WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the present moment without interpretation or judgment. It can be understood as a number of meditative type practices and approaches to thinking which have been shown to reduce the unhelpful mental and physiological symptoms of stress. It is also a form of ‘brain training’ and ‘brain relaxing’ which improves our ability to concentrate, be creative and generate feelings of balance, centeredness, calm and enjoyment.
Neuroscientists concur that the plasticity of the brain at any age is such that we can shape our ability to concentrate more fully and for longer periods of time. Our thoughts trigger chemical releases which directly affect the physiology of our brain and bodies, both immediately and in the longer term. Where these are negative, there are detrimental effects to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Where these are positive, the opposite is true.
Mindfulness offers a set of short simple practices which can be incorporated into daily life. They can be learned very easily and have been shown to be hugely effective in helping people to gain a sense of wellbeing and control over their lives. The pressures of work and home against the noisy backdrop of society and the media can drown out our sense of self. As a way of coping with so many demands, we do more and more on autopilot and without conscious awareness.
Eventually, we can feel that we are missing out on our lives, that somehow life is passing us by in something of a blur, rather like looking out of the window from a highspeed train.
Mindfulness brings us back to our five senses and as stress levels and repetitive thoughts and habits are reduced, we feel energised and connected to ourselves and our environment in ways which bring our intentions and actions back into alignment. This makes us more effective, resourceful and resilient. People who practise mindfulness describe increased conscious awareness as a place of choice, intention and feeling fully alive.
Kathryn can help you to learn and use mindfulness techniques in ways which best support your unique aims, needs and preferences.
Kathryn can also use counselling, psychotherapy and/or hypnosis to support the aims of your mindfulness coaching.
MINDFULNESS IN SCHOOLS
Using her experience in Education, Kathryn teaches classroom-based mindfulness techniques having trained with the Mindfulness in Schools Project. A great deal of media attention has arisen recently as a result of the growing body of rigorous research evidence regarding the potential benefits of mindfulness for young people. These include randomised control trials and neuroscientific studies.
As Professor Katherine Weare (Emeritus Professor, Southampton and Exeter Universities) observed in her award-winning research summary: Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People, schools who engage in mindfulness are likely to see ‘beneficial results on the emotional wellbeing, mental health, ability to learn and even the physical health of their students. Such interventions are relatively cheap to introduce, have an impact fairly quickly, can fit into a wide range of contexts and above all are enjoyable and civilising, for pupils and staff.’
The classroom-based mindfulness curriculum which Kathryn can deliver to your pupils is called Paws b. It is a 4-12 weekly lesson curriculum for 7-11 year olds which often sits well within a school's PHSE curriculum or elsewhere, and also informally through integrating the learning and practice to mindfulness in all National Curriculum subjects and in your children's everyday lives.
During the course, children learn about many things including:
Specific areas of the brain and how these affect our ability to focus, make good choices, recognise when we need to steady ourselves when our body or mind is busy or out of balance
Ways that mindfulness can help them in learning, including concentration and memory
Behaviour self-management, and the benefits it can bring to their relationships with family and friends.
Ways to respond rather than react - and therefore make better choices and take best care of themselves and others.
Kathryn can explain mindfulness and the teaching she will deliver to both staff and parents, informally and/or formally. She will help them to understand how best to support the benefits of the mindfulness curriculum which they can expect for their children.
The feedback from children who have taken part in Paws b is very positive. They report enjoying the lessons and find the learning supports them in a broad range of situations from being able to concentrate and focus more easily in school to helping them feel calmer in exams and competitions. Many have described sharing the learning with other family members and finding it helps them with their relationships with family and friends.
For more information about feedback from children and the research evidence behind this mindfulness package, please contact Kathryn
It’s about using short science-based meditative techniques to improve concentration, creativity, mood control and general health and wellbeing