At International School Bangkok (ISB), we believe in the benefits of mindfulness for our students and community. Many parents and community members have questions about mindfulness and we have compiled a list of the most common ones below:
Frequently Asked Questions about Mindfulness:
- What is mindfulness? Mindfulness means paying attention in the present moment to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, or surrounding environment. For the sake of simplicity, we can define it as noticing what’s happening right now in an open, balanced and curious way. It also includes intentionally nurturing positive states of mind such as empathy and kindness.
- Is mindfulness religious? No, The Mindful Schools program and other mindfulness in education approaches are completely secular (non-religious), and are based upon decades of scientific research applying mindfulness to the medical, mental health, and education fields. Youth and adults learn awareness, self-regulation, and social and emotional skills.
- Can mindfulness help improve academic performance or behavior issues? Both quantitative and qualitative research indicate that mindfulness helps give students the mental and emotional skills needed to improve learning readiness, attentional stability, prosocial behavior, impulse control and emotional regulation. In turn, these changes can support improved academic performance and behavior.
- Is mindfulness about getting rid of thoughts or emptying your mind? No, it’s natural to have thoughts and it is healthier not to repress them. Mindfulness gives us the ability to be aware of our thoughts, to step back and evaluate whether our thoughts are true or helpful, and redirect our attention when we realize we are caught up in ruminating.
- Is mindfulness a replacement for Social-Emotional Learning? Mindfulness is not a replacement for social and emotional learning (SEL), but it is an important complement. The practices, skills and outcomes of both mindfulness and SEL are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Mindfulness teaches youth to pause and self-regulate, allowing them to respond with their social-emotional skills rather than react impulsively.
- How does mindfulness fit into ISB’s Culture of Care? ISB’s Culture of Care includes three intersecting areas – Values, SEL Competencies, Mindful Practices. The ISB Values define who we want to be, the SEL Competencies are the skills we help students develop and the Mindful Practices help our students develop awareness to appraise their choices and act accordingly. Each of these areas supports the other and is critical for a healthy community.
For more information, please contact Brenda Perkins – firstname.lastname@example.org.