...and this is when the penny dropped
I've never been a gym person. How about you? I find it boring and tedious. Even though I do realise that I need to work out hard in order to have strong muscles, I tend to procrastinate these trainings. It's something that keeps coming up in my New Year's resolutions but I never seem to have the willpower to follow it through. It wasn't until a month ago when I read in the magaizine "Natural health" that regular weight-lifting will help me from getting rheumatoid arthritis. Stronger muscles can better support my joints, while improved flexibility can aid joint function.
This is when the penny dropped and I came to the realisation that it was high time I dusted off my weights.
This story reminds me of all those times I saw my students' eyes grow larger when they realised how mindful breathing calms down their amygdala and helps them restore their inner balance. Practising deep breathing for a minute at the beginning of each lesson allows both the teacher and the students to
strengthen our attention muscle,
calm down the nerves,
️concentrate on our task
get more access to our creativity
️️make better decisions
I love telling my students stories about the sleeping hyppocampus and prefrontal cortex and how an influx of fresh oxygen can wake them up. I use scenarios they can easily relate to and know that if this happens in the future, they can always pull out "the breathing tool" from their mindful box.
I am aware many teachers do not feel confident to talk about the brain. Trust me, I was in the same boat until I took a few mindfulness courses and qualified as a Mindfulness Life Coach and Meditation Instructor.
But you can find various videos on YouTube which you can play to your students. A few days ago I came across the animated video "The Fight Flight Freeze Response" which you could use with your older teens and adults. If you fancy, you could even prepare it as part of a listening comprehension activity.
And if you are aware of any other appropriate videos, please, share them in the comments below so that we can help as many ESL teachers as possible.
I am currently creating a book which offers 100 mindful activities that any English teacher can use in their lessons. It's a project that I've been working on for a long time and it is bringing so much joy to me while writing and designing it. Seeing the benefits that my students reap from bringing mindfulness into my lessons, inspires me to share my knowledge and experience with teachers who feel passionate about making positive changes in education and their students' lives. Finally, I am truly grateful to all educators who take the time to write to me and express their appreciation for my work and following my heart. Yes, the road sometimes feels lonely and tiring but trust me there's nothing more empowering than knowing I am making a difference today in order to bring a better tomorrow.
Looking for some resources which utilise mindfulness tools? Click here.