Mindfulness in Schools
Our mission is to integrate calm and consciousness into our fast paced lives.
To empower every individual around how they are the true masters of their health, happiness and performance.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practical way of training our minds to be more in the present. It is so powerful because it calms down our minds and nervous system just slightly, which research [increasingly] shows has enormous benefits on performance, health and happiness.
THE BENEFITS OF TEACHING AND ENCOURAGING MINDFULNESS AT SCHOOL
The majority of education systems, work and home environments do not include a mindfulness or meditation practice. As the skills are acquired through repetition, making it part of the routine at school is an ideal way to incorporate it into our otherwise over-busy lives.
Whilst the very ‘aim’ of mindfulness is that there isn’t an aim, other than to learn to ‘Be’ present, there is increasing, quality research showing that the regular practice of mindfulness are extensive and can significantly facilitate the following:
1. PERFORMANCE and productivity
By improving focus and attention both performance and productivity are enhanced.
Performance anxiety around demanding times and projects has been shown to be lowered.
Those who partake in a mindfulness outlet, enjoy increased executive brain function brain and creativity to see projects from a different perspective.
Improved exam results
2. WORKFORCE MORAL
Mindfulness practice can help create overall significantly happier and more independently motivated and unified teams of teachers.
There is increasing evidence that organisations and leaders who nurture relationships and are seen to care about the wellbeing of their workforce, have much higher levels of retention, staff moral and inter-personal relationships.
3. COMMUNICATION and decision making
Mindfulness helps to create a calmer school and work environment. Hence social, emotional and communication skills such as empathy, recognising what others may need have been shown to improve.
Decision making can both quicken and feel more aligned for people who meditate.
Mindfulness enables us to recognise we have a ’monkey mind’. It helps us understand why the stories we tell ourselves aren’t always helpful or true.
By offering tools for managing challenging or strong emotions and ‘recentering’ during difficult situations, those who mediate often feel both more connected to self, and closer interpersonal relationships, both contributing factors to overall happiness.
People who partake in regular meditation have been shown to enjoy better energy and decreased fatigue. It's practice reduces sickness, potentially injury and accident rates and overall stress levels are reduced.
A mindfulness practice affects our hormones and nervous systems in a great way, leading to better sleep, stress management and overall health management. It has been shown to decrease reliance on certain medication and dramatically improve self awareness around the body and mind, as it facilitates the connection between the two.
The Mindfulness in Schools Project
We develop a bespoke programme and rhythm to match your organisation's aims, participants, budget and schedule.
This may range from weekly or bi-weekly facilitated sessions, to a series of monthly workshops. All designed to launch your 'Mindfulness Project' in the most beneficial way to your organisation.
Some proposed topics for the full mindfulness at school process include:
Breathing techniques & starting to be ‘present’
Staying focused and recognising the monkey mind
Observing thoughts & feelings
Managing intense emotions, stressful times and situations
Going deeper with body scanning
Accessing the body’s wisdom & intuition
Keeping mindfulness practical - positioning, mindful eating, walking and other mindful ‘activities’
Q & A / ‘troubleshooting’
Options for post programme support:
Group support can be offered online or with regular or occasional inperson group facilitation sessions.
Private mindfulness coaching support can be offered with online or in person coaching.
Refresher sessions and annual team building days can be arranged, with specific aims to optimise performance, manage stress and promote resilience and mindfulness.
The Mindfulness at School programmes are not designed for deep ‘therapeutic’ treatment for particular ailments. They are designed to improve the work environment due to the benefits discussed above, equip attendees with an invaluable life tool and to increase awareness of themselves and others.
Private coaching is available and more appropriate for those with more significant and specific health issues or desiring an individual personal development programme.
Whilst Mindfulness it is a common and popular ‘buzzword’ at the moment, its origins are actually very old and are found in a wide range of Eastern Philosophies such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and Christianity. The Mindfulness at Work programmes are however taught as a totally secular topic.
Originally from the UK and now living near Geneva, Switzerland, Sally Dibden is a certified Life, Health & Success Coach to dynamic achievers around the globe. She also runs her Physiotherapy and Pilates Clinic in France where she lives with her husband and two teenage children.
