Week 1: Coping with Bullying (teens) Module

Week 4: Coping with Bullying (teens)

Week 5: Family Support and Assertiveness Skills

Week 6: Cyberbullying and Recovery Pathways

How to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness might seem simple, but many people find this skill difficult to master. We suggest you set aside some time every day to practice. Here are some basic steps you can take to get started:

Find a quiet space – The initial step is to find an appropriate time and place to practice. This should be somewhere comfortable and quiet, with minimal chance of interruption if possible The next step is to set your time limit. If you are just beginning, we suggest you choose a shorter time and work your way up as you gain confidence. Around 10 to 15 minutes should do.

Find a comfortable position – When you’ve found a calm and quiet place, you need to get into a position that feels comfortable to you. For example, you might sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your shoulders back and feet on the floor. Alternatively, you might prefer to lie on your back. The main thing here is that you are in a comfortable position which you can stay in for a while.

Pay attention to the present moment – As we said, the primary goal of mindfulness is to be more aware of the present, including your current thoughts, feelings and body sensations. Mindfulness is not about achieving a state of emotional calm, it is more about the act of observing. Therefore, when you are practising mindfulness, you’ll need to focus your attention on something in the present. 

You may choose to start by focussing on your breath. The breath is a great anchor to the present moment, and it is always available to us. As we said, paying attention may be really difficult, as our minds often wander. This is normal, so try not to  become frustrated by it. When you notice this happening, simply acknowledge it and return your focus again and again to the present moment. 

Don’t judge your mind – As we’ve said, when you are practicing mindfulness your mind WILL wander. Different kinds of thoughts will pop up in your mind and you might notice yourself get carried away by them. That is very normal. However, don’t judge yourself when this happens. Just notice when your mind has stayed and gently bring it back.

As you become more skilled with mindfulness, you can start to practice it in different places and at different times of the day. You don’t need to be sitting or lying down, instead you can bring mindful awareness to your daily activities. Here are some suggestions:

Mindful wakeup 

  • Take three long, deep breaths
  • Set aside some time for yourself at the start of the day. Observe how you feel emotionally and in your body
  • Be present and learn to let things go. Don’t hold on to painful thoughts, just notice them and allow them to pass
  • Set an intention for your day. For example, you might say “Today I will be more patient and kind towards myself”

Mindful eating

  • Slow down when you are eating
  • Notice your body’s sensations and respond to your body needs
  • Choose when to eat, how much to eat, and what to eat
  • Notice the textures and flavours of the food
  • When you eat, just eat. Don’t multitask. 

Mindful pause

  • Take a mindful pause regularly throughout the day
  • Stop and notice how you’re feeling. Turn your attention inward to notice what is going on inside
  • Take a few deep breaths
  • If you’re entering a new situation (e.g., entering the classroom), you might like to set a new intention (“I’m going to stay focussed on my learning and tell the teacher if people interfere with this”)

Mindful movement

  • Engage in moving your body somehow (e.g., stretching or yoga)
  • Notice areas of tension or tightness
  • Also notice areas of relaxation and movements that feel good
  • Pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that show up
  • Notice how your physical body and sensations shift with the different movements

Mindful shower

  • Notice the temperature
  • Feel the fresh water against your skin
  • Watch as the water hits your skin and then the floor
  • Enjoy the scent of any soaps or toiletries you may use
  • Be aware of your feelings, thoughts and your movements

Mindful walking

  • Give your full attention to the walking
  • Feel the ground beneath your feet
  • Notice the sounds, smells and the sights around you
  • Notice what it feels like to move your legs

As you already know, the term mindfulness refers to awareness of one’s experience without judgement. Researchers have shown that this can actually change the physiology of the brain and the body.