Slideshow

Mindfulness : for teachers or students

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Mindfulness is being adopted in schools and classrooms around the world and it’s easy to see why! Evidence-based scientific research shows that the practice of mindfulness techniques is an effective strategy to enhance cognitive performance including sustained focus and attention, enhanced clarity and creativity, increased ability to perform under pressure and adaption to change.

Studies find that youth benefit from learning mindfulness in terms of improved cognitive outcomes, social-emotional skills and well-being. In turn, such benefits may lead to long-term improvements in life.
Jones, D. E., Greenberg, M., & Crowley, M. (2015). Early Social-¬Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness. American Journal of Public Health, 105(11), 2283–2290.

Mindfulness enhances personal wellbeing by decreasing stress and anxiety and increasing resilience, emotional intelligence and psychological flexibility.

With as little as 20 minutes over 4 days, research has shown significant improvements in critical cognitive skills and changes in grey matter have been recorded after only 8 weeks of practice.

So, how exactly is mindfulness practiced and in particular with students?

At a basic level, mindfulness is simply increased awareness and noticing. Taking bits of time throughout your day to notice your body and sensations, thoughts, emotions, and the world around you.

Mindfulness can be practiced for a moment’s time by pausing to notice the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body or, it can be incorporated into your day by being especially aware of your thoughts and feelings and observe what’s happening around you and the impact on your thinking or feelings.

It may also be immersing yourself for a moment, for 10 minutes, or for an hour, just be fully present in the moment and fully present in your life.

Our workshop uses techniques from mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and positive psychology, as well as basic neuroscience, to assist students to:

* Apply mindfulness techniques in their daily life
* Reduce the impact and influence of negative thoughts and feelings
* Increase resilience, well-being and improve sleep
* Respond more effectively in difficult situations
* Remain focused under pressure
* Become more aware of their state of mind and challenge their habitual reactions

In this Mindfulness for Students workshop we share valuable insight into the prolific research on why mindfulness matters and how students can introduce this powerful practise into their life.

Section One : Creating the space to think
• Myth busting about mindfulness
• Fascinating facts about mindfulness and neuroplasticity

Section Two: How do I do this?
• Mindfulness of the breath
• Body scan: progressive muscle relaxation
• Mindful waking: focus on your feet
• Mindful strengths use: a mindful pursuit
• Everyday mindfulness
• Savouring: mindful eating
• Mindful thoughts
• Mindful relationships
• Practise the loving kindness meditation


Benefits of Mindfulness Practice

> A lasting decrease in psychological symptoms such as stress, anxiety, depression and irritability (Hoffman, Sawyer, Witt & Oh, 2010)

> Helps identify & actualise human strengths (Shapiro, Schwartz, Santerre, 2009)

> Improved self-awareness and self-regulation (Lykins, 2009)

> Improved productivity and creativity (Siegel, 2007)

> Increased density of grey matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotional regulation and empathy (Siegel, 2007)

> Enhanced engagement (Gardner, 2007)

> Interpersonal sensitivity (Shefy & Sadler-Smith, 2006)

> A lasting decrease in psychological symptoms such as stress, anxiety, depression and irritability (Grossman, 2004)

> Conflict Resolution (Riskin, 2004)

> Job satisfaction & vision (Kriger & Hanson, 1999)

> Enhanced memory, increased motivation, improved concentration and decision making (Langer, 1997)






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