Sally is the founder of The Wellbeing Consultants, a company formed over 10 years ago, with the mission of empowering busy people, often leaders in their fields (and homes!) to optimise their energy, health and happiness. She observed that the high achievers she worked with often struggled to maintain balance across their professional and personal life. That consequently, whilst they were highly successful in many ways, they were also at high risk of health problems, ranging from mild anxiety and depression, to complete exhaustion and burnout.
Sally has a wealth of qualifications alongside her original physiotherapy degree, transformational coaching and holistic health certifications. Including a PCG in sports therapy, teacher training in pilates, and specialist training in acupuncture, energy medicine and psychology to name a few.
THE PERSONaL BIO - Why specialise in mindfulness?
Sally's career, empowering people about their health and wellbeing, has involved teaching mindfulness to pretty much every one of the thousands of clients and patients she's worked with - from the very young to elderly, from athlete to sedentary office worker.
Her interest in mindfulness started over 20 years ago and has gradually grown over the years. Originally qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in the UK, a large part of her training and experience was spent in NHS hospitals, sports clinics and the military. Her work was essentially to help people to heal, which invariably covered breathing well – the essential principle of mindfulness. It was also to empower people to understand their bodies better, rehabilitate as efficiently as possible and adopt a beneficial mindset to perform at their best.
Despite all she knew, Sally succumbed to burnout whilst she was building her business, alongside raising her children in a country overseas from the family support familiar to previous generations. Her son had various mild, but important development challenges throughout his early childhood and Sally devoted much energy into researching and implementing techniques at home to facilitate his learning and emotional development. She is immensely proud of both of her children. However she is particularly proud of how her son, who required physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy for speech and physical delay (between the ages of three and ten) has gone on to love sport, be confident and fully bilingual. He attained excellent results in his GCSE French and English, at age 12 and 14, 2 years earlier than his peers.
Sally has seen major stress induced problems in her clients - particularly amongst high achievers with either demanding work or young families. The World Health Organisation has declared that stress is indeed a modern epidemic.
Sally passionately believes that prevention is much more efficient, quicker and cheaper than the cure, yet this is in complete conflict to the way many of us run our life, and the way society and work structures are set up. She also believes that we all have incredible potential that can only be fulfilled if we’re equipped with the skills required for our unique make-up and our fast paced world.
Over the years, Sally has found both personally and professionally, that mindfulness is one of the most empowering tools to do so, as once they acquire the skill, people can embrace it in their own time and hence aren't therapist dependent.
Whilst it's not a 'cure all', mindfulness provides a strong foundation for more empowered conscious living. By learning and practicing the principles of mindfulness, her clients are able to calm their nervous system so they can be truly present in their studies, at work, home and play. The added bonus is that they optimise their performance, health and happiness along the way.
'It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults" - F.Douglas
There is increasing evidence of the huge educational, behavioural, health and performance benefits of introducing mindfulness into schools. Alongside there is mounting evidence that stress is now the single biggest cause of sickness in the UK (Health and Safety Executive) where over 105 million days are lost to stress each year, costing UK employers over £1.24 billion.
Leading UK doctors estimate that 70 to 85% of visits to general practioners and family doctors, are for stress related problems.
Nearly 66% of companies with effective health and productivity programmes believe they perform better than their competitors (Towers Watson 2011).
Educators have been reported to notice massive improvements in the students who have been through mindfulness training. One study in the United States showed 83% of educators saw improved focus, 89% saw better emotional regulation, 76% saw more compassion and 79% saw improved engagement in children who had implemented mindfulness into their day (Mindfulschools.org).
Compared with sick pay and loss of work with the absent or under-performing teacher, specialist mindfulness coaching can be a very worthwhile and empowering option without even counting the immeasurable benefits to the children.
"Health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity but a positive state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions but an abundance of health-promoting ones"
- The World Health Organisation
Benefits of Mindfulness https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/benefits-of-mindfulness/#workplace
Why use Mindfulness? https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes#t-64561
Stress in the Workplace http://www.who.int/occupational_health/topics/stressatwp/en/
We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. You are very important to us.
To fully understand your company's unique situation we would be delighted to liaise with you, preferably in a meeting or phone call to discuss how we can be of service.
There are also several other ways we can support the health, happiness and performance in your school. Do check out our Corporate High Performance and Wellbeing Services page for further information.