what is mindfulness? - prairie rose school division no. imagery mindfulness scripts ... what is...
Post on 19-Apr-2018
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Table of Contents
What is Mindfulness.3
Benefits of Mindfulness5
Foundations of Mindfulness.7
Tips for Teaching Mindfulness.9
Breathing Exercises and Scripts......11
Guided Imagery Mindfulness Scripts.28
Mindfulness is not about avoiding difficult situations or feelings; its not a way to by-pass
problems or about achieving a different state of mind. Mindfulness is about being present even in
distressing times, its about not getting caught up in our reactions and its about experiencing our
current situation in a relaxed, alert and purposeful way without judgment on ourselves.
Research has shown that practicing Mindfulness in classrooms proves to have countless benefits
as you will read in this booklet. It is our hope that this resource manual will provide you with the
basic knowledge of Mindfulness Practice along with tools you can use in your own classroom.
Please know that any additional resources can be requested by any member of the DREAMS
team. In addition, DREAMS has a sign out sheet for our Mindful Bells that we encourage you to
use in your classrooms or with individual students as needed.
DREAMS would like to thank you for allowing us into your classrooms to begin practicing
Mindfulness. We look forward to working together to implement the practice of Mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
What is Mindfulness and How to Explaining Mindfulness to
Some educators find using this script helpful when explaining Mindfulness to their students:
Mindfulness is a way of practicing paying attention in a way that helps you live a happier
life. Mindfulness means paying attention to what is happening right now with kindness and
Whats really cool is that you get to learn through playing games, singing songs, talking and
When you learn about Mindfulness, its like you are being a scientist. You study your own self,
your own mind. You study your thoughts, your feelings, your friendships and your kindness.
Like any scientist, you do experiments and you discover things. For example:
Perhaps youll discover theres a happiness, a quiet peaceful place, which is always
You might discover ways to calm yourself down and lift your mood when upset, angry,
You might discover ways to be kinder to yourself, others and the world.
Youll learn about the brain too!
Through mindfulness, we learn to recognize when we are feeling uneasy or upset. We learn to
be with our direct experience, bringing kind awareness to what is true in our body and
mind. This awareness allows us to choose how to respond. We learn to replace harmful ways of
reacting with beneficial ways of responding.
Mindfulness Explained to Educators
Mindfulness means a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations,
and the surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay
attention to our thoughts and feelings without judgment. When we practice mindfulness, our
thoughts tune into what were sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or
imagining the future.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Why Practice Mindfulness in our Schools?
Body and Emotion regulation: when our bodies and emotions are balanced and
appropriate in our lives
Insight: self-knowing awarenessthis is key to building positive social connections
Attunement with others, ie. Resonance: This leads to the other persons experience
of feeling felt, of being understood. When children become more tuned in to
themselves, they are more tuned in to others around them
Empathy: allow us to see from the stance of another persons experience, imagining
others reality and perspective
Better Impulse Control/Response Flexibility: the capacity to pause before taking action
(this is key with children and teens!); being able to consider a variety of possible options
and to choose among them.
Fear modulation: our ability to calm and soothe, and even unlearn, our own fears
Intuition: access to awareness of the wisdom of the body
Increased Attention Span: practice of paying attention can build our attention muscles
in our brains
Morality: taking into consideration the larger picture, imagining and acting on whats
best for the larger group rather than just ourselves
Mindfulness Helps Schools
Theres scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behavior
problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay
attention. Teachers trained in mindfulness also show lower blood pressure, less negative emotion
and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder
of Mindfulness Based Stress reduction program
Foundations of Mindfulness
The Foundations of Mindfulness Practice
By practicing mindful awareness through sitting meditation we learn to cultivate the following
attitudes towards our life experience.
Impartial witnessing of thoughts and feelings; with kindness and intentionality, resisting
the inclination to judge and criticize our experience.
Resting in the wisdom that things need to unfold in their own time and allowing for this
process to happen.
The ability to see things as if for the first time with a sense of curiosity and genuine
interest. Allowing for preconceived ideas to not influence our direct experience of the
Recognizing our own inner wisdom and ability to guide ourselves in the practice of
knowing our minds.
Allowing oneself to be on the path with direction but also being in the present moment
each step of the way.
Permitting that whatever arises in your experience to be fully present, no matter what
your reaction may be, including resistance.
Recognizing the inclination to hold onto experiences, whether positive or negative, and
allowing oneself to let go of what is not needed or helpful.
Connected to each of these attitudinal foundations is: COMPASSION
Tips for Teaching Mindfulness
Tips for Teaching Mindfulness to Students
Here are some guidelines that Mindful Schools has created for educators who want to
incorporate mindfulness into the school day, or for anyone who wants to teach mindfulness to
children, based on our experiences with Mindful Schools.
Have your own mindfulness practice. This will make you more effective at teaching
mindfulness. We can only offer what we have developed ourselves.
Choose a time for mindfulness. We are creatures of habit! Try to always practice mindfulness
at the same time. Many teachers find mindfulness helps their class settle down after
recess or after lunch. Of course, you may do it more than once a day.
Create the environment. Make it clear that mindfulness is a special time: clear off desks,
perhaps move to the carpet, or have all chairs face the front of the room. Ask students not to take
bathroom breaks and refrain from talking and moving for a little while.
Get the students involved. The best way to make sure you remember to do mindfulness is to
enlist the help of your students. Create a rotation schedule for who gets to ring the mindfulness
bell. If you practice mindfulness at the same time every day, pretty soon you wont have to
rememberwhoevers turn it is will remind you!
You share. Because children respond well when we relay our own experiences, you can share
with the students if, how, and when you are using mindfulness in your life. If you share a recent
story of when you were overcome with emotion or used mindfulness to help you deal with an
emotion, they can hear how it is applied.
They share. Many young students like to share what theyve noticed or experienced during
mindfulness, or maybe something that was challenging or distracting. Sharing also allows others
to be aware of things to notice while practicing mindfulness that they may not have heard
Practice every day! The sooner you begin integrating mindfulness exercises into your daily
classroom routine, even for just a minute at a time, the quicker it will become a part of the
Breathing Exercises and Scripts
Mindful Moments Breathing Exercises
Teachers can sign out a Mindful Bell from DREAMS for these Mindful Moments.
Use the instructions and script below for a daily mindfulness lesson; it can be done in just one or
two minutes. You can do the same thing every day. A simple lesson to repeat daily is one