A while ago I ran a How to Live in the Now workshop for a class of Grade 11s, and was delighted with their positive feedback. They spoke of being able to plan their time better, feeling less stressed by exams, feeling better about just being themselves, dealing better friendships and other relationships etc. As exams followed shortly after they completed the course, I asked some of the invigilators to take the candidates through the mindfulness exercise outlined in Chapt 1 of my book (Living in the Now: less stress, more happiness by Jill Jacques on Amazon) before they started. The students spoke of feeling calmer and more in control as a result, and a couple of the invigilators described the peace in the room during the exercise.
Imagine my delight on meeting a primary school teacher who has been using very similar mindfulness exercises with her class of Grade 4s (9-10 years old) and with much success. She said the class gelled as a group and were kinder and more tolerant towards each other. Most of them came to love the ‘coming into the moment’ exercise she used at the beginning and end of each learning day.
I have subsequently come across a book by Susan Kaiser Greenland called “The Mindful Child: How to help your kid manage stress and become happier, kinder and more compassionate.” She speaks of how delusion makes life harder than it needs to be. She reminds us that ‘the key to managing stress and other difficult situations does not always lie in the situation itself, but rather how kids and their parents respond to it.’ (See free git chapter in previous blog for more detail on this). Obviously if it was the situation that caused the stress, and not our reaction to it, we’d all be stressed by the same things…..?