Do you ever feel overwhelmed? You know that feeling when everything is happening all at once? Soccer practice, school, family, friends, band rehearsal, dance recital, peer pressure, social media, carpool, tryouts, homework, tests, social events…did I mention tests! All of these things can lead to “feeling stressed out,” social anxiety, test anxiety, fear and worries and other feelings that are very real. If not addressed this can lead to lack of sleep, various body aches, loss of appetite and an overall feeling of not being able to enjoy the simple things in life. Sound familiar?
This is where being “mindful” or mindfulness comes into play. What exactly is mindfulness? Great question! Some people have an idea of what being mindful or practicing mindfulness looks like – incense, self-care, spa days, etc. Mindfulness means paying full attention to something. It means taking your time to really notice what is going on around you and how your body is feeling.
Sometimes, mindfulness can happen naturally. Let’s say you’re getting ready to take a foul shot in basketball. You start to get nervous, your heart beats faster, knees get shaky, all eyes are on you! Ever notice that the pros take a deep breath before they shoot? That is being “mindful” or “being present.” You may line up your toes, bounce the ball a few times, etc. Everyone has their own routine to calm their mind so that they can focus on the task.
We know that the pandemic threw us all for a loop and everyone has been trying to figure out their “new normal.” Let’s face it, even before the pandemic, we, as educators, have seen students changing in levels of stress, anxiety, and mental uneasiness. We also know that when students are not FEELING well and lack positive relationships at school, their grades, behavior, and mental wellness will start, or continue, to decline.
Research shows that mindfulness can help with self-regulation and self-awareness. Being able to regulate your emotions helps YOU be in control of YOU. By being in control of yourself, you will be able to be more present, responsive and less reactive to situations that may be triggering or stressful. Mindfulness promotes a practice that builds social-emotional skills as well as physical and mental well-being.
Hiveclass did the research on how to address these factors; hence the creation of BEEAware, the SEL curriculum, and Hivemind, the Mindfulness curriculum. Through BEEAware, student, educator, and parent voices, Hiveclass created a series of interactive lessons that empower students to participate in learning and successfully using their bodies and emotions to address their emotional needs. Educators using Hivemind in all classrooms can reduce negative behaviors, increase attendance, and improve sound relationships throughout their hive.
So, how do you get started? To build a mindfulness routine, set a time of day to practice (e.g. every day in the morning or every night before bed). There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. Take notice of when your breathing is becoming rapid or you begin to feel frustrated or anxious. Stop and take 3 deep breaths. Maybe you want to go for a walk? Appreciate the lighting, the color of the trees or even the sounds you hear. Mindful eating encourages you to pay attention to what you taste or smell and slow down your chewing to enjoy your food. Mindful driving or commuting is also a great way to stay calm and focus on your surroundings.
Here are some short steps to help you get started as you begin incorporating mindfulness in your daily life:
- Start by finding a quiet room without any distractions
- Settle into a comfortable, seated position in a quiet space, resting your hands gently on your lap
- Soften your gaze by looking out in front of you, or gently close your eyes
- Notice the rise and fall of of your belly as you connect with your breathing
- Notice how your body is feeling
- Take a deep breath in….belly goes out. Breathe out…belly goes in. Repeat 3 times
- Acknowledge any thoughts that may come and let them go
- Return to your natural breath and slowly open your eyes.
- That’s it!
To learn more about how Hiveclass is incorporating mindfulness into the platform please connect with our team – we’d love to show you how it works.