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Meeting students where they are: Teaching mindfulness to local high school boys.

Phillip McKnight, CMHC's certified mindfulness teacher recently took the healing practice of mindfulness to local school Boys’ Latin. Mindfulness, which intentionally invites people into the present moment and often helps people reduce stress, increase focus, and feel more connected to others, was offered to sophomore students as part of their wellness classes. During the sessions, students became familiar with the practice, and it related it to how a sports team takes a time out at the height of a game. Many students spoke of high anxiety, pressure in school and sports, and difficulties from the pandemic as challenges that they were working with. They learned that mindfulness was as easy as intentionally slowing down with a deep breath, and beginning to notice what is happening in their senses. Many students declared that they would use the practices in small increments to help them before studying, taking a test, and to prepare themselves for an important game. Students were given the invitation to take the practice home with them and write down a list of 5 things that they noticed in each sense before beginning their homework. Many students reported that this intentional pause helped them improve their focus and sense of calm. Please contact CMHC if your student or school community is interested in learning and practicing this life changing, scientifically based technique.

Brief description of all the steps the practice involves

  • Step 1: Intentionally slow the body down by standing, sitting, or lying down

  • Step 2: Take 3 long and slow deep breaths

  • Step 3: Make the intention to arrive in this moment

  • Step 4: Begin writing 5 things that you are able to notice in your space. For example 5 different things you can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste.

  • Step 5 proceed into next activity rejuvenated with presence

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