Using Mindfulness as a Self-Management Strategy to Improve Student Behavior and Engaged Time in Classroom and Non-Classroom Settings at School Sara Shababi and Joseph Lucyshyn University of British Columbia Making Connections Conference Richmond, B.C. November 4, 2013
Objectives • Learn about the roots and origins of Mindfulness • Learn what mindfulness is and what it is not. • Understand the difference between mindfulness and mindlessness and the various ways that mindfulness can be compromised • Understanding why being mindful is important • Review the research on the effects of mindfulness for children and adults • Understand how to cultivate mindfulness • Research on Meditation on the Soles of the Feet
Overview • Background • What is mindfulness? • Why is being mindful important? • How can we cultivate and foster mindfulness? • Research study • Resources
Who we are • Sara Shababi-Shad • Masters student in Special Education with a focus on behaviour disorders • I currently work with ABA Learning Centre with children with developmental disabilities • Dr. Joseph Lucyshyn, Ph.D., BCBA-D • Associate professor at the Faculty of Education with a focus on behaviour disorders and autism • Graduate subervisor
An old tradition (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • Mindfulness has its roots in Easter contemplative traditions. • Training the mind to achieve mental, emotional and physical health goes as far back as 4000 years ago.
An old tradition (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • However, 2,500 years ago, the writings of Buddha more specifically focused on the quality of consciousness in the present moment (i.e., mindfulness).
Nonreligious and Nonesoteric (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) • The Buddhist contributions have been the emphasis of simple and effective ways to refine mindfulness. • We are all mindful to varying degrees. • According to behavioural sciences mindfulness is a consciousness discipline.
Mindfulness: A State of the Mind • Mindfulness is not a religious practice but rather a state of the mind • Moment-to-moment • Nonjudgmental • Accepting • Etc.
Mindfulness and Science (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • An increased interest in mindfulness in mental health professions over the last 40 years. • Science is catching up with practice • Most of the research has focused on the effects of mindfulness on adults.
Mindfulness for Children (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) • The field is in its infancy • Most studies so far have focused on the effects of mindfulness for adults. • Increasing interest in studying the effects of mindfulness for children.
Future of Mindfulness • We must focus on systematically sound studies on children and mindfulness. • Design and implementation of mindfulness programs in classroom curriculums.
Activity What is Mindfulness?
Mindful Breathing Activity (The Hawn Foundation, 2009)
What is Mindfulness? • By Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/gg_live/science_meaningful_life_videos/speaker/jon_kabat-zinn/what_is_mindfulness/
Emotional Struggles (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • Humans struggle emotionally when confronted with: • Adverse circumstances Or • Benign circumstances that we perceive as adverse
Mindfulness to Reduce Struggles (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • A deceptively simple way of relating to all our experiences and as a result reduce emotional struggling and suffering
In ancient texts: Awareness - Of what is occurring within and around us Attention - Focused awareness Remembering - Remember to be aware and pay attention What is Mindfulness?(Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009)
What is Mindfulness? (Siegel, Germer & Olenzki, 2009) • As a psychological process is: • What we do with our moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness • Awareness with acceptance
What is Mindfulness? (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • New qualities added to the original three to help with clinical conditions: • Nonjudgmental • Acceptance • Compassion
A Definition of Mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) • “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment-to-moment.”
What is Mindfulness? (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • Simply put: 1) Awareness, 2) Of present experience, 3) With acceptance.
What is Mindfulness? (Shapiro, Carlson, Astin & Freedman, 2006) • Alternative view: Intention Your intentions set the stage for what is possible Attention Seeing the experience for what it is without interpreting it. Attitude How we attend; what qualities we bring (e.g., cold and critical or affectionate and compassionate
Activity: Think of a moment in your life that you really value or you really enjoyed!
