Mindfulness is about being fully present and aware of what’s happening in the present moment. It’s like giving our minds a little break from all the busyness and distractions around us.
Imagine your mind is like a busy bee, always buzzing around with thoughts, worries, and to-do lists. Mindfulness is like gently guiding that bee to a beautiful flower and letting it rest there for a while. It helps us slow down, pay attention, and enjoy the present moment.
Mindfulness can be helpful for both families and professionals that support children in schools.
Here are a examples of how:
1. Reducing stress: Mindfulness helps us pause and take a break from our worries and anxieties. By focusing on the present moment, we can let go of the past and future for a while, which can help us feel calmer and more at ease. This is ideal if you have an overactive neurodivergent mind.
2. Enhancing focus and attention: When we practice mindfulness, we train our minds to stay focused on what’s happening right now. This is especially helpful for students that are hypervigilant to their environments and always on alert.
3. Cultivating empathy and compassion: Mindfulness encourages us to be kind and understanding towards ourselves and others. By practicing non-judgmental awareness, we can develop a sense of empathy and compassion.
4. Improving self-regulation: Mindfulness helps us become more aware of our thoughts and emotions. This awareness allows us to respond to challenging situations with more control and thoughtfulness. It can be particularly beneficial for children who may struggle with managing their emotions and need an approach to them them.
5. Enhancing well-being: When we practice mindfulness regularly, it can contribute to an overall sense of well-being. It can help us appreciate the small joys in life, improve our relationships, and find more balance amidst the demands of daily life.
Incorporating mindfulness into family routines or school activities can be simple and accessible. It could involve short moments of deep breathing, guided relaxation exercises, or even mindful walking in nature. The key is to bring gentle attention to the present moment and encourage a non-judgmental attitude.
What Evidence is there that it works?
There is a growing body of research that suggests that mindfulness can be an effective intervention for a variety of mental health concerns in UK. In 2020, there were several studies that investigated the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
One study published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders in 2020 found that a mindfulness-based intervention was effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in a group of adults with generalized anxiety disorder.
Another study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2020 found that a mindfulness-based intervention was effective in reducing symptoms of depression in a group of adults with major depressive disorder.
A systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2020 in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as improving well-being and quality of life.