Monthly SAP Newsletter
Mindfulness for the New Year
According to the American Psychological Association, engaging in regular Mindful Practices have been shown, among other benefits, to:
- Reduce Stress
- Reduce Rumination (replaying the same thoughts in our head)
- Increase Working Memory
- Increase Ability to Focus
- Decrease Emotional Reactivity
- Increase Flexible Thinking
- Increase Relationship Satisfaction
Mindful Practices for Families
1) Embrace Imperfection- As parents we are going to make mistakes, have grace with yourself.
2) Listen with curiosity- Put yourself in you child's shoes and try to understand their perspective.
3) Communicate- Be clear and honest with each other about what you need.
4) Practice Gratitude- Acknowledge your kids if they help out and shift the household culture to one of appreciation.
5) Forgive ourselves and each other- Accept mistakes and remember none of us are perfect.
6) Practice support and kindness -Consider getting involved in service projects. Kindness acts are the healing agent in families and our world.
7) Remember to play and have fun- Life can be so busy and stressful. Make time for fun and enjoy being together.
Helping kids cope with stress
1) Belly Breathing-When you breath in, your belly expands. When you breath out, your belly contracts. Repeat several times.
2) Mindful breathing-Notice your breath and focus on how it moves through your body.
3) Teddy bear breath- Lie down and place a stuffed animal on you belly. Watch the animal as it moves up and down while you breathe.
4) Four square breathing - Breathe in for a count of 4, hold breath for a count of 4, breath out for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4. Repeat several times.
Mindfulness in Education
There is significant research to support teaching Mindfulness in schools. Not only has it shown to increase a student's ability to regulate their emotions and reduce stress, it also has shown to increase their academic success. As explained by Positive Psychology, Mindfulness in education has found the following benefits:
- Attention and Focus
- Better Grades
- More Effective Emotional Regulation
- Better Behavior in School
- Greater Empathy and Perspective Taking
- Better Social Skills
- Reduced Test Anxiety
- Less Stress
- Decreased Frequency/ Severity of Posttraumatic symptoms
- Lower Rates/ Severity of Depression
Benefits do not stop with the Students. According to Harvard's Graduate School of Education, research has shown that affording teachers the ability to engage Mindfulness in education helps teachers
- Improve Their Own Emotional Well-being
- Helps Teachers Understand the Student Perspective
- Frees up Teachers to be More Effective in the Classroom
Consider Using Mindfulness as a Catalyst for Professional Growth.
Mindfulness is highly adaptive. Activities can be tailored for any grade level, space or available resources. Below are links to activities by age group.
Mindful Activities for the Classroom:
Here are Ted Talks discussing the value of mindfulness in education