Mindfulness at Wirreanda
We are extremely lucky and excited to be part of a research and trial in Mindfulness for year 8 students at Wirreanda Secondary School.
Catherine Johnson is a qualified mindfulness teacher, as well as being a physiotherapist with an honours degree in psychology and currently undertaking a psychology research PHD.
What is mindfulness? It is a scientific approach to increase mental resilience and happiness. Research over the past 30 years show benefits of mindfulness programmes for preventing and managing stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Catherine is facilitating a course with a group of year 8 students during Tuesday Pastoral Care time this term. Delivery involves short talks, discussion, games and short mindfulness practices, with encouragement to practice these skills at home. Mindfulness practice includes:
– Learning to be still and focus on breathing (a way to train attention and to self calm)
– Scanning different parts of the body, and learning how the body feels with emotions under stress.
– Performing every day activities ‘mindfully’ (e.g., really noticing smells, tastes and textures of eating, taking notice of sensations , breathing and sounds when walking) so we can savour the positive and notice unpleasant experiences in life with a sense of curiosity, rather than ‘avoiding’ behaviour.
Last week, our lesson focused on Mindfulness Eating. We paid attention to our thoughts, emotions and body sensations when eating certain foods. These included chocolate, lemon and chilli. It was a great experience, really focusing on how certain food smells, it’s texture and how we respond to it.
This week, our lesson reviewed what we have already learnt, and how we can transfer these skills to Mindfulness Walking.
We look forward to the next few weeks and continuing to share our learning and it’s benefits.
Kadri Auvaart – Counsellor/ Community Connections