Mindfulness at Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy believes in addressing our student’s social and emotional well-being. Anxiety can be a huge issue for our students and we are working to develop coping skills and de-escalating behavior using mindfulness.

Take a second to sit up tall, roll your shoulders back, and take a deep breath. Maybe let your eyes close and take another one. Beautiful.

Sometimes it’s seen as a negative thing to show love for yourself, but today we’re going to challenge that, because we deserve it. We’re going to do this with something called Gratitude Affirmations.

Gratitude affirmations are a kind of meditation practice that is intended to change our perspective when we are feeling down. It can take as much time as you’d like, but I usually try to set aside at least 3 minutes to do this.

  1. We begin by settling in, as always. Find a comfortable seated position, place your hands on your knees, and roll your shoulders back, feeling the invisible string at the top of your head gently lifting you up toward the ceiling. Let your eyes gently close and take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  2. After settling in, we are ready to begin with gratitude for ourselves. Think of things you are grateful for that come from yourself. This can feel unnatural at first, but lean into that feeling. Say the things you are grateful for in your head. For example: I am thankful to my body for allowing me to live a healthy and zestful life, I am grateful for my patience in challenging situations, I am grateful for my sense of humor that allows me to connect with others, etc. Take a breath with each affirmation.
  3. Next we will begin focusing on our gratitude for our relationships. For example: I am grateful for my family for supporting me, I am grateful for my mentors who always challenge me, I am grateful for *friend’s name* who loves me for who I am. Repeat these mantras to yourself as you take deep breaths.
  4. Lastly we will meditate on our gratitude for the universe. For example: I am thankful for the nature around me and the chance to live in this world, I am grateful for the sunrise that lifts my spirits as I drive to work each day, I am grateful for the home I live in, etc. Repeat these mantras to yourself as you continue to breathe consciously.
  5. Take a last cleansing breath, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Allow your eyes to slowly open.

Notice how you feel as you go about your day after this practice. Don’t judge, just notice. Has your outlook shifted? Has your self-talk become more kind? Maybe! I hope so!

Have a great rest of your Wednesday, and don’t let this be your last mindful moment of the week.
Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.

Moving Forward

Moving Forward

Place both hands on your chest and take a deep inhale. Feel your chest rise and thank yourself for all the work you have already put in this week. Let that breath go.

Jobs often come with lots of highs and lows, and often we feel like we need to push those lows to the back of our minds to keep moving forward. It’s important, though, to also allow ourselves to acknowledge those feelings before we try to move on from them. The next time you feel yourself denying yourself the time to feel your “lows”, try this:

  1. Close your eyes, and focus in on that negative thought. Allow yourself to think about what it is that is upsetting you.
  2. Notice where in your body you are feeling this. Is it in your chest? Shoulders? Temples?
  3. Next observe the emotional feelings that are arising with that physical feeling.
  4. Begin to just observe that feeling, without attempt to make it go away. Just notice what you are feeling.
  5. Take a 5 count breath in through your nose, and exhale audibly through your mouth. As you inhale, send the breath to the part of the body that is holding the tension from this thought. As you exhale, begin allowing that tension to be released, observing it leave your body.

Have a great rest of your Wednesday, and don’t let this be your last mindful moment of the week.

Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.

Mindful Matters

Mindful Matters

Take a second, plant your feet on the floor, roll your shoulders back and take a deep breath. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Feel good? Take another one. Nice.

Today’s strategy is called a Cooling Breath (or a Sitali breath). It can be used when we feel frustrated to help bring our body temperature back down along with our stress levels.

  1. Stick out your tongue and curl it like a straw. (If you can’t do that, it’s ok, just make a little circle with your lips like you are drinking from a straw).
  2. Breathe in for 5 counts. Be aware of the coolness of the air entering your body, going down your throat and into your lungs and belly.
  3. Bring your tongue back in your mouth and hold at the top of your breath for one second before exhaling through your nose.

Repeat 5 times, or for as long as feels good for you. Remember that your breath should never be labored. If 5 counts is too long, breathe in for 4. Do what feels comfortable.

Here’s a video that teaches/guides this if you’re interested.

Have a good rest of the week!

Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.

About Mindfulness at MCA

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy believes in addressing our student’s social and emotional well-being. Anxiety can be a huge issue for our students and we are working to develop coping skills and de-escalating behavior using mindfulness.

Mindfulness allows one to be aware, to be understanding, and to be positive. It helps to calm anxiety, to focus the mind, and even to boost brain function.

According to The Atlantic, Google, General Mills, the Seattle Seahawks, and the U.S. military have embraced mindfulness as a means of boosting performance and productivity, while its potential as an antidote to the distractions and stress of everyday.

This year, MCA has converted a small classroom into a “Peace Room” equipped with comfortable seating, soft lighting, and artwork.

Why does MCA practice mindfulness? Mindfulness can improve attention, reduce stress, and can result in a better emotional regulation and improved capacity for compassion and empathy. It is the right thing to do for our students, staff and community.

Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

4030 N. 29th Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53216
PHONE: (414) 873-4014
FAX: (414) 873-4344
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Judith Parker, Principal

© 2017 Milwaukee Collegiate Academy

Our Eight Character Strengths

  • Love
  • Optimism
  • Zest
  • Social Intelligence
  • Grit
  • Curiosity
  • Self Control
  • Gratitude

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