In our previous video, we talked about self-awareness as the foundation of building high EQ. We believe one of the effective activities to increase self-awareness is through mindfulness practices. Thus, we always start our class with a 10 minutes mindfulness activity in the Havan EQ Program. These activities aim to anchor the students’ motions and attention, which in turn helps to get them ready for the class.
The common practice of mindfulness is through quiet-sitting meditation. Naturally, young people will not find quiet sitting appealing. So, we need to creatively infuse mindfulness concepts into the many interesting experiential learning activities we normally conduct during classes.
In this post, we’ll share with you the most popular mindfulness activities with our students.
Eating with Senses
Mindful eating involves eating slowly and engaging our senses by paying attention to the flavors, colors, aromas and textures of the food we are eating. We can also pay attention to the sound of chewing and notice the effects of food on our feelings and body. Showing appreciation and gratitude towards food is mindful eating too.
We have so far tried mindful eating raisin, orange, waffle roll, and prune in the classroom. Our students are always excited with this activity because they discover new ways or fun ways to eat. Some of them even commented that food tasted better when eaten mindfully.
Moving with Attention
Is there a way to be in motion and still be practicing mindfulness? Absolutely! The main objective of mindful movements is to notice the sensations of the body in motion. During a mindful movement activity, the goal is to stay present in the moment and notice the world around us.
Mindful walking is the simplest mindful movement activity. We instruct the students to walk around the classroom mindfully and quietly. They need to pay attention to their body sensations, breathing, temperature, surroundings and sound while walking. We have also created a variation of this activity by asking the students to pretend as an animal and walk like it. Walking like a monkey has since been the top pick for mindful walking.
Listening with Acceptance
The trick to get the ever energetic students to be quiet and still in the class is by giving them a mission. We will ask them to pay attention to the surrounding sounds and note down what they have heard in 10 minutes of quiet time.
Sometimes, we make it like a game by splitting students into groups and compete against each other. The team which notices the most sound wins. We have students who reported that they heard their friend’s heartbeat, air-con noise, someone scratching their toes, and the bird’s chirping.
In another variation, we play students’ favourite songs and ask them to list down the type of instruments that they could hear in those songs. Students will then realize that there are at least 10 instruments played in a song even though they have heard the same song many times before.
Seeing with Perspective
Observation is a form of mindfulness. We love playing the game “spot the difference” in our online classes because it helps the students to quiet down and activate their vision by focusing on the screen.
Mind is Full and Less
We have conducted surveys before among our teenage students on their perception towards mindfulness. Prior to experiencing the active and fun type of mindfulness activities, students commented that mindfulness was “unnecessary”, “boring”, and “not helpful”.
After experiencing a range of different types of mindfulness activities in our EQ Program, students’ perceptions changed and they commented that mindfulness helps them to “calm down and relax” and “increase self-control”. Some are even awestruck and have had spiritual realization that mindfulness is in their life and that everything they do can be a form of meditation!
All the positive feedback and insights again strengthen our belief that the Havan EQ Program is on the right track.