Can Mindfulness Help Parents and Preteens Have Better Relationships?

From my experience in teaching mindfulness within a family setting, I have been told that not only has each individual felt improvement in their ability to focus, remain calm and worry less. Which is all great and to be encouraged. I have seen this not only with preteens but with older teenagers too.

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They also feel as though they have benefited as a family too. They report that their relationships with each other have improved. Through learning some basic Neuroscience which provides a deeper understanding of why we may ‘over-react’ in stressful situations. They were able to understand themselves and each other better. The skills they learnt through Mindfulness Meditation provided them with the skills to help mange their own stress levels and anxiety. Individually they not only worried less but were able to recognise the signs in each other easier and say “It’s ok just take a breath”. This supportive approach to being a human navigating through life was much more evident in their communications with each other. They developed the skills to show self compassion as well as kindness and compassion to each other, which transformed family life. They tell me that they communicate better and things that would have caused arguments in the past, no longer do!

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Mother and son meditating together

So you can imagine that I was thrilled when I read the latest study from The Greater Good Centre at Berkley University in the US. They have been studying just this kind of group and report very similar outcomes as I have talked about above.

If you would like to know more you can read the article on the link below.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_mindfulness_help_parents_and_preteens_have_better_relationships

For more information about Mindfulness and how families can learn together, please get in touch.

Recovered and restarting my mission

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I’m very happy to say that after 18 months I’m recovered from Breast Cancer and picking up the strands of development for Myself and Me.

I would not be as well as I am if I hadn’t been practicing mindfulness meditation, it has been my ROCK along with the support of my wonderful son and all my family & friends.

I’ve learnt even more about mindfulness and meditation throughout this time and now I want and need to share it more widely, so that we equip our children with this essential life skill.

I am restarting this blog and hope that you find it informative, interesting and sometimes even inspirational.

Thanks in advance

Bernadette

A Stroke of Insight

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I just had to share this amazing experience Dr Jill Bolte has had of experiencing insight and finding PEACE and her purpose for the rest of her life.

How important it is for us to learn that our thoughts are not us or our life – they are just thoughts and our emotions are just emotions and if we do not like the experience of anger then choose not to be angry – how wonderful a skill is this to learn early in life how much suffering will this alleviate.

I am even more excited about the Paws b. training I am going to be having in August so that I can teach more children the skill of awareness and control of thoughts and emotions. Wow

Thankyou Youtube thankyou Oprah Winfrey @oprah for sharing Jill’s experience with us all _ I will be sharing it widely.

Mindfulness in Schools

I’m so excited by the prospect of Mindfulness becoming part mainstream schooling. I live near Leeds and last month Leeds University hosted a mindfulness event and leaders in the field attended and presented their academic evidence for the positive health and well being benefits of Mindfulness.

For anyone not sure what Mindfulness helps you do, basically it helps you re-engage with yourself on a deep level. You learn to be non-judgemental and more curious of your own and others behaviour. A calmness enters your world, you will be less negatively emotionally reactive to everyday occurences. More measured in your responses to emotional situations. Better able to manage your emotions. More focussed in the here and now. Yes you will. An 8 week course is challenging for everyone at different times and it can be demanding to make time for it in our busy schedules. This is why I’m so excited about teaching children the fundamentals while they are young before life has drained some of their resources and will to be more caring of themselves. Please visit

https://www.facebook.com/mindfulnessinschools

for more information and please like their page.

Leeds has committed to being more child friendly and proactive in supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of children so I’m looking forward to see development of mindfulness in Leeds schools.

 

Thank you

 

 

Emotions Emotions Emotions

Yes we all have them, feel them and are more often than not controlled by them – they are very deeply rooted in our subconscious and even when we try and convince ourselves that we have made a level headed decision scientists have proved time and time again, that we are actually making our decisions based on our emotional reactions to things. We just follow up decisions by convincing ourselves that our decision was made rationally – oh how we play tricks on ourselves – haha

So once armed with this information what should we be doing with it?

We need to be more accepting of ourselves, after all if we are emotionally satisfied are we not more likely to be happy? Somewhat sometimes – As with everything in this life it depends upon what perspective we are looking at something from.

Emotions are amazing and wonderful if we are curious and learn more about them.

If we can teach our children the art of mindfulness we are helping them to take more of an objective look at everything and therefore be more rounded in decision making. This can only be a good thing to learn early in life, rather than most of us getting to middle age before we begin to practice regular meditation and mindfulness.

My school work begins again next week and I’m so excited to be teaching year 6 to meditate and reflect upon their talents and achievements (whatever they may be) as these ‘self coaching’ tools are helping build their personal resilience and resources to live positive, fulfilled and happy lives.

 

The theme for the first session is – what can we learn from a frog?

 

  

Nominated for the National Diversity Awards 2014 – eek!

Anj Handa

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I was surprised and delighted to hear that I have been nominated for the Gender Role Model category at the National Diversity Awards. I’ve followed the awards for years and have even voted for others. I never thought I’d be included myself! Some of the testimonials I’ve received already have made me cry. They are anonymous, so a heartfelt thank you to those who have already voted.

The final award will depend upon the quality and quantity of testimonials, so I’d be grateful if you would take the time to write a couple of lines for me if any of my articles, social media posts or our conversations have given you something to think about. You can vote here. My response to the nomination is below.

My passion is people. I love to understand what makes them tick and how they can develop and help both themselves and others…

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Goldie Hawn Foundation Supports Children’s personal development

I was so pleased to learn that the Goldie Hawn Foundation is doing great work in schools here in the UK. I feel that there is something in the air. We are becoming more aware of the importance of good health and well being to promote confidence and self-esteem in our children. All children need nurturing and educating about how their ‘system’ works emotionally, psychologically as well as physically. I’m currently re-reading Dan Seige’sl Mindsight and again encouraged that all his learning from many years in Psychotherapy is being mirrored all around me. I am so encouraged by new initiatives in schools around mindfulness as I begin incorporating more mindfulness sessions in my work in schools. It follows on very well from the sessions about how the brain works – being mindful to me means being in better control of our brain. We acknowledge feelings from every part of our body as well as our thoughts. We take time to be curious about our thoughts in a way that enables us to be more proactive as to those thoughts that require positive action and those thoughts that we can just let go of as not useful to us.

So I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Mind Up programme from the Goldie Hawn Foundation and I’m also currently filling out my application form to train on the paws .b mindfulness in schools – wish me luck – Thanks! 🙂

http://mindfulnessinschools.org/

http://www.thehawnfoundation.co.uk/

The 10 Liberating Powers of Playing a Role

Dramatherapy is proof of how powerful this role-play is especially for young people – The lovely young people I work with love putting their own mini drama’s together around all kinds of different themes like friendships, kindness, courage all the characteristics we need to promote in our young people to benefit our human kind, local communities and society as a whole.