How calm and present are you in your daily life?
Are you ready for a mindful break from the world?
Denise talks with Grant Rix about how mindfulness can help us slow down to focus on what really matters in our lives to lift our wellbeing.
Grant Rix is the Director of the Mindfulness Education Group and is the creator of Pause, Breathe, Smile. PBS is New Zealand’s only researched school-based mindfulness programme and it’s aligned with the national curriculum. Along with his partner Tash Rix, Grant has also created an online mindfulness course for adults called BREATHE.
Mindfulness can help us be calmer and more present in our lives. It is a wellbeing strategy that can change the way we interact with ourselves and the world.
Mindfulness has two core aspects – noticing what is happening now with kindness and interest. Noticing involves fostering attention regulation skills and learning strategies to anchor us in the present. Using kindness and interest moderates how we are paying attention. The aim of mindfulness is to cultivate the qualities of curiosity, openness, acceptance and love at the same time as we are learning to better regulate our ability to focus.
In the ‘age of overwhelm’, change is constant, and our lives are busy. As we cram more into our days, we are moving away from a mindful approach to life. With the constant influx of information, a cascade of unpleasant feelings may follow. Mindfulness practice gives us the capacity to slow down enough to notice and let go of harmful patterns of thinking. In doing so, we can feel more balanced in our mind and body; much more connected with physical reality of life.
By being fully present we draw more richness from our lives, increasing our overall wellbeing. Greater clarity around our behaviour and awareness of how we spend our time also positively affects life satisfaction.
Researchers have identified that the PBS programme has multiple benefits for students. Increased calmness, focus and attention, self-awareness, and self-management are some of the most notable. Students with improved focus and attention also have increased levels of engagement with learning. This is in part due to experiencing more positive emotions and having better emotional regulation. PBS programme students also experience more positive relationships with their peers and can resolve more conflicts without adult intervention.
Teaching mindfulness in the classroom can have a positive impact at home too. Children share what they have learnt with their families, creating a ripple in the wider school community. As a parent, a mindfulness practice can increase the quality of relationships with children by becoming more present.
Check out the MEG website to learn more about mindfulness, PBS or to download the free parent resources: https://mindfulnesseducation.nz/
Find out more about the Headspace app: https://www.headspace.com/
Check out the University of Auckland online mindfulness resource – CALM: http://www.calm.auckland.ac.nz/
Read more about practising mindfulness in Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609618955/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0