What is mindfulness, anyway?

Mindfulness is paying friendly attention to what is happening in our minds and in our bodies in the present moment, without judgment. Mindfulness helps “train our brain” to respond, rather than react, to sensation and emotion.

How does mindfulness work?

Mindfulness actually changes the brain! It acts in three primary areas of the brain to reduce the “fight/flight/freeze” reaction, regulate emotions and behaviors, and helps us make better decisions.

What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

Growing Responsive Minds uses the terms interchangeably.

Isn’t This Buddhism?

No. Both mindfulness and meditation have been a core part of most Buddhist traditions for over 2,500 years. However, mindfulness in Growing Responsive Minds is a science-based, completely secular practice. It can be used with any faith tradition or none at all.

How can Mindfulness help me or my students?

Mindfulness techniques can be used to improve self-control, objectivity, affect tolerance, enhanced flexibility, equanimity, improved concentration and mental clarity, emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others and one’s self with kindness, acceptance, and compassion. In the classroom, mindfulness helps kids deal with conflict, respond more calmly to difficult emotions, and stay focused. It also increases empathy for others.

Teachers who practice mindfulness report less stress and “burnout”, feel calmer, more effective, and are more available to students, families, and colleagues.

What does mindfulness in school look like?

Growing Responsive Minds combines short lessons (typically 20-45 minutes) that teach both formal meditation—sitting, walking, even eating!—with bringing mindful moments to everyday living. We can be mindful anywhere, at any time.

I have worked with kids in and out of classrooms for more than 15 years. I bring experience with different learning styles, familiarity with subject areas, and sensitivity to classroom culture into my mindfulness teaching.