Cultivating calmness and enabling students to develop coping skills through mindfulness exercises to overcome the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic is a priority for educators and schools. Students and staff are still facing lingering concerns after battling a tumultuous period of uncertainties and confusion caused by the sudden transition to virtual learning last year.
Padmaja Sarathy’s Mindfulness-based Practices for Developing Brains: Cultivating Calmness, Concentration and Coping Skills guide is a must-have resource for teachers, therapists, administrators, and school districts. Making mindfulness sessions a regular part of the school day will assist in reducing the stress and anxiety of children (and will benefit teachers as well), while increasing their positive feelings of kindness and compassion towards others and build resilience. Thus, it will enable children to be successful not only this academic year, but they will also reap life-long positive benefits from practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness –– being aware and alert to the moment –– helps children and adults to use all of their senses to focus on the present moment and not worry about what happened in the past or stress about things to come in the future. Bringing attention back to the breath, no matter how many attempts it requires, will help us to calm ourselves through deep breathing when emotions are bubbling up inside. Mindfulness-based practices change a person’s ability to use emotion regulation strategies, thereby increasing positive affect and decreasing anxiety and negative affect.
Padmaja Sarathy’s Mindfulness-based Practices guide offers educators step-by-step coaching aided with pictorial illustrations to train students to practice mindfulness-based activities. In just 6-pages, the guide illustrates the what, why and how of mindfulness practice, identifying what it is, why it is beneficial, and most importantly, how to deliver easy-to-follow mindfulness exercises and incorporate it into the existing instructional framework.
With regular practice, mindfulness will enable and enrich students to cultivate calmness and develop their concentration and self-regulation skills, leading to desirable behavioral and academic outcomes now and forever.
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