Mindfulness is often translated as “full attention”, and its derivation mindful as “fully attentive”.
Fostering awareness and attention and being “mindful” leads to a deeper knowledge than we come to perceive through changing emotions and thoughts.
Awareness and attention are in their essence dynamic , we can strengthen them and for this reason we teach the techniques of mental training from a simple and concise pedagogical methodology based on full attention.
The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Thought
The fact of understanding that one is not “his thought” will allow us to stop identifying with the thought and stop being possessed by it. Mindfulness understands that thought fragments reality . It is a point of view, the way in which we interpret our own behaviour or that of others. Likewise, it is the meaning and intensity we give to an emotion and even a diagnosis. It is only one perspective among many others.
This is easier to understand with the following example. We have the fictitious case of Peter. Pedro is 16 years old and was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 8. During the school years, when Pedro did not have that diagnosis, his thoughts were, “I can’t study like everyone else, so I’m worth less. When Pedro began his treatment he thought, “I am different and I can’t do certain things. Today, after years of therapy and with the practice of Mindfulness, Pedro knows that his dyslexia does not define him, that it is only an aspect of him to have in the gutter for certain situations, and he also knows that he can and is worth as much as the others.
The Relationship between Full Attention and Emotions
In the same line, we will say that one is not your emotion . A teenager is usually defined as impulsive, aggressive, intense, with extreme values . Well, those aspects do not really define him. It is simply his emotions that are part of that particular stage of development.
Teenagers are more than just that emotional web, they are growing people who are building their identity as adults and need to be heard and understood to really know what is going on in there and to be able to translate their emotional world.
The child and adolescent are in a process of intellectual learning that is facilitated by school. But… What about their emotional learning? If our children were educated in this, they would become the healthy adults without the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety comes when we don’t understand each other and when we send each other messages of hostility. We can introduce this education to them from a young age, and the Mindfulness can accompany them in this role.
Working on our Mindfulness promotes the ability to pay attention, and at the same time allows us to develop an awareness of what is happening at any given time, in one’s body, with one’s emotions and thoughts. In this way we will be able to notice what is happening in this particular moment.
The importance of the present moment
Now we must ask ourselves… Why is it important to develop an awareness of what is happening here and now?
Well, the answer raises a question. When one perceives the feeling of one’s own body, the action of the other, the surrounding context and all of this in its pure state without any judgment or evaluation, one avoids interpreting reality in a fragmented way , thus emerging a vision of reality itself as a whole.
When one is able to value a whole beyond oneself, what happens is that one has the power to decide what to do next without giving a passive response, that is, without reacting automatically.
Why do we have to work on our mindfulness to avoid those automatic responses? Because the reaction in automatic makes us vulnerable to anxiety, stress, depression and emotional reactivity . If Peter had not understood both his strengths and the weaknesses he has in his studies due to his dyslexia, by obtaining a 5 like the mark of the dictation exam he would have experienced only negative emotions such as disappointment and frustration, and this could generate anxiety in the face of new exams and other self-destructive thoughts.
All these reactions and interpretations that come from thinking can be seen both in the interpersonal relationships of the family and the school environment , and here is the importance of increasing attention through Mindfulness-based training. In this way, not only would attention span be improved but also the skills of emotional balance would be reinforced.
If we work on our Mindfulness we will understand that reality is something different from the emotion we have as the answer that each of us gives to a particular situation, and therefore the suffering caused by a particular situation begins and ends in ourselves.
Within the family context, among friends, at school and other social contexts, situations are presented that lead to reaction without the proper approach to the situation itself, producing an emotional imbalance. All this happens daily in all areas. This is why Capital Psicólogos proposes the Mindfulness workshop. We will learn to connect with our body according to our evolutionary stage of development, and there will be different proposals for children, adolescents and adults.
Benefits of Mindfulness in the school environment
We can emphasize the benefits of practicing meditation in the evolutionary stages such as childhood and adolescence, although they were extensive to all those people in situation
The following is a list of the benefits of making them known in the school environment, since they are less publicized by the media.
These are the main psychological benefits of Mindfulness in the school environment :
- It creates the optimal predisposition to learn.
- Increases academic performance.
- It enhances attention and concentration.
- Improves participation in the classroom.
- It promotes impulse control.
- It encourages self-reflection.
- It provides the tools to reduce stress.
- Reduces test anxiety.
- Enriches social and emotional learning.
Once the benefits are exposed, we can understand how useful and necessary such practice is in order to achieve the holistic well-being of one’s self in as many areas as the social roles we play. From Capital Psicólogos we invite you to learn about our proposals for Mindfulness workshops for children, adolescents and adults.