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Mindfulness Skills for Health and Happiness

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  • Relax their bodies and minds
  • Enhance attention skills
  • Calm themselves when upset

Programs

KindKids Project introduces Mindfulness skills and other kindness tools to students and teachers in schools. The KindKids programs are informed by the most up to date scientific studies with research pointing to a wealth of benefits including: enhanced happiness, effective stress management, sustainable performance, improved impulse control, increased optimism and empathy.

 

 

7-11 year olds

The KindKids mindfulness program has been designed specifically for 7-11 year olds in the classroom, although it can also be used in other settings. Fundamentally, KindKids brings awareness raising exercises to children and gives all students a taste of mindfulness so that they know about it and can return to it later in life if they choose to do so. For many pupils the course can lead to immediate results: they feel more content, calmer and confident; they can concentrate better; they have a toolbox which points them to the inner resources to manage stress and anxiety.

 

The KindKids curriculum is a set of ten lessons, each teaching a specific mindfulness skill, and designed to do so in a way which engages children’s minds. The lessons typically include age-appropriate, playful and often natured-based teaching tools and metaphors, interactive exercises and demonstrations to make the ideas vivid and relevant to their lives. Putting mindfulness in a relevant context motivates pupils to become still and allows the teacher to lead them in some short practices – for example learning to sit still and watch the breath, be aware of different parts of the body, walk mindfully or become more aware of how the body feels under stress. It will typically end with an invitation to do some brief practices at home during the week. The whole course is supported by a student activity booklet.

 

Testimonials

Focus – Presence- Engagement

KindKids had a profound and positive effect on my daughter (aged 8). Through the mindfulness techniques learnt at KindKids she has been able to focus for longer periods of time, be present and engaged in activities and keep calm while navigating our busy life. This has benefited her school life – both social and academic – and has meant she has been able to participate in activities outside school that she once struggled to enjoy.

Best of all is when I overhear her encouraging one of her friends to try one of the techniques that she learnt at KindKids. Makes me realize just how far she has come in terms of her own self-discovery and development.

I’m very grateful that she was able to be a part of the KindKids programme and I very much recommend it to kids of all ages.

Alyson Standen, Actor, Director and Mum

 

Decreased Frustration and Anxiety

Over the last two years KindKids has been greatly beneficial for my two daughters at Waverley Primary School. Last year particularly when my youngest in Year 2 was experiencing separation anxiety, the methods Rachael Fisher employed during the classes were really helpful. My daughters constantly tell me how much they enjoy the KindKids activities and look forward to the classes, as they are ‘interesting’ and make them ‘feel calm’. My eldest daughter also says she feels less frustrated through participating in the activities.

In our fast-paced society I believe it’s really important for children to learn how to stop for a moment and think about their emotional world and their relationships and learn strategies that will help them understand and manage these into the future.

Jacqui- Mother of two girls

 

Inner Calm- Confidence

I enjoyed just calming down and hearing the mindfulness bell. I thought to myself ‘’I’m just going to calm down . I breathe in and I breathe out.’’ That just feels nice knowing that you can be mindful and calm. If I ever get stressed I can just come back to my mindful breathing and say ‘’It’s alright’’. Year 6 student

When I sent Kind wishes it felt like my heart turned into a pure gold diamond. Year 5 student

 

Decision Making- Responsibility- Relationships

I enjoyed Mindful Breathing because it helps me realise what I might say or do next and how it might affect others. Mindfulness helps me experience my emotions and helps calm me down before I react without thinking. Year 6 student

I practise mindful breathing when I am just about to react. Normally I would react straight away but when I mindfully breathe then I calm down and usually think about taking a different path such as sending kind wishes because it makes me feel great. Year 6 student

Mindfulness helps me notice things better and see things in greater detail. I found mindful breathing really helpful when I was about to react. I think I will use mindfulness a lot when I am in tricky situations and when someone has made me angry. Year 5 student

Mindfulness helps me when I am in the middle of an uncomfortable situation. I learned that you don’t need to fight but with just one mindful breath I can calm down. Year 5 student

I also love sending kind wishes because I think about other people that I love and care for. Year 5 student

 

Savouring- Appreciation

With mindfulness, people would experience more of the world’s inner beauty. Without it they could miss wonderful experiences that might only come once in a lifetime. Year 6 student

 

11-18 year olds

KindKids Project is proud to bring the .b program to schools in Australia. .b is created by Mindfulness in Schools Project whose aim is to encourage, support and research the teaching of secular mindfulness in schools.

 

 

What is .b?

.b is a fun, engaging mindfulness course for young people aged 11-18, delivered in the classroom or in small groups It has been evaluated positively by the University of Cambridge and Oxford Brookes, and can be used in a wide range of contexts and age ranges.

 

What happens in a .b lesson?

The .b curriculum is a set of nine lessons, each teaching a distinct mindfulness skill, and designed to do so in a way which engages young minds. The lessons typically include a brief presentation by the teacher with the help of lively, pupil-friendly visuals, film and sound images, and practical exercises and demonstrations to make the ideas vivid and relevant to their lives. Putting mindfulness in a relevant context motivates pupils to become still and allows the teacher to lead them in some short practices – for example learning to sit still and watch the breath, be aware of different parts of the body, walk mindfully or become more aware of how the body feels under stress. It will typically end with an invitation to do some brief practices at home during the week. The whole course is supported by a student handbook.

