Blue Mango Theatre | Mindfulness
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MBSR courses and Paws B Mindfulness for Primary students

Emma Reynolds, artistic director of Blue Mango Theatre is a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher. She has also trained in mindfulness for students at the Mindfulness in Schools Project, UK. She offers stress reduction courses for teachers and also mindfulness courses for primary students.


More information
Mindfulness courses

What is stress?

The Fight and flight mechanism (also freeze, appease, tend and befriend) is being triggered by perceived danger, real or imagined. These days we spend less and less time in the “rest and digest” mode.

 

It’s in our genes to be on the alert for danger- our cavemen and women ancestors that didn’t take notice got eaten! Fear is hard-wired into us and the problem is we get triggered too easily in our busy lives.

 

Long term stress can seriously damage your health- from headaches and stomach problems, to depression and links to cancer. Around 80% of visits to the doctor in UK were for stress related problems.

 

When we go into Fight and flight we are using our Lizard Brain on auto-pilot, and we easily “flip our lid” as in the road-rage example in the session.

 

That’s ok if needed to escape a real danger, but not if triggered by an email from the boss arriving in the inbox…..the body is flushed with adrenalin and cortisol unnecessarily.

Mindfulness for teachers and students
Mindfulness for teachers and students

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who created the MBSR course says Mindfulness is:

 

The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.

 

 

So being in the present moment- not on autopilot and waking up to the endless chatter in the head. We are lost in thought on average 47% of the time. 80% of that is negative thought, and 95% of those thoughts we’ve had before.

 

Part of the mindfulness practice is getting in contact with your breath and body- finding where stress manifests itself physically. This takes you directly out of your thoughts, as you can actually only concentrate on one thing at a time. Calming deep breaths also signal to your nervous system that everything is ok, and that we don’t need to be on high alert.

WHAT YOU RESIST, PERSISTS

The “event” (such as a headache) is not the problem as such- it’s how we perceive it. If our perception is negative we get stuck in a circle of resistance and rumination soon follows. Mindfulness gives you tools to sit with what is, be it physical pain, emotional pain or negative thoughts. With space to pause, to step our and observe what is happening, you can choose to respond more effectively.

 

The paradox of mindfulness is that Acceptance proceeds change.

 

The practice is about finding a place of acceptance, which is not to be confused with resignation. Resignation suggests victim mode, defeatist attitudes and passivity. Acceptance is active. I chose….. (not to be on autopilot, not to be reactive)

 

Ultimately you can’t stop life events occurring, but mindfulness gives you the tools to act more skillfully- to surf the waves.

Further information

For information on courses in English for teachers and students:
Email: info@mbsr-mindfulness.com
 
Further reading:
Full catastrophe living – Jon Kabat Zinn
Sitting like a frog – Eline Snel

Download Material

Spiderman Super Senses Mindfulness Practice (example of a practice for primary students)

Download

3SBS – 3 step breathing space (example of a short practice from the MBSR course)

Download

Four step awareness meditation (example of a longer practice from the MBSR course)

Download