Mental Health Day Blog Party: Bringing Mindfulness to School

school girlChildren, today, juggle a wide variety of pressures and demands, often while living in a hectic and fast paced world. In today’s world children are likely exposed to a wide variety of electronic gadgets, often have long days, multiple after school activities and may face a wide variety of pressures, including peer pressure and pressures from parents to perform well in sports and academics.

Students today seem to be increasingly stressed. The MECA Study (Methodology for Epidemiology of Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents) estimated that almost 21 percent of U.S. children ages 9 to 17 had a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder associated with at least minimum impairment. Continue reading “Mental Health Day Blog Party: Bringing Mindfulness to School” »

Can Mindfulness Transform Feelings?

practicing mindfulness

When you mention mindfulness, many people immediately imagine Buddhist monks, sitting in the lotus position meditating.  If you are unaware of how mindfulness can be incorporated into many aspects of life, it can seem impractical in the midst of the pressures, demands and hassles that most people encounter every day.

However, practicing mindfulness-- defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as the process of paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally-- can have a significant impact on our functioning.  It can improve your ability to focus, as well as your ability to manage intense or painful emotions. Continue reading “Can Mindfulness Transform Feelings?” »

Mindfulness of the Season

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This fall focus on the moment. Walk through any area with trees and leaves and make a conscious attempt to really experience the season. What’s not to love about crackling leaves, crisp air, and warm apple cider? Fall is the season of apple picking, pumpkin farms, apple cider donuts, cool fruity wines, crackling fires and beautiful warm, sunny days. But sometimes fall slips by too quickly. Somewhere in the midst of school starting, sports practices, piano lessons, and new homework the season is gone.

Try walking mindfully through any area with trees and leaves and make a conscious attempt to really experience what is around you. Notice the leaves. Notice with your full attention. As you watch try to identify the different ways the leaves move and rustle in a breeze and crackle when you step on them. Notice the smell and the details of the veins and coloring. Be conscious of each step you take. If your attention wanders, gently bring it back to your walking and your surroundings.