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Kate Whittington

on 22 April 2015

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Transcript of Mindfulness

Why do we need mindfulness?
Workshop Overview
Relevance to Individuals
Requires physical experience (riding a bike)

Benefits to teachers:
- Reduces stress and boosts vitality
- Increases their awareness and focus
- Improves their productivity
- Gives them tools to educate others about mindfulness
- Allows them to respond more effectively to student's needs
benefits from mindfulness.

- It can easily be utilised in your
daily life

-Use the activities, guidelines, exercises and resources to
practice mindfulness
gain knowledge and to teach mindfulness to others
Meaningful Mindfulness
Activity 3. Mindfulness Exercises
Sit comfortably with your hands on your lap.
Listen and follow instructions from the smiling mind audio on exploring breath
- What is Mindfulness?
- Why do we need it?
- Mindfulness Guidelines
- Afternoon tea
- Relevance of Mindfulness
- Mindfulness in education
- Whole School Approach
- Resources
- Evaluation

A deeper understanding of mindfulness
Mindfulness is....
Put simply,

"Mindfulness is non-judgemental awareness and acceptance of the present moment"

Key elements include:

Awareness and attentiveness
Acceptance and openness


Common misconceptions about mindfulness:
- It is the same as meditation
- It is for "hippies"
- Is always spiritual/religious
- Only occurs when you stop thinking
- You have to stop what you are doing to practice it

Mindfulness can occur in any situation, and can be adopted to anyone's life

Activity 1: Just don't think!
1. What kind of things came into your mind throughout the 60 seconds?

2. What do you think the objective of this activity was?

Mental Health
- Anxiety, stress, depression, self esteem, substance abuse, ADHD and mood disorders.
- Prevention & intervention

Emotional Wellbeing
- Strong correlation with optimism and positive emotions
- able to better manage emotions
Activity 2: A taste of Mindfulness
Mindfulness Guidelines
Exercise 2: Visual Imagery
Exercise 4: Mindfulness of difficult/painful thoughts
Exercise 3: A game of fives
Mindfulness in Educational
Activity 5: Scenarios
What is Happening in Schools?
Whole School Approach
Activity 7: links to the curriculum
Stare at the star and see if you can stop yourself from thinking for just 60 seconds...
Learning and Behaviour
- schoolwork (attitude and quality)
- cooperation

Teacher-specific benefits
- Stress, exhaustion and depression
- absenteeism
- physical benefits
Ever enjoyed eating mindfully?

Listen and follow instructions to experience it

Discussion questions
1. How was this different from your general chocolate-eating experience?

2. Were you more aware of your emotions during the exercise?

3. What is the benefit of paying attention to what we eat rather than "going through the motions"?

Are recommendations for the practice of mindfulness for young people (12-17 years) and for educators of young people in order to enhance mental health and wellbeing.

Sit in a comfortable, relaxed position with a straight back

Sit in silence, looking at the visual stimulus for 2 minutes


All you have to do is notice 5 things in your day that usually go unnoticed. These can be things you hear, smell, feel or see

Do you really know what they sound and look like?

Have you ever noticed their finer, more intricate details?

Have you thought about what life might be like without these things?
Exercise 1: Exploring Breath
Activity 4: Struggle and control
For each of the metaphors (for our thoughts and emotions) identify the initial reaction to the problem (natural response) and then the solution
Book exercise:
Key messages
When the struggle switch is on:
- Control becomes the problem, not the solution
- You are trying to get rid of or suppress unwanted thoughts and emotions
- It means you are going to struggle against any physical or emotional pain that comes your way
-The struggle switch becomes an emotional amplifier
When the struggle switch is off:
- Mindfulness through psychological flexibility becomes possible
- Our emotions are free to rise and fall as the situation dictates
Mindfulness helps you step out of the war, not fight it harder
Partnerships and services
School environment and ethos
What do you notice about the solutions as opposed to the initial reactions?
Gather a group of 5 or less people around you so that approximately 6 groups are formed
Read through your given scenario and answer the questions about applying a mindfulness exercise or technique to your scenario
1. Which mindfulness exercise/technique do you think best suits this scenario and why?
2. What steps would you take in this scenario to complete this exercise (whole class or individual)?
3. How would implementing this exercise help students meet the 'mindfulness guidelines' that are relevant to them?
- Mindfulness based activities have helped young people in different age groups improve their emotional and mental health and academic achievement, specifically:

