.b - Mindfulness for ages 11-18￼
.b, pronounced (dot-be), stands for “Stop, Breathe and Be”. ￼This simple act of Mindfulness provides the kernel of a nine lesson course for young people. Written by experienced classroom teachers and mindfulness practitioners and evaluated positively by the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford Brookes, .b can be used in a wide range of contexts and age ranges, including adults.
At the most simple level .b for Teens is an awareness-raising exercise to give all students a taste of mindfulness so that they know about it and can return to it later in life if they choose to do so. However, for many pupils the course can lead to immediate and striking results: they feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled; they can concentrate better; they have a toolkit to deal with stress and anxiety.
Stress Reduction For Young People
While it is not true to say that ‘mindfulness’ is the answer to all our problems, there is a growing body of evidence-based research indicating the potential benefits for young people learning mindfulness-based skills.
These potential benefits include:
greater well-being (e.g. feel happier, calmer, more fulfilled)
to fulfil their potential and pursue their own goals e.g. be more creative, more relaxed, academically, personally
to improve their concentration and focus, in classes, in exams and tests, on the sports field, when playing games, when paying attention and listening to others
to work with difficult mental states such as depressive, ruminative and anxious thoughts and low moods
to cope with the everyday stresses and strains of adolescent life such as exams, relationships, sleep problems, family issues
This “Introduction to Mindfulness for Young People” course will cover the key concepts currently being taught on the popular structured programmes available today. The sessions are intended to be fun and informative and offer an introduction to common sense, practical approaches - exploring ways to be more skilful when dealing with whatever life throws at us.
Each session will cover a key concept together with associated practices to help deal with both challenging situations and getting the most from whatever is going well.
While movement, breath work and quiet reflection are an integral part of this approach it is a strictly secular course… not religious, not yoga and much more than meditation.
One of the five key recommendations for building a high well-being society from a recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Wellbeing Economics highlighted the important role Mindfulness training can play in a healthy society.
The report was based on a nine-month inquiry which explored well-being in relation to four diverse policy areas and amongst the recommendations were:
"Mindfulness training for doctors and teachers:
Mental health problems cost the UK economy an estimated £70bn annually, yet only one in four sufferers of depression or anxiety are currently in treatment – and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, a NICE-recommended treatment for recurrent depression, is still not widely available on the NHS. Training medical students and teachers in mindfulness techniques would build capacity both for mindfulness-based medical interventions and for mindfulness in schools, which has been shown to improve children’s well-being as well as their ability to concentrate and learn. Of course, behavioural interventions like mindfulness are not a substitute for addressing the structural economic causes of low well-being – but they do have huge potential to improve people’s lives."
Release-mindfulness is able to offer the .b programme and welcomes enquiries from schools and other organisations working with young people.
In addition to the structured nine week programme, one and a half hour, half day and one day taster/Introduction to Mindfulness sessions are also available for teachers, educational professionals.
"...I'll be able to reduce stress and stay a lot more calm and patient with other people and it'll help me do things more easily in front of others"
"...hopefully be able to focus more and concentrate and stop being anxious about relatively small things"
"...cope with stress and anxiety"
"...help me to deal with all kinds of situations and maintain good mental health"
"...when stressed with exams"
"...thinking more positively... responding not reacting"
"...to help me focus and relax"
Feedback from pupils who attended a recent .b course