A New Year...
As 2015 came to a close, I thought about the buzzword MINDFULNESS. Mindfulness is the awareness of your existence - your personal being - your purpose.
With this, I reflect:
I am thankful for my team of colleagues, my friends, and my family.
Each of these individuals make up my true existence.
Without them - I would not be who I am today;
and for this, I am truly grateful.
Mindfulness. This is a concept that is being ignited by our determination to realign our awareness with the world around us. Our desire to fully experience all of our emotions and senses is becoming a catalyst for redefining this theory. An increase in the practice of mindfulness continues to be studied as initiatives are spreading across the United States. The integration of mindfulness is being practiced at home, in the work place, and in classrooms. The following summarizes a small sample of the significance of mindfulness integration:
When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom - L. Cassani Davis 2015
Mindfulness is defined as being focused, being aware of our surroundings, ...being aware of our feelings, our emotions, and how they impact us. The practice of mindfulness includes counting breaths and focusing on the sensations of breathing, visualizing thoughts and feelings, training your attention, quieting your thoughts, and regulating your emotions.
Integrating Mindfulness in Your Classroom Curriculum - 2015
Notes: We need mindfulness because it teachers us to live in the present moment, enjoying and experiencing what’s in front of you. There are four specific ways to integrate mindfulness in the classroom:
Research Round-Up: Mindfulness in Schools - E. Campbell 2013
The last decade has seen a huge spike in secular applications of mindfulness, the practice of focusing our attention on our thoughts, feelings, and environment in the present moment. While the first wave of mindfulness-based programs were for adults, more recent efforts have targeted the well-being of children and adolescents; as a result, mindfulness programs in schools are becoming more and more widespread.
This article includes four studies that noted significant outcomes regarding the implementations of mindfulness programs in schools. Practices included: mindfulness meditations, yoga and breathing exercises, music integration, positive self-expression through writing and visual arts, and self-control activities. Outcomes reflected a decrease in negative behaviors: inattentiveness, impulsivity, depression, etc. Results stemmed future research - more rigorous studies to further investigate the impact of mindful practices and programs in schools.
Noted Preliminary Studies:
Mindfulness Activities and Teaching Resources - Practicing Mindfulness, Compassion, and Social-Emotional Skills www.mindfulteachers.org
This is a beautiful site that offers a multitude of sources: personal quizzes, activities in the classroom etc.
Body Awareness and Mindful Movement
Breathing and Relaxation
Effective Communication/Mindful Speech
Emotions and Thoughts
Noncompetitive Games and Group Activities
Yoga and Mindfulness Educates the Whole Child - L. Veon 2012
Yoga is a system of connecting the whole self: body, mind, and spirit. Through movement, breath, and mindfulness meditation (the act of paying attention to what is happening in the moment without the need to change the experience), students and teachers alike can cultivate a safe space in which to build a practice that supports patience and compassion for oneself and others and empowers positive decision making. In addition, classroom culture organically transforms into a place that encourages self-awareness and emphasizes distress tolerance, mood regulation, and empathic interpersonal skills.
Sing Song Yoga™ in the Classroom - School Program
Using Sing Song Yoga™ in the Classroom: A program that Builds Confidence, Self-Discipline, and Healthy Stress-Free Attitudes” is a powerful new yoga curriculum for schools and other youth groups.
This is an amazing program that schools in lower Michigan are whole-heartedly embracing - Deb has developed a program that encompasses whole-brain activities that promote personal health, self-discipline, and mindfulness through music and yoga practice. She is a part of my family.
Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity - Harvard Business Review 2014
This article highlights the significance of mindfulness in the workplace. It outlines the ease of sensory recognition as you become more aware of your own existence - your purpose, your choices, your own personal leadership.
Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. When you do that, it puts you in the present. It makes you more sensitive to context and perspective. It’s the essence of engagement. And it’s energy-begetting, not energy-consuming.
Take work processes. When people say, “This is the way to do it,” that’s not true. There are always many ways, and the way you choose should depend on the current context. You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.
Research continues to reflect a correlation between mindfulness and innovative thinking- as well as charisma. When we are actively engaged in our own existence - our mindset is controlled and powerful. We make purposeful choices, engage in conversation that is enlightening to others, and fully involve the whole self into present life.
Gina Pepin, Ed.D.
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