is not linked to any religious practice or belief.

It is not just about relaxing.

It is not a magical or mystical concept.

Useful resources

The Science of Mindfulness | Mother Earth Living

Mindfulness for Children (Simon and Schuster, 2018) by Tracy L. Daniel is a guide for explaining and practicing the art of being present and the positive benefits for children learning to be mindful. Learning mindfulness enables children to deal with their emotions in a balanced healthy way.

NBA coach Phil Jackson discussing how and why he integrated
mindfulness into his coaching plan for the Chicago Bulls and
LA Lakers.

See a TEDx Talk by Richard Burnett on Mindfulness in Schools

Research

  • Mindful Schools carried out several research papers on the effectiveness of mindfulness within schools in the US.

See www.mindfulschools.org for more details.

  • The Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) are an organisation leading the way in the UK for training and research into the effectiveness of mindfulness practices within the school setting.

See www.mindfulnessinschools.org for more details.

  • Mindfulness for Children are a US based organisation who have studied the benefits of mindfulness amongst children.

See www.mindfulnessforchildren.org for more details.

  • Be Mindful is another great UK based group that looks into the positives of regular mindfulness amongst young people.

See www.bemindful.co.uk for more details.

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