Daniel Warren Elementary School students are learning different strategies to relax, focus, improve attention and better prepare for class as part of the school’s newly implemented Mindfulness program, a pilot that is currently available to six classes.
Each week, the students meet with mindfulness instructor Cheryl Brause, director of 2bpresent, to learn mindfulness skills that can help them feel energized, engaged and ready to learn. During the 15-minute sessions, they stretch their muscles, listen to the singing bowl, close their eyes and practice focusing their attention. They also learn how to become more aware of their emotions and thoughts and practice basic relaxation exercises.
“The whole idea is to get students familiar with ways to improve their ability to focus and pay attention and understand they have control of their own emotional regulation,” Brause said. “All of those skills can help them exercise greater self-awareness, improve their emotional wellbeing and boost their concentration so they’re ready to learn in school.”
During a recent session, Brause used a breathing ball to help students visualize their own deep breaths and teach them how to control their breathing, which can help them concentrate and calm down. She said some of the benefits of teaching mindfulness include reducing stress, increasing physical wellness and emotional balance, improving cognitive function and creating a sense of ease in daily life.
Students will continue to meet with Brause to practice a variety of mindfulness techniques through the end of April.