How Mindfulness is Compromised? (Schonert-Reich & Lawlor, 2010) • Multitasking • Focusing on times other than the present • By refusing to acknowledge thoughts, emotions, motivations or perceived objects
What is Mindlessness? (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • Spending time lost: • In our memories of the past • Fantasies of the future • Making conscious efforts to escape from the present moment • http://youtu.be/HzizvU5c7do?t=1m58s • SIMON AMSTEL VIDEO: DO NOTHING, NAPISY (2:00 - 3:36)
Examples: (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • Driving • Cutting bagels • Talking while eating Anyone else?
Common Misunderstanding(Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • Not having a blank mind • Not becoming emotionless • Not withdrawing from life • Not seeking bliss • Not escaping pain
Where is it Practiced? (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) • Hospitals and clinics around the world • Schools • Workplaces • Corporate offices • Law schools • Adult and juvenile prisons • Inner city health centres
Why Should We be Mindful? Jason Images
Focus on Strengths (Schonert-Reichl &, Lawlor, 2010) • Mindfulness is a shift from preoccupation with repairing weaknesses to developing the person’s positive qualities
Enhanced Autonomy (Brown & Ryan, 2003) • 3 basic psychological needs • Autonomy, Belongingness, Competence (ABC) • Awareness that accompanies mindfulness can be valuable in facilitating choice of behaviours that are consistent with one’s needs, values and interest
Mindful Tasting Activity (The Hawn Foundation, 2009)
Disorders (Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt & Walach, 2004) Benefits for: • Cancer • Fibromyalgia • Anxiety disorders • Depression • Skin Psoriasis • Obesity and binge eating disorders
Brain (Siegel, Germer & Olendzki, 2009) • Brain regions responsible for attention and introspection enlarge with mindfulness practice
Brain (Davidson et al, 2003) • Increased activity in the left-side anterior activation • Associated with feelings of well-being • Associated with reduction in anxiety • More adaptive responding to negative/stressful events
Brain (Hözel et al, 2011) • Increase in gray matter concentration in left hippocampus • Hippocampus is critically involved in learning and memory processes as well as modulation of emotional control
Immune System (Davidson et al, 2003) • Significant increase in antibody titers.
Physical Benefits • Reducing symptoms of: • Eating disorders (Tapper et al., 2009) • Substance abuse (Roemer et al., 2006) • Chronic pain (Grossman et al., 2007)
Social Emotional Benefits (Schonert-Reich & Lawlor, 2010) • Develop hardiness in the face of uncomfortable feelings
Social Emotional Benefits (Brown & Ryan, 2003) • Increase in: • Optimism • Positive affect • Self actualization • Self regulation
Social Emotional Benefits (Ryan & Brown, 2003) • Reduced psychological and emotional problems: • Negative affect • Depression • Anxiety and stress • Rumination
Social Emotional Benefits (Brown & Ryan, 2003) • More socially and emotionally competent (Schonert-Reich & Lawlor, 2010) • Improvements in self-regulation • Attention • Inhibit aggressive responses • Heightened self-knowledge
Mindfulness is a SEL skill (Durlak & Weissberg, 2011) • Mindfulness is a social and emotional learning skill. • SEL is the process of learning important and necessary skills to: • Recognize and manage emotions, • Develop concern for others, • Form positive relationships, • Make responsible decisions, • And deal with challenging situations effectively
Social-Emotional Learning Low SEL is associated with drop-out and non attendance. (National Centre for Education Statistics, 2002) Students high in SEL are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviour. (Malecki & Elliott, 2002) SEL has positive effects on physical health, and life and academic success. (Zins & Elias, 2006) SEL has positive effects on: Attitudes about self and school, and achievement test scores. (Durlak et al., 2010)
Mindfulness for Youth (Mendelson et al., 2010) • Reduced symptoms of: • Anxiety • Depression • Somatic distress • Improved: • Self-esteem • Sleep
4th and 5th Graders (Burke, 2009) • Enthusiastic about participating in a mindfulness program • Positive experience with the program • Enhanced self-regulatory capacities • Reduction in activation and persistence of worrying thoughts
Other Studies (Burke, 2009) • Programs are well-tolerated by youth • Mindfulness skills learned are generalized to other settings (e.g., preparing for exam)