Mindfulness is a simple and powerful tool that can be taught to children of all ages to support self-awareness, stress reduction, focus and self-regulation. The underlying skill of mindfulness practice is to bring non-judgmental awareness to the present moment which can be done through conscious observation of the senses, of thoughts or of emotions. The OHDS Mindfulness Facilitator rotates through classrooms over the course of the year, using a sixteen lesson curriculum developed by Mindful Schools. Lessons last approximately fifteen minutes and are delivered twice per week over the course of about eight weeks. Over their years at OHDS students slowly build awareness of mindfulness techniques and are encouraged to use these methods to support self-regulation.
Mindfulness techniques and skills include:
- Paying attention to breath, sounds and physical sensations
- Noticing thoughts and returning to focus
- Observing emotions and “creating space” between emotions and reactions
- Nurturing feelings of gratitude and compassion