Mindfulness Techniques from ‘Paws.b’
The 6 themes are as follows:
1. Brain Training – this is the neuro-scientific part of the programme where the children learn about 4 main areas of the brain & what they do & how they can be developed through mindfulness.
2. Puppy Training – teaches how the mind is like a puppy – it constantly wanders/doesn’t stay still & brings back thoughts we didn’t ask for.
3. Finding a Steady Place – about how we sometimes ‘wobble’ emotionally &
techniques that we can use to help us when this happens.
4. Dealing with Difficulty – about how we ‘react’ in difficult situations because of our ‘Amygdalae’ – the part of the brain responsible for our fight, flight or freeze reaction. Mindfulness can train you to ‘pause’ in a trigger moment & let you chose how to respond rather than react. A snow globe/glitter ball is used here to demonstrate how different emotions can make us feel ‘all stirred up’ but we can use our Paws.b (Meditations) in these times to help calm and settle our minds, so we can see things clearly. The children learn how important it is to look after themselves and treat themselves the way they would a good friend.
5. The Story-Telling Mind – how it is our ‘thoughts’ that actually control our mood – how we perceive a situation and make assumptions. One little thought can easily snow-ball into a big worry, so we need to ask ourselves if our thoughts are telling us the truth.
6. Growing Happiness – all about how happiness is contagious & how gratitude and kindness can enhance your own happiness. Children learn that Mindfulness practice – awareness of your body and mind, and practicing their ‘Paws.b’ (pause be) meditations can help change the structure and functions of the brain – train the brain to become more present. Awareness of the body and mind leads to self-care/self-nurturing. The children also learned the ‘Loving Kindness Meditation’ which instills compassion for oneself and others. Practicing the Paws.b meditations daily (regardless of how we are feeling) will work on making the very beneficial changes to the brain, and practicing the Paws.b in times where we feel ‘stirred-up’ or if we are having a ‘wobble’ will help to calm our minds and bodies so we can skillfully deal with challenges.
Our facilitator would encourage parents to ask the children to ‘teach’ them the meditations and if the child is happy to do so, then practicing together an be helful. If you notice your child is wound-up, or is in a state of high emotion – remind them what they are having is a ‘wobble’ & we all wobble sometimes. Remind them that their ‘Paws.b’ could be of benefit here.
There is no discipline attached to mindfulness practice so a child is never forced to do a practice – they can be reminded it is there for them to use.