‘BRILLIANT THINGS HAPPEN IN CALM MINDS. BE CALM. YOU’RE BRILLIANT.’ HEADSPACE
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with openness, with acceptance (without judgement) and with stillness (in heart and mind – the body may be moving). It helps to reduce anxiety and improves our ability to learn. Mindfulness strategies can help us self-regulate our emotions. Tools for mindfulness include mindful breathing, mindful listening, mindful movement, practicing kindness and empathy, expressing gratitude, practicing generosity, pausing before reacting and learning from experiences.
As part of our student engagement and wellbeing program, we implement a mindfulness program. This is delivered as part of the class curriculum. Once a week, the students work with the classroom teacher as part of the Smiling Mind Mindfulness Curriculum and Mindful Schools Curriculum. In these 20 minute sessions students will learn different activities that focus on building attention, self-regulation and empathy.
Throughout the week, the classroom teacher will reinforce these exercises through practise. Research shows that mindfulness can:
- Reduce stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms
- Increase resilience and peace of mind
- Enhance cognitive performance e.g. concentration, memory and processing speed
- Improve study and work performance
- Improve relationships and overall wellbeing
This work is part of our whole school Respectful Relationships work including the Rights, Resilience and Respectful Relationships (RRRRs) curriculum.
Further information about mindfulness and learning is available through the Monash University website https://www.monash.edu/students/support/health/mindfulness/what-is-mindfulness. There are also additional articles about mindfulness included below.
We have a noticeboard dedicated to mindfulness as you come into our Admin Building. It is located in the entrance just left of the office and features information and ideas for mindfulness. Mindfulness will also feature in our newsletter. Or you can use the resources below to help you in your mindful practice.
Resources for mindful practice:
Mindful websites and apps:
- Smiling Mind
- GoNoodle: create an account and access Flow, Think About It! and All the Feels channels
- Mindful (mindful.org)
Articles about Mindfulness:
- How mindfulness can improve student learning and achievement
- Mindfulness for kids
- 3 Guided Practices to Find Calm and Equanimity
- 7 Things Mindful Families Do Differently
- Mindfulness at School Improves Critical Learning Skills
- Meditation hailed as important tool for teaching kids to cope with stress and anxiety
Story Box Library has a great collection of stories for mental health and wellbeing here. School log in details can be found in the “Digital System and eduPass Login Details” document in the Parent Download section of the School Website.
Below is a list of books that also support and promote mindfulness, wellbeing and gratitude.
- Listening to My Body by Gabi Garcia
- Noisy Tom by Jane Martino
- Thank You Present by Jane Martino
- Super Me a Smiling Mind picture story book by Jane Martino
- I can do Hard Things by Gabi Garcia
- The Mindful Dragon by Steve Herman
- My Mindful Breath by Nick Ortner, Alison Taylor and Michelle Polizzi
- Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee Maclean
- Your Mind is Like a Garden by Shona Innes
- Slow Down World by Tai Smith
- In My Heart by Jo Witek
- Moody Cow Mediates by Kerry Maclean
- A World of Pausibilities by Frank J Sileo
- How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
- I am Peace by Susan Verde
- Mindful ABCs by Tamara Hackett
- You Might Find Yourself by Tai Snaith
- Breathe and Be by Kate Coombs
- Just Breathe by Mallika Chopra
- Calm – Mindfulness for Kids by DK Publishers.
- Mindful Me by Whitney Stewart
- ABC Mindful Me by Christaine Engal
5 Mindfulness Exercises to practice:
1 Minute breath
Set a timer for one minute (could be a digital timer or a sand timer). Sit in a comfortable position and for 1 minute feel your breath move in and out of your body.
5 S- Sharks
Put your hand in front of your nose, sideways with your thumb resting against your nose. You close your eyes, say ‘shhh’ and do the 5s’s- sit up straight, sit still, soft breathing and eyes shut.
For your next snack or meal, try to close your eyes and bring a piece of food to your nose, in your hand or on a fork/ spoon. What do you notice?
Tense and Release
Standing up, tense your whole body, making your hands up into a fist, tighten your legs straight and arms down. Feel the tension in your body and release it, wiggle it out, what do you notice? Repeat.
For about a minute run on the spot, jump or hop. Put your hand on your chest afterwards, can you feel your heart beating. What do you notice?