We are taking part in the Derbyshire Mindfulness Research Project. This project is being funded by North Derbyshire, Hardwick and Southern Derbyshire Central Commissioning Groups (CCG). Derbyshire Educational Psychology Service are working with the Mindful Attention Programme (MAP) to deliver Mindfulness in schools. This means that Enquirers will access the Mindful Attention Programme (MAP) in class.
The Mindful Attention Programme involves 45 minute sessions once a week for 9 weeks and there are also some short daily practices (3-5 minutes) in school.
There are also some activities you can do at home with your child to help them to practice their Mindfulness and for you to support them with this, these activities can also help you to gain understanding of Mindfulness for yourself.
What is Mindfulness?
The term mindfulness refers to the ability to direct the attention to experience as it unfolds, moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. (Kabat-Zinn, 1996).
The aim is to develop coping skills used throughout school and beyond which can support children in responding more helpfully rather than simply reacting to what is happening in their lives.
With our busy lives our minds are often very active thinking about all of the things that we need to do or things that have already happened. You could say that our mind is a bit like a snow globe. We might walk through the park on the way to work without seeing the baby ducks on the water, we might walk home from school without noticing the changing of colour of the leaves. We might not notice that we are feeling tired or that we are feeling a bit low. If we could perhaps be more aware of how we feel and what’s going on around us right now we might increase our wellbeing.
Mindfulness helps us to be more in the moment, in the here and now. It helps us to be more in tune with and to appreciate ourselves, the world around us and our lives. It helps us to “take a break” from our wandering mind, to focus our attention on the activity at hand and to just “be.”
Activities to try at home
The body scan
You will need to find somewhere comfortable to try this out, perhaps put a blanket on the floor, lie on the sofa or your bed.
As best you can try to place your attentional focus where requested and explore the sensations with curiosity - what does it actually feel like right now?
Each time your mind wanders, gently bring it back. Minds always wander - that's not a failure. Just try to continue to be kind and encouraging to yourself.