Attention. Self-Control. Gratitude. Self-Awareness.
These are all essential skills that our students at The Lab School need to develop in order to become successful learners, and to develop positive relationships with those around them. These are skills that are cultivated through mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness can be defined as “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the pioneers of mindfulness in the United States. The practice of mindfulness has been found to be helpful for children and adults with alleviating stress and anxiety; improving concentration and attention; and improving physical pain. Importantly for us at The Lab School, it is a technique that children can learn through practice, which can help them improve their focus and attention, reduce distractibility, and better manage their emotions.
Since 2012, students in The Lab School’s Elementary and Intermediate divisions have been learning mindfulness skills. Lessons focus on mindful listening, mindful seeing, gratitude, mindfulness of thoughts, and mindfulness of emotions. These are skills that directly impact our students’ experience, and give them strategies that they can take with them wherever they go.