Mindfulness is the quality of paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment and noticing our external and internal experience of that moment without judgment. 

Scientific research demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness began over 30 years ago with a structured program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. For example, "In 2011, Harvard neuropsychologist Britta Holzel and her colleagues found that a standard 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course resulted in significant increases in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes."*  Research with children and in educational environments has been underway for nearly 20 years with promising results. The growing body of research on mindfulness in school-based contexts reveals the following list of core benefits:*

  • Better Focus and Concentration       
  • Increased Sense of Calm
  • Decreased Stress and Anxiety
  • Improved Impulse Control
  • Increased Self-Awareness
  • Skillful Responses to Difficult Emotions
  • Increased Empathy and Understanding of Others
  • Development of Natural Conflict Resolution Skills

          * Mindful Schools, Mindful Educator Essentials...detailed information about Mindful Schools' program can be found here.

"Self-Control" is controlling one's own responses so they align with short- and long-term goals.

At work or school, demonstrating self-control could involve:

  • Coming to the office or class with everything needed to get to work rather than being unprepared
  • Remembering and following directions rather than needing to be reminded
  • Getting to work right away rather than procrastinating
  • Paying attention rather than getting distracted

Interpersonally, demonstrating self-control could involve:

  • Remaining calm, even when criticized or otherwise provoked, rather than losing your temper
  • Allowing others to speak rather than interrupting
  • Being polite to all, even when stressed or angry

* Detailed information on Character Lab "Self-Control" tools and research can be found here.

Mindfulness & Personal Development at Berthold Academy

Trimester One

Foundational Mindfulness Practices & Organizational Skills

  • "Short moments of awareness, practiced many times."

  • Breathing in, breathing out.... When I notice my thoughts, I can anchor back to my breath.

  • Character Lab focus:  Coming to class prepared, remembering & following directions, and getting to work right away instead of waiting until the last minute.

  • Design and offer a showcase day for our community, in which we teach what we've learned!

Trimester Two

Attentional Control & Listening Skills

  • "Attention is a resource."  You can use mindfulness to direct your thoughts and shift your attention, like pointing a flashlight.

  • Deep Listening:  You can choose the kinds of thoughts and stories you want to live in.

  • Character Lab focus: Paying attention, resisting distractions, and allowing others to speak without interrupting.

  • Design and offer a culminating showcase day for our community, in which we teach what we've learned!

Trimester Three

How Can We Be Mindful Together?

  • "I am mindful of the words I use and the ways in which I express myself to others."

  • "I can be mindful and peaceful, even in conflict."

  • Character Lab focus:  Being polite, keeping temper in check, remaining calm even when criticized or provoked.

  • Design and offer a culminating showcase day for our community, in which we teach what we've learned!