Positivity was the watchword during the second set of mindfulness sessions at Strood Academy, Longfield Academy and the Leigh UTC recently.

We are once again indebted to facilitators Kerry Madgwick (www.vitalitylifestyleformula.com) and Julie Murray (www.jmhypnotherapy.co.uk) for working with our students.

Kerry and Julie began by talking to the three groups of students about focusing upon what each of them wants to achieve. This included imparting an understanding of growth and fixed mind-sets including what Kerry termed as “the monkey mind” (thoughts which disrupt concentration). Students were urged to keep a focus on positive rather than negative thoughts and again participated in a number of breathing and relaxation techniques with Julie to help them do so. They then went on to complete a guided visualisation session to help combat any possible exam tensions.

Students then went onto explore what our facilitators call an attitude of gratitude in which each of them acknowledged what they have reason to be grateful for and positive about.

The workshops then went on to look at mindful eating. As Kerry explained, often food is not properly appreciated and can lead to poor eating habits. She went on to explain the science of how surges of sugar rich foods are detrimental to our thought processes. As a practical exercise, students tasted small amounts of foods such as raspberries, strawberries, cheese and chocolate to explore taste, texture, shape and colour.

Kerry commented-

“I had a really lovely day, and was buzzing when I got home.  It was so wonderful to see so many of the students have been using the mindfulness and meditation techniques; something that was very new to them but most of them were prepared to give it a go. It is rewarding to see that they have started to see the results.  The students were also very interactive in the second series of workshops, displaying a bit more confidence and asking some interesting questions.

The feedback from staff and parents has also been overwhelming and it is wonderful to be able to make a small difference to help students with tools that they can use for the rest of their lives.  I feel very blessed to be able to pass on and share something that has made a huge difference in my life and I wish I had learned when I was a teenager. I can’t wait for the next workshop in 3 weeks.”