Mindful Meditation For All

Hi everyone, Mr M here. Now children, all of your Jedi training over the last two years can finally be put into practice. It is time for you to reveal your secret identity to those you share your home with...

That you are a MEDITATION MASTER! 

Your mission is to use your superpowers to help yourself and those around you to stay calm and positive in these challenging times by teaching them how to meditate.

  

Here are links to two guided meditations:

misp .b playing attention is a funny and enjoyable introduction to mindful meditation                www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgXZW6Xqokw

misp .b beditation can help you to settle before you go to sleep                        www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5ut2NYdAEQ


 

Headspace                                                                                This is a great mindfulness app that I have used myself and have recommended to my own family and friends. If you work in education or the NHS, then you can now get it for FREE. There are three free guided meditations at www.headspace.com/covid-19, which can be very helpful if you are self-isolating: Relieving Stress (10mins), Walking At Home (10mins) and Feeling Overwhelmed (3mins).

 

Smiling Mind                                                                                This is another very good mindfulness app, which is FREE FOR ALL. Smiling Mind is a non-for-profit meditation program developed by psychologists and educators. 

 

@acaciascps                                                                                       Please upload a photo of you and your family meditating to the school Twitter account. 

 

 

Bird Watching                                                                                Watching wildlife, wherever you may be, is a proven way of gaining some inner peace. Use the RSPB's website to identify any birds that you can see from your window. Maybe list or sketch what you have spotted.                                                                                                      www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife

 

Bird Listening                                                                              Birdsong is one of the wonders of the natural world. A recent study found that actively listening to birdsong can have an immediate affect on our mood, with feelings of wellbeing boosted for several hours after. With a little practise, we can soon start to identify some familiar visitors. Both the links below feature easy to use audio samples with matching photographs.

www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/04/identify-bird-song

www.british-birdsongs.uk

Cloud Spotting - JUST LOOK UP!                                                        Nature's greatest canvas - the sky above us - is forever changing. Its beauty can be accessed in seconds, costs nothing and provides instant calm, whatever your age. Become a weather detective by identifying each cloud type based on its general shape and height in the sky.                        

Here is a handy info guide: downloads.bbc.co.uk/tv/greatbritishweather/cloudspottingguide.pdf

 

Keep a Nature Diar                                                                 Observing the natural world around you is the perfect way to reawaken a childlike sense of wonder and provides instant calm. Draw or write your observations each day as you seek out nature's ever changing treasures of discovery. The mental health charity Mind recommends 'ecotherapy' - immersing yourself in nature - as a key to maintaining mental wellbeing.             Check out this very colourful and detailed Nature Spotter's Checklist for the entire year:  https://css2.open.ac.uk/outis/docs/publications/OZQGBY.pdf

 

What is MINDFULNESS?                                                                 

Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. You can take steps to develop it in your own lifeNHS Website

At its most basic level, mindfulness helps train your attention to be more aware of what is actually happening, rather than worrying about what has happened or might happen. We learn to bring greater curiosity to whatever it is we experienceMindfulness in Schools Project

Mindfulness is a technique you can learn which involves making a special effort to notice what's happening in the present moment (in your mind, body and surroundings) – without judging anything. MIND – the mental health charity

 

 

What are the benefits of MINDFULNESS?

Feeling calmer - increased oxygen floods into the body, eventually helping the heart pace to slow down to create feelings of calmness and relaxation; activity in the ‘fight or flight’ amygdala part of the brain is reduced, so you become less prone to reacting to stress, worry and anxiety

Better concentration - the brain requires a great deal of oxygen to function and increased intake of oxygen helps us to achieve clarity and feel grounded and productive; focusing promotes more BDNF chemicals in the brain, which creates more neural connections

Feeling happier- smiling more and being grateful about what is going well in your day, or life, releases serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, the ‘good times’ neurotransmitters, as well as producing a more optimistic, motivated outlook

Sleeping better - brain waves are slowed down from beta to alpha ones allowing you to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer

Improved relationships - generosity in thought and action creates a chemical response that makes us feel better about ourselves and others

Emotional intelligence- the brain’s left prefrontal cortex (LPFC) increases in size and activity, increasing our self-awareness and empathy

Greater resilience - thicker neural connections develop between the LPFC and amygdala, allowing quicker recovery from challenges and set backs

Improved immunity - more activity in the LPFC means greater quantities of antibodies are produced to fight illness

Improved respiration - tension in the diaphragm and primary breathing muscles is released, relieving many long-term respiratory issues such as asthma and breathlessness

Improved posture - the chest opens up, releasing tension from the intercostal muscles and around the scapula, erector spinae and trapezius muscles, allowing for a more relaxed posture

Cardiovascular health - circulation increase to all of the major organs, including the heart and liver; there is a noticeable drop in high blood pressure

Better digestion - increased blood flow in the digestive tract encourages intestinal action and improves overall digestion, alleviating irritable bowel syndrome and constipation; in addition, deeper breathing results in a calmer nervous system which in turn enhances optimum digestion

Better skin - the ageing process is slowed by increasing secretion of anti-ageing hormones; skin conditions, such as psoriasis, can also improve