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Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions, concentrating on the positive and moving past the negative.
Create a positive cycle of self-talk and acceptance, turning negative thoughts into productive ones.
Use steady, measured breathing techniques to focus your mind and your body in the moment.
When mindfulness is boiled down to “being aware,” it might not seem that important. But when we consider it as “paying attention,” suddenly that sounds more applicable. Paying attention to what we’re learning in class, paying attention to the ball on the field, paying attention to how we’re feeling during a conversation – these are just some examples of being engaged in the moment. And the research is clear: being mindful has a host of benefits for students and athletes.
Higher levels of self-compassion and positive self-talk
Lower levels of stress and anxiety
Higher levels of empathy and compassion for others
Decreased symptoms of depression
Increased personal confidence
Greater feeling of community among students and teammates
Expanded critical thinking skills
Improved study habits and test-taking abilities
Fewer behavioral issues and incidents of bullying
Improved planning and organizational skills
Teachers say that their students seem more relaxed and focused and have fewer behavioral issues after practicing mindfulness. They also notice both improved academic performance and emotional regulation in the classroom, and that their students show increased self-compassion and confidence.
Students describe themselves as feeling calmer and more under control, more helpful towards their fellow classmates, and optimistic about their future. Many of them specifically feel that mindfulness training helps them achieve these new behaviors, and, even better, that they actually enjoy the mindfulness training sessions!
Parents report noticing that their kids are better able to focus and remain calm at home. When the kids experience a stressful situation, they are able to stop, take a breath, recognize how they’re feeling, and shift perspective to create a less emotional, more positive reaction.
Athletes mentioned the same benefits that students noticed, as well as several sports-specific upsides: improved awareness and focus, feeling more “in the zone” during the game, and decreased feelings and symptoms of burnout.
The founding brains behind The Mindful Project belong to a professional soccer player, two-time Olympian and four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup competitor; and a university professor and women’s soccer coach with a Doctorate in Mindfulness Research.