- Anxious 7-10 year old students have increased their attention deficit behaviours and children with learning difficulties have improved on dealing with anxiety, social skills and academic results.
-11-13 year old students have experienced increased wellbeing, calm, sleep and self care
- 17-19 year old students have had increases in calmness, relaxation, self-acceptance, emotional regulation, awareness and clarity

-Due to these benefits there are an increasing amount of programs being applied to schools involving mindfulness
The purpose of this exercise is to simply notice, accept and be aware of your breath to promote relaxation or stress reduction by taking time for yourself to have a break and focus on your breathing.
Objectives of this activity
Objectives of this activity
Students learn the process of visual imagery as a relaxation technique and explore the power of the senses in helping to embrace the present moment and increase awareness of what is happening around them.
Objectives of this activity
Participants learn to identify feelings and sensations by becoming mindful of who they are, where they are, what they are doing and how everything else in their environment interacts with their being to cultivate a truer awareness of living.
Objectives of this activity
Participants acknowledge unpleasant thoughts and emotions and accept them as a part of life as these feelings move through the mind like cars passing by which helps to reduce stress and anxiety rather than trying to shut theses unpleasant feelings out.
objectives of this activity
Participants learn to release control of their thoughts and let go of the struggle with them by turning off the struggle switch to their emotions, which allows their emotions to freely come and go, while being focused on the present moment
Smiling mind
For mindfulness meditation to be in the Australian curriculum by 2020
Practicing mindfulness exercises each day for 10 days, individuals begin improving their mental health

.b (Stop, Breathe and Be)
To allow individuals to experience the health benefits of mindfulness such as greater wellbeing and cope with everyday stresses and strains of life

Participants report fewer depressive symptoms, lower stress and greater wellbeing.
Mindful schools
To lead the integration of Mindfulness into education by improving the mental health and wellbeing of YP
Has seen many benefits including academic achievement, mental health, interpersonal relationships and decreased stress and anxiety
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
science of the brain/thoughts
PE-mental health-
coping skills
who am I
public speaking
Exam preparation
- The school supports mindfulness as part of their values
- Teachers have the knowledge of how to use mindfulness techniques/exercises for mental health and to cope with stress and anxiety
- Mindfulness is practiced in roll call
Mindfulness expressions and tools presented around the school such as "observe it, breathe it, allow it"
- School counsellors are trained in mindfulness-based therapies such as Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
- School website, newsletter and other communication forms make known the schools support and implementation of mindfulness
- Allow students, teachers and staff to run mindfulness activities and workshops
Activity 7: Links to the curriculum
Form 6 groups of 4 and explore the app allocated to your group and then answer the questions provided
- Work with other health professionals
- Invite guest speakers to assemblies and staff meetings
- Encourage students to teach their family and friends about mindfulness and associated benefits
- 'Mindfulness tips' in the school newsletter, website and social media avenues
- Promote wellbeing events within the community
- Ensure guidlines/policies are easily accessible
involve the P & C
- Ensure that YP know where to seek help and can conveniently access mindfulness resources

An Australian program that brings modern meditation to schools for individuals to develop a sense of calmness, clarity and contentment
Incorporates a WSA involving struents, teachers and parents and provides mindfulness resources for schools such as audio-visual, animations, student workbooks teacher lesson plans
Offers training courses for adults to lean how to teach mindfulness practices to youth within the education context through direct experience
What is a WSA to mental health and wellbeing?
A WSA recognises that all aspects of the community can impact on students health and wellbeing and that learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked. Therefore a WSA becomes vital to the promotion of mental health among adolescents
Why is it important?
It allows individuals to build on and develop common knowledge of mindfulness by practicing it and utilising its benefits
1. Provide a brief description of the app (main focus, who does it cater for?).

2. List aspects you liked and disliked about this resource.

3. Evaluate the effectiveness of this app in regards to usability and relevance for improving mental health.

4. How could you implement this app within an educational context that aligns with the mindfulness guidelines and benefits individuals?
Objectives of this activity
To encourage participants to be aware of the resources available, be critical consumers of resources and and to gain resources for future mindfulness for themselves and for use in schools
Closing question
Let's revisit our first question to see how your understanding of mindfulness has deepened.
What do you think mindfulness is and what does it involve?
Mindfulness is like a muscle, it will only grow if it is used
Student perspectives
Watch the following YouTube clip to see mindfulness active in schools
Activity 6: Application of a WSA for mindfulness
Take home messages:
What is your understanding of mindfulness?
Afternoon tea time!
Full transcript