What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply paying attention. Noticing your experience (thoughts, emotions, sensations) as it arises with curiosity and kindness and without judgement.
‘Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).’ James Baraz
We know that we can improve our physical fitness and well-being by exercising regularly and eating well but may forget that we have the same capacity to strengthen our mental fitness. Practicing mindfulness meditation can help us do this.
How does Mindfulness help?
Practicing mindfulness changes our perception. It helps us develop the capacity to step back and be aware of our thoughts. If how we think about something determines our response to it, then it follows that if we change the way we think about something, our response will also change. We can’t stop challenging things happening to us, but we can learn to respond wisely rather than react automatically to them.
Other benefits include:
• Stress reduction
• Reduced depression and anxiety
• Increased self-compassion
• Increased compassion for others
• Improved sleep
• Increased happiness
• Improved working memory
Who uses Mindfulness?
Mindfulness has been around for thousands of years – its origins lie in Buddhism. In the last 30 years there has been more research into the benefits of mindfulness and it has now moved into the mainstream.
• Counselling/Mental Health services
• Prison service
• Businesses’ in the private sector
How we use Mindfulness in school
At Herne Bay Junior School, all staff have received mindfulness training. The children practice it throughout their school week in a variety of ways, such as:
• Mindful colouring, dot to dot, tracing etc…
• Breathing exercises
• Moments of calm with relaxation music
• Mindfulness scripts via apps, websites or recordings
• Our outdoor environment, such as the forest school area, is used for mindful activities
• Mindfulness lunchtime club run by Mrs Edwards twice a week
Practicing Mindfulness at home
Since the school closure in March due to COVID-19, Mrs Edwards, our Director of Mental Health and Well-being, has also recorded a number of mindfulness scripts for Mindful Monday and Well-being Wednesday. If you wish to use these with your children, the link to her YouTube channel is –