What does it mean to be “mindful?”

What does it mean to be “mindful?”

What does it mean to be “mindful”? This was the question Montessori educators within our communities were tasked to think about at a previous workshop. A workshop lead by Allison Morgan who is the founder and CEO of Zensational Kids. Her program aims to bring physical, social, and emotional skills to children and educators through the practices of yoga and mindfulness. When a student begins to drift their awarenesses inward to their thoughts and decision making processes, they are better able to react within a stressful situation.
So what does that mean? It means when students are offered a mindfulness practice they are connecting with their true Self. A Self that can control the way they feel about a certain stressors in their life, a Self who has the ability to change their human, given, negative mindset brain and begin to shift towards choosing a more positive outlook. Allison’s mindfulness curriculum is an evidence based offering for schools and educators to help give their students, of all ages and grades, an opportunity to learn how to tame big emotions and respond appropriately to situations, instead of triggering their fight, flight or freeze reactions. Students learn how to take time and slow down using their breath. Making a simple conscious decision to think about the way one breaths, to control that flow of oxygen in and out of the body, to consciously shift from thinking about all that we as humans have going on all the time to thinking about one simple action which we as humans need to do to survive, to breath, that individual gains the power to become the observer of them-self, helping to regulate those quick and often rash reactions.
So how does this tie into students learning? When a student is able to handle the stressors in their world, whatever it might be, they are more focused on the lessons being taught in their classrooms. A student gains the confidence that they know who they are and they know how they handle big emotions, which probably often interrupt their day. When big emotions are tamed, students have shown higher success rates inside the classroom.
So what can educators do? Zensational Kids has a website – www.Zensationalkids.com – with tips for educators and students to begin to bring a mindfulness practice into their classrooms. Aside from that one site, there are many websites with great information on introducing mindfulness practices into the day and its link to a less stressed, more focused student.

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