The aim

At the most basic level .b aims simply to be an awareness raising exercise to give all students a taste of mindfulness, so they know about it, and can return to it later in life and find out more about then if they think they might find it useful. So the most fundamental aims are:

 

  • For all pupils to know about mindfulness
  • For most to have enjoyed it
  • For many to use it now and again
  • And some to practice daily
  • For as many as possible to remember it

 

However many pupils really get into mindfulness in their own lives in the here and now, finding that it helps them to achieve more effectively goals they have right now – such as focus in class, achieve in sport, enjoy a leisure activity, or get on with others. For pupils with problems it can become a lifeline to help them deal with present difficulties.

 

What are the intended outcomes of .b?

.b aims to help young people:

 

  • To experience greater wellbeing e.g. feel happier, calmer, more fulfilled
  • To fulfil their potential and pursue their own goals e.g. be more creative, more relaxed, academically, personally
  • To improve their concentration and focus, in classes, in exams and tests, on the sports field, when playing games, when paying attention and listening to others
  • To work with difficult mental states such as depressive, ruminative and anxious
  • thoughts and low moods
  • To cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life such as exams,
  • relationships, sleep problems, family issues

 

Research

Amongst adults there is reasonably strong evidence for the positive impact of mindfulness on a wide range of mental and physical health conditions, on social and emotional skills and wellbeing, and on learning and cognition. There is also good evidence from neuroscience and brain imaging that mindfulness meditation reliably and profoundly alters the structure and function of the brain to improve the quality of both thought and feeling.

Research with children and young people is not yet as extensive as with adults, and the studies carried out so far have some methodological limitations, most notably small numbers, and limited use of control groups or randomisation. Conclusions must therefore be tentative. Nevertheless, work is growing rapidly and the results are promising which suggests that mindfulness in schools is well worth doing.

READ MORE

 

Comments from students who have taken .b course for teens

 

Increased Awareness- Acceptance

“Mindfulness helped me to accept things instead of pushing them away”

“I don’t really criticise people as much…. some people are the same and some people are different, so after mindfulness I understand why people are different, and you have to accept that you can’t change that.”

 

More Rational Thinking

“It just helps me to gather up my thoughts, and sort of restart…. I can keep my mind focused, just getting work done, and find the answer to the problems I face.”

“I’ve started to think positively more…”

“I’ve known how to make choices better, and I make better choices – better for me, for now and for my future.”

 

More Calm – Relaxation – Less Stress

“Very useful…I use it when stressed, overworked.”

“When I think about calming down, I’ve actually had some lessons on how to do it, so I can do it.”

“It was the only time in the week where I could relax and clear my mind.”

“It enabled me to be able to focus on the present moment, without worrying about exams, results, homework and so on.”

 

Less Reactivity and Impulsiveness

“Less teasing because I’m not reacting to it anymore – they do call me names, it’s just I choose to ignore it.”

“It’s helped me to stop doing all that stupid stuff I do… and I like it”

“Once my brother was annoying me so much, I hit him, and I got told to go to my room, so I did FOFBOC a 7-11 in there, and after about five minutes I calmed down.”

 

Better Behaviour in Class

“Our class actually got quite a lot more well-behaved as a result of it.”

“It helps a lot – other people aren’t being distracting, and it helps you not distract other people if everyone’s doing what they’re meant to be doing.”

 

Improved Attention – Increased Focus

“I didn’t pay attention that much, but now I get focused on what the person’s telling me.”

“There have been times when I wanted to be distracted, but I’ve controlled myself to carry on doing what I’ve been doing.”

 

Improved Academic Attitudes, Skills and Achievements

“Now I try to do like the best I can, achieve the most that I possibly can.”

“It made revision a lot easier if I just took the time to focus.”

“I have already found it useful in sporting situations. I now ‘.b‘ quite often before a football match just to relax and think about what I want to do in the game.”

 

Increased Confidence- Competance

“I feel now I can reach my goals of what I want to do in the future, whereas before I was ‘Oh I don’t know if I can do that’… now, I feel like I can.”

“It’s helped me be calmer in class and less anxious, so being more confident and speak out… the teacher will explain it – if you get it wrong, you find out how to do it right.”

 

Goal Setting

“Before I didn’t really care, but now I do care what I do in the future.”

“I used to not want to try anything new, but now I’m more open to the future, or not as closed-minded.”

 

Relationships with Others

“I used to argue with my Mum a lot. Since I’ve done the mindfulness, we haven’t had an argument.”

“I’ve realised that you can trust other people. I had fear of certain people; now I know that everyone is the same.”

 

Health

“I used to have pretty bad insomnia; I didn’t used to be able to sleep much at all, but I’m not too bad now…. the ‘Beditation’ practice, that’s the thing that helps me; it’s part of my routine now.”

“I feel healthier….. I think that it’s healthy mind, healthy body. I’m probably in better shape than I’ve been ever in my life, which is pretty good. My skin cleared up immediately, just whilst doing the mindfulness lessons; I’m sure it was connected, and I’ve just been more willing to look after myself.”

 

Happiness- Enjoyment

“I really think I am happy….. I’m really enjoying my life at the moment in a way I haven’t done previously.”

“I’ve noticed I’ve been calmer, and more playful, and yeah, more happy.”

  • KindKids Project

    provides schools and communities with practical training in the skills of Mindful Awareness blended with the explicit teaching of values that underpin all learning and wellbeing. We draw on the leading studies of neuroscience, positive psychology and mindfulness education, to strengthen well being, awaken resilience and empower youth with the tools to thrive in their personal and academic lives.