Mindfulness - Being present and fully engaged

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness means paying full attention to something. It means slowing down to really notice what you are doing. When you are being mindful you're taking your time and you're focusing in a relaxed and easy way.

Being mindful helps you to:

  • • pay attention better
  • • be less distractible
  • • learn more
  • • stay calm under stress
  • • avoid getting too upset about things
  • • slow down instead of rush
  • • listen better to others
  • • be more patient
  • • get along better
  • • feel happier and enjoy things more

Being mindful helps people in just about every part of life. Learning how to be mindful when you are at a young age can give you a chance to get really good at it and use it all the time later on in life.

How Does Mindfulness Work?

You need to practice mindfulness to get good at it. Training the mind takes practice and the more you practice, the better you get.

If you practice mindfulness exercises, being mindful can come naturally when you need it in your everyday life. This can help when you're stressed, when you have to do something difficult, or when you have to focus your attention. It's a lot like you are training your brain! When you practice mindfulness, you're training your attention. Research shows that practicing mindfulness can improve attention for just about everybody — including those who think they have trouble paying attention.

Anyone can practice mindfulness. It's easy to do, and it just takes a few minutes a day. Here are the basic steps:

  • 1. Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus your attention on, like a word you repeat in your head or your breathing.
  • 2. Let's say you decided to focus on your breathing. Breathe normally while you simply pay attention to your breath. If you want, you can close your eyes. As you breathe in and out, just notice each breath. Pay attention in an easy way — on purpose, but not forced.
  • 3. Notice when your mind wanders away from paying attention to your breath. Maybe you start thinking about what's for lunch, or whether you remembered to bring your soccer gear, or that funny joke someone told at recess. That's your mind wandering and getting distracted. It's natural, minds do that all the time!
  • 4. Whenever you notice your attention has wandered, gently remind yourself to pay attention to breathing again. That's how you train your attention.
  • 5. Keep breathing, keep relaxing, keep paying easy attention to your breathing. Can you feel the place where the air tickles your nostrils? Do you notice how the breath gently moves your body? Can you pay attention to your belly or your chest moving as you breathe? Keep bringing your attention back to the breathing every time your mind wanders. Try to do this for 5 minutes.

That's it! There are lots of other ways to practice mindfulness, like eating mindfully or even mindful walking. Try picking different things to focus on to help you practice training your attention.

Useful Websites:

Useful Apps:

• Smiling Mind

• Calm,

• Headspace

• Buddhify

Mindful Activities:

Live it: Integrate mindful practices into your daily routines to create a life that is more peaceful, ‘in tune’ and less stressful.

  • * Create time in your day to be mindful
  • * Eliminate distractions from your mindful routine
  • * Listen mindfully
  • * Bedtime routine
  • * Mindful eating

Wellbeing and Learning cannot be separated. One supports the other and it helps:

  • • Attention regulation
  • • Information processing speed
  • • Working memory, creativity
  • • Cognitive flexibility
  • • Meta-cognition
  • • Executive functioning
  • • Problem solving
  • • Planning
  • • Verbal reasoning •
  • Academic achievement
  • • Social competence
  • • Emotional regulation

Mindfulness - Being present and fully engaged