Concepts of the week:
This week, we talked about reaction vs. response, and how mindfulness is a tool for a thoughtful response. At this point, we are planting seeds and building skills. We know that students will struggle with self-regulation - they are teenagers! But, mindfulness can help to be a skill for self-regulation.
We introduced the tool of using the breath as our “anchor” - the place we can always come back to. Focusing on our breath is an opportunity to regain focus, regain awareness of our bodies, take a pause before a reaction, calm ourselves, etc.
What you can do at home:
Students can continue to practice mindful listening and now mindful awareness of breath. Conversations at home should be inquisitive in nature, “I’m curious to learn more about how you use breath in mindfulness”, versus pressuring, “Have you practiced your mindful breathing today, because you seem really tense.” Teenagers will inherently resist what we tell them to do, right? So, let’s stick with planting the seeds with them. Open conversations about what they are learning, ask them if they try it outside of class, ask them what it feels like to sit still for 60 or 90 seconds on purpose (in our sessions or on their own), and let them do most of the talking!
Interested in learning more? Click here for an interesting article on how mindfulness builds compassion. This is something we will intentionally focus on in later weeks. .