What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness — of our thoughts, our actions, and our environment. It is our ability to pay attention to the present moment, with curiosity and without judgment. Learn more here.
How can mindfulness programs benefit schools?
Mindfulness practice has many demonstrated benefits. In particular, mindfulness helps students focus and pay attention, regulate their emotions, manage stress, and improve impulse control.
Teachers who practice mindfulness develop their capacities to bring compassionate attention and awareness to the classroom, build meaningful relationships with students, manage their own stress, and avoid burnout. Learn more here.
Is mindfulness an evidence-based intervention in education?
The research on mindfulness in education has grown tremendously in the last few years. In addition to the benefits identified above, mindfulness in education has been shown to increase students’ sense of calm, decrease stress and anxiety, improve executive functioning skills, foster the development of conflict resolution skills, improve math scores, and increase empathy and understanding of others.
Is mindfulness religious?
No. Mindfulness-based interventions in education are grounded in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which was pioneered by the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 as a way to treat patients suffering from chronic pain and other ailments. MBSR is now taught in over 200 hospitals in the United States, and secular mindfulness therapies, such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), are utilized in many clinical settings today. All programs taught by Brilliant Mindfulness, LLC, are based on the MBSR model and are completely secular.
Is mindfulness the same as meditation?
Mindfulness can be thought of as a very specific form of concentration practice, cultivating one’s ability to be present and maintain awareness on a single task, thought, or objective. While mindfulness can involve sitting and breathing (traditionally perceived as meditation), it is best described as a set of techniques to develop our innate capacity for attention, empathy, and stress management.
How is mindfulness education for teachers different from other professional development programs?
Mindfulness for teachers is ultimately about self-care and wellness. Teaching is a stressful job, and mindfulness teaches educators practical skills for managing feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. Mindfulness-based professional development programs allow teachers time to pause, reflect, and care for themselves as they engage in the important work of teaching.
How would mindfulness support other programs in our school (SEL programs, conflict-resolution, character education, etc.)?
Mindfulness teaches fundamental skills that lie at the core of social emotional learning. Mindfulness education can support the programs schools already have in place by teaching kids emotional awareness and calming strategies. Many conflict-resolution programs, for example, assume students know when they are angry, or that they know how to calm themselves down, but unfortunately, many children have not been taught those skills. A mindfulness education program can serve as the foundation for a broad range of social emotional initiatives.