Three groups of students from each of Strood Academy, Longfield Academy and The Leigh UTC have now completed a six week course of mindfulness and meditation designed to help them deal with examination stress. Students were surveyed prior to beginning the sessions as well as afterwards to gauge the initial success of the scheme.
External facilitators, Kerry Madgwick (www.vitalitylifestyleformula.com) and Julie Murray (www.jmhypnotherapy.co.uk) worked with each group three times over a period of six weeks beginning with explaining how the brain works and what might trigger stress. Students were taught several breathing techniques as well as experiencing guided meditation.
Key points to enhance their wellbeing were:
- Do the best you can
- Focus on positivity
- Eliminate distractions
- Sleep well
- Breathing techniques
- When studying, build a routine
- And last but not least, visualise success!
Upon completing the sessions, Kerry commented-
“Thank you to the staff and students at Strood Academy, Longfield Academy and The Leigh UTC for the warm welcome and for taking part in the six-week Mindfulness and Meditation Course, it was very rewarding to receive feedback from student, teachers and parents and to see the change in students over the six-week period. On day one, none of the students had heard of mindfulness or meditation but they were very enthusiastic and full of questions and prepared to give it a go over the course of the six weeks which was fantastic as a lot of clients I work with find it challenging and often resist trying something that is new to them. Over the 6 weeks the students became more engaged, which was lovely to see and they have used the tips and techniques given to them and most of them have noticed a difference in their anxiety and stress levels.
It was very rewarding being able to help in a small way and give students tools and techniques that they can use to reduce stress and anxiety thereby increasing confidence and imparting tools that they now have for use for the rest of their lives. It is exciting that we have such simple and easy techniques at our fingertips to ease the burden of exam stress, general stress and anxiety and to help students increase their confidence in themselves and their skills, and I have really loved sharing that over the 6 weeks.
Working with the staff and students at Strood Academy, Longfield Academy and The Leigh UTC has been a great experience, the staff involved, Louisa Felstead, Pamela Hunter, Janie Bannan and Keeley Bowen have gone above and beyond to assist the schools and their students as much as they can. It is rewarding to work with such dedicated people and rewarding to work with students in helping them to understand how they can deal with stress and anxiety – we had some fun along the way! “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life”, so many people have said this over the years and all I can say is that it is very true!”
Student comment included-
“I feel a bit more in control of my anxiety”
“The more I do the breathing exercise the easier it becomes”
“I am making an effort each day to spare some time to trying to control my negative thoughts”
Academy comment was-
“I would just like to say “Thank You” for the three sessions of meditation and mindfulness you delivered at Longfield Academy.
These sessions were informative and insightful giving us all a chance to practise some new techniques and strategies to help manage the stress in our lives in a more positive manner.”