Blog Archives

Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness can mean different things to different people. It means being aware of the here and now; knowing and accepting your own abilities; and being able to respond to stress in a calm and reasoned manner. It is a willingness to be open, to consider the possibilities, and to engage in curiosity without judging (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Two components of mindfulness are the ability to regulate your attention and to be open, accepting, and curious (Bishop et al., 2004).

How can GT students use mindfulness to cope with stress and anxiety? Mindfulness is the basis for many ancient practices … meditation, prayer … known to reduce stress and anxiety. In the classroom, it can help GT students become more self-aware, attentive, increase a sense of well-being; all things that can aid in reducing stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness can benefit teachers in developing caring and responsive classrooms. The same benefits gained by students can also be beneficial for teachers by alleviating daily stress. Mindfulness helps teachers be more attuned to the needs of students which can result in a more caring and responsive classroom.

What are some strategies for introducing mindfulness in the classroom? An emphasis on social-emotional learning (SEL) is one way to introduce mindfulness into the classroom environment. Classroom sessions dedicated to identifying stressors and ways to counter them can be a way to introduce mindfulness as well. Teachers can incorporate principles of mindfulness by cultivating inter-connectedness within the classroom, introducing movement and breathing techniques, and an appreciation for gratitude on all levels.

Teachers and parents can work together by sharing strategies to be implemented both at school and at home. This collaboration in itself will benefit GT kids. Parents of GT kids, as with all parenting strategies, must remain vigilant and be willing to consider developing sustainable ways to promote mindfulness at home.

Where can one find resources about mindfulness practices? There is an extraordinary number of resources both in print and online regarding mindfulness practices. We have included numerous resources here in this blog post. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Cybraryman’s Mindfulness Page

The Calm Schools Initiative (free app)

ClassDojo – Mindfulness

Listening, Thinking, Being Toward an Ethics of Attunement (Book)

Compassionate Critical Thinking: How Mindfulness, Creativity, Empathy and Socratic Questioning Can Transform Teaching (book)

5 Tips for Successfully Implementing a Mindfulness Program at Your School

Teachers: Use Mindfulness to Help Students’ Academics

Creating a Mindful Classroom Environment

Getting Started with Mindfulness

Using Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practices with Gifted Populations (pdf)

On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children (book – aff link)

Mind Matters Podcast: Episode 13 – Regulating Emotions Through Mindfulness

The Gifted Kids Workbook: Mindfulness Skills to Help Children Reduce Stress, Balance Emotions, and Build Confidence

Mindfulness on the Path of Gifted Development

Gifted Education Communicator: Implementing Mindfulness in the Classroom (Sisk)

ASCD: Mindfulness Resources

Gifted Mindfulness (website)

Planting the Seeds of Mindfulness: Creating the Conditions to Help Gifted Kids (book)

The Role of Mindful Parenting in Individual and Social Decision-Making in Children

What Gifted Kids Want Their Parents to Know

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Mindful Principles for Social and Emotional Learning (book: aff link)

Metacognition, Mindfulness, and Spiritual Well-being in Gifted High School Students (pdf)

MYmind: a Concurrent Group-Based Mindfulness Intervention for Youth with Autism and Their Parents

25 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Children and Teens (+Tips!)

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience (book)

Ohio Dept. of Education: Social and Emotional Learning Standards

APA: Mindfulness Resources

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

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Focusing in the Age of Distraction

Focusing in Age of Distraction

Perhaps one of the most pressing issues within the gifted community today, and least understood, is how to deal with distraction. The advent of new technologies strains our ability to focus. It has become a major concern in the classroom as well as the boardroom.

This week at #gtchat we tackled some important questions such as how do we focus in a society that has created and accepted the expectation of constant connection? Is it possible to balance the creative nature found in mind-wandering with the need to increase engagement for ourselves and for students? What effect does our lack of focus have on cognition? Finally, we looked at the benefits that come from sharper focus and the strategies that would get us there.

In this new world of connectedness, what are the downsides of being constantly in touch with others? Ironically, at the same time, we are experiencing the deterioration of human interaction. Not unlike an addiction, being connected brings quick, positive reinforcement; but long-term negative consequences. It erodes our free time, weakens personal relationships and leads to higher levels of stress as we seek to complete our work by constantly multi-tasking.

Balancing task engagement with the brain’s desire to wander seems almost impossible. However, researchers at Boston’s Attention and Learning Lab tell us, “Staying on task isn’t about pouring all your energy into the job – it’s about allowing the brain to wander occasionally and gently nudging it back on course.” (Concentrate! How to Tame a Wandering Mind) Mindfulness Training (How to Focus Under Pressure) and long-term meditation have both been shown to reduce mind wandering.

What effect does our lack of focus have on cognition? The ubiquitous nature of technology brings with it heightened expectations of our attentive abilities. Distraction has become commonplace and forces us to take actions and make decisions that strain our cognitive abilities. Harvard professor, Sendhil Mullainathan, has written that, “the more we focus on red-flag [urgent] tasks, the more our fluid intelligence, or “bandwidth,” is taxed. Help lies in learning to manage not just our time but our bandwidth relative to the tasks at hand.” (Taming the Ticking Mind)

The benefits of sharper focus are accomplishing goals, changing unhealthy habits and enhancing our quality of life. People who have a sharper focus are more successful and happier. Strategies that help re-learn focus include visualizing thoughts on paper, establishing routines and decluttering, taking time to connect and simply occasionally disconnecting. A full transcript may be found on our Storify page.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Links:

How to Focus in the Age of Distraction

Focus and Mindfulness

Managing Online Distractions

Declutter Your Life for a Razor Sharp Focus

Dealing with Information Overload

How to Motivate Yourself at Anytime

27 Things to Do with Students Who Are Not Paying Attention

‘From Evaluation to Inspiration’ (video) with Scott Kaufman at Aspen Ideas Festival

7 Tips To Help You Focus In Age of Distraction: Are You Content Fried!

Review of Developing Razor Sharp Focus

Focus A Simplicity Manifesto in the Age of Distraction (pdf)

Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century (Amazon)

Future Ready is Overrated

TED Talk “Connected, but Alone?”

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

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