Continuing with the Back-to-School Series, I wanted to bring you the story of one teacher I recently read about, Megan Hennessey. Megan uses mindfulness and breathing techniques with her students everyday, but it wasn't always that way.
She writes about being at a loss to help her students that were struggling with racing thoughts, regulating their emotions, and distinguishing between a big problem and a little problem. She would witness the rise in her students' stress levels as they inadvertently triggered their "fight or flight" response in situations that did not warrant such a reaction.
After struggling for years with her own anxiety, she started to become acquainted with various mindfulness techniques and decided to give them a try in her own classroom.
In her article she shared:
"At the beginning of this school year, I decided to make mindfulness practices part of my classroom’s daily routines. Throughout their school day, the students repeatedly were exposed to mindfulness practices in different capacities. It became part of our morning routine: unpack, eat snack, do 5-10 minute guided meditation, then begin day. After every transition, the students participated in 3-5 minutes of deep breathing to bring their mind and bodies back to class. During lessons, at 15 minute intervals, the students practiced their deep breathing for a minute to give themselves a short mind break. Even for homework, I assigned 20 minutes of “unplugged” relaxation time every night."
I especially like that "20 minutes of unplugged relaxation time". I think we could all do with a little more of that homework assignment!
So whether you are a teacher in front of the classroom, a parent or a loving family member to a school-aged child, are returning to school yourself, or could just do with more moments of increased quiet time in your own head...give a new breathing technique, guided meditation, or hypnosis a place in your daily routine.