Mindfulness Tips: How To Teach Students About Its Benefits
Mindfulness is gaining ground as a major therapy tool in the larger health field, but in the classroom, it is still in its infancy. But as with many interventions in the medical world, parents and teachers are likely to benefit from this new mindfulness therapy strategy just as much as students do.
Students are told to wake up with eyes on the ground, a breathing practice that they should take each day. Instead of focusing on their heads like they usually do, the focusing their eyes on the ground allows the mind to expand the senses and makes it easier to pay attention. It can also help with improved focus, thinking straight on and problem solving skills like remembering things from earlier days.
Our nation is perhaps best known for its majestic pastime, the game of baseball, which is a part of the educational curriculum of the US known by many children for a reason. These benefits extend beyond the walls of the classroom and into our everyday lives. What better way to teach students than using a piece of past history like baseball? Aside from helping kids learn the fundamentals of baseball, training mental muscle, planning ahead and making sure the brain is in optimal condition are all things they will benefit from.
And on the positive side, perhaps the practice of mindfulness will help avoid the worst errors of our future teachers? Isn’t that the case with most new teachers? I’m sure they face a daily battle with the responsibilities and stressors of the job. Talking about something as simple as making time for mindfulness and listening to your body can help avoid any distractions that could easily arise. Treadmill desks or work schedules that force us to work in constant motion could be a problem.
Not only can you benefit from the more familiar mental strategies of teaching mindfulness, but trying out new ways of teaching it can also help your children in school. While most teachers will use some combination of teaching exercises when teaching mindfulness, this practice can go beyond other easy ways of teaching, according to Jennifer McCarthy of Quora:
Mindfulness can help kids be happier in life in their social relationships and in their academic studies.
Learning helps kids focus and pays attention, and that often helps them with balancing it. [Recently, my daughter] was learning piano, and she needed to focus on doing it and trying to remember what she was looking at. She learned to focus more on her nervous system and nerves. What that sounds like is she’s more aware of having those emotions going on in her body that she might normally not pay attention to.
Exercising your mind really helps us, and I think this mental exercise can do that on a surface level.
Kids are able to take their minds off what they’re doing and just tune in to what’s going on in their bodies. It was a hard adjustment for her, but once she started to do that, she started to do her work better. I think it’s important to think about what you’re seeing, to be aware of what’s going on.
Life’s too short to just take in everything that’s going on and focus only on the positive. Mindfulness allows people to see their minds on the bigger picture of what’s happening around them. And finally, the benefits of mindfulness go beyond the hallways of school and onto the road that lies ahead. This is a great way to help kids learn that feelings and emotions are an important part of everyday life and to help them realize that the bad feelings don’t have to define them.
If you haven’t heard about mindfulness yet, this is a great new move that could be helping students and teachers alike.