What do you need to know?
What is mindfulness meditation?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.Bayes-Fleming, Nicole, et al. “Getting Started with Mindfulness.” Mindful, 14 Sept. 2018, www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/.
During mindfulness meditation, we are forced to take a moment to breathe and explore the inner complexities of our mind. It allows us to become fully aware of our senses, thoughts, and emotions. Our brains are full of neural connections, which make up our behavior and habits. Only a small percentage of our thoughts and decisions are actually conscious; the majority of our personalities and behaviors are all subconscious. By practicing mindfulness meditation more often, we are able to get more in touch with this subconscious part of our brain, allowing us to act and react better in certain situations. If we can make mindfulness a consistent part of our lives, it starts to become a habit and those neural connections become stronger. In fact, research has shown that long-term mindfulness training can actually remodel the physical structure of our brains overtime.
How does this relate to stress in school?
Increasing the practice of mindfulness in school allows students to better regulate their emotions and manage stress. Requiring students to take time out of their day to sit back and reflect allows them to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of their school life, whether that be the academic aspect or social aspect. Additionally, this is the age in which the development of the brain is most impactful on them in the future. Developing a better understanding of themselves and their emotions at such a young age can be extremely beneficial for their future lives and careers in the professional world.
What programs and resources already exist?
I would like to implement a structured set of time in our school’s schedule where we, as a community, are required to spend 5 minutes on mindfulness meditation.
In the picture to the right, I have our school’s schedule. We have a rotating block schedule, which can make this a little bit more complicated, but still not too hard. I propose changing the first 5 minutes of class after lunch everyday to be dedicated to mindfulness meditation. The reason I am choosing after lunch specifically is because we will have just come back from a social part of the day so we might be too energetic to concentrate in class. Additionally, it is the middle of the day so it acts as a time to “restart” our brains before finishing our afternoon classes.
- Monday: 12:55 – 1:00 (beginning of E Block)
- Tuesday: 12:30 – 12:35 (beginning of Advising)
- Wednesday: 12:15 – 12:20 (beginning of C Block)
- Thursday: 12:45 – 12:50 (beginning of E Block)
- Friday: 12:25 – 12:30 (beginning of G Block)
How can you get involved?
1. Implement my response into your own community
Look at your school’s schedule. Try to find a time in each day where it makes sense to implement 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation.
2. Practice mindfulness meditation on your own
Follow either of these guides and try to do mindfulness meditation. If you can, try to do this once everyday.
3. Respond to the prompts below to give myself and others even more ideas:
What current mindfulness options does your school offer?
What other ideas do you have?
Feel free to leave comments down below with any other feedback or ideas for me!