An emotion catcher
15 students from years 11, 12 and 13 at Longfield Academy have recently completed a six week course in meditation and mindfulness aimed at helping them to combat potential examination stress. Practitioner, Kerry Madgwick, http://www.vitalitylifestyleformula.com/ commented.
“I feel very privileged to be able to go in to schools and share something I love and that has had a significant impact on my life which is Meditation and Mindfulness.
Over the 6 week Meditation and Mindfulness Course at Longfield Academy it was wonderful to be able to help students find simple ways of dealing with their stress /anxiety and busy lives both in the school environment with the day to day stress as well as exam pressure and in their lives outside of school. I believe that Mediation and Mindfulness should be simple and easy and that each person can find a technique that works for them so they can use those tools and techniques daily.
Some of the students found the breathing exercises helpful, whilst others preferred the walking meditation as they could use this on their walk to school in the morning and again on the walk home in the afternoon. We also spoke about Gratitude and how being grateful can give us a better perspective in life, the more we are grateful for the more things we find to be grateful for, the students were all provided with a journal and encouraged to keep notes of their progress as well as using the journals as a daily Gratitude Journal.
As this was all very new and different all of the students were really brave to take part in a course that most of them had never heard of, at first they found the meditation a little uncomfortable but towards the third week, they had all begun to settle down and relax into the guided meditations and visualizations. Two of the activities they really enjoyed were the mindful eating, the students had fun tasting, touching and mindfully eating raisins; so often we are so busy that we forget to stop and enjoy our food and really taste it, so the mindful eating exercise is a great way to help students stop and think about what they are eating, to enjoy their food and hopefully make better food choices. The other activity that we had a lot of fun with was making emotion catchers, it was so lovely to see in a world filled with technology and computer games etc that the students had a fun time folding up paper to make their own emotions catchers. It was the only exercise I wasn’t sure of, but I am so glad that I introduced this and will continue to use it in future as I feel part of the learning process is having fun and part of being mindful and reducing stress and anxiety is having fun and finding joy in the little things.
My vision is to help make Mediation and Mindfulness a mainstream activity in schools and accessible to everyone rather than just a few students at a time so a big Thank you to Longfield Academy, Louisa Felstead and all the students for being part of that vision and bringing me a step closer. I know for all the students that decide to practice mindfulness because it is a practice, it is not a one and done thing, it will change their lives and they will reap the benefits of a daily mindfulness and mediation practice long after they have finished school.”
Janie Bannan, staff member at Longfield Academy worked with Kerry and commented –
“These sessions where informative, the balance between practising “Mindfulness & Meditation” and the theory behind the practise was good.
The students were engaged and attentive, the feedback was positive. I believe the intervention has had a positive impact on how the students manage their stress.Giving them another “tool” to use.
Students agreed it was “Helpful and Calming” They varied on how often they would practise the techniques (either weekly/daily) but all agreed they felt it helped when they were stressed.”