Mindfulness

Area

the body and senses  

Methodology

Mindfulness

Aim of the activity

The aim of this practice is learning to read and use the body as a tool for awareness and emotional management

Target group

parents, adult educators  

Duration

15 min

Video

LINK AVAILABLE AFTER LTT

Description

Reflection

In this practice, we learn to listen to our body without asking for any performance; we receive or collect something instead. We often pay attention to our body when it has to prove something to us, when we are in front of a performance, or we have to appear in a certain way.
This practice also helps us to relate differently to pain, physical or emotional, cultivating a non-reactive attitude of avoidance or struggle, but of listening, curiosity and non-judgment.

Source

Wolf, C., & Serpa, J. G. (2015). A clinician’s guide to teaching mindfulness: The comprehensive session-by-session program for mental health professionals and health care providers. New Harbinger Publications.

Area:the emotions  
Methodology:Mindfulness
Aim of the activity:Learning to recognize and classifying emotions can improve impulse management
Target group:parents, adult educators  
Duration:8-10 minutes
Video:LINK AVAILABLE AFTER LTT
Description:Let’s find a comfortable position, close our eyes and bring attention to our body and our physical sensations.
Let’s take a few minutes to calm down our mind, listening to our breath or our body.
Then, we begin to explore the emotions we hold inside us.
It is likely that at any given moment there are more emotions within us – some more intense than others, some pleasant, some unpleasant, some clear, some others a little more blurred and difficult to describe or identify.
Then, we begin to explore the various emotions inside us and, each time we find one, we give it a name and try to identify in which part of the body it expresses itself and takes shape.
For example, we may feel a slight “anxiety” and notice that we feel it on the chest, in the form of pressure.
We notice and, moment by moment, we look for the emotions that change, that emerge inside us, that intensify or dissolve.
If we have the feeling that there are no emotions going through us, we will be able to notice, for example, the emergence of boredom or frustration in response to having realized this, and we could give this emotion too a name and find a place for it in our body. There are always emotions that colour – even if with dim lights – our internal world!
Let’s notice, moment by moment, how our emotional world changes and transforms, like the lights inside a kaleidoscope.
Let’s observe our emotional world with curiosity and without judgment, for a few minutes, without asking ourselves the reason for some emotions and letting go any impulse to hold them back if they are pleasant, or to send them away if they are unpleasant.
Then, let’s return to our breath and slowly reopen our eyes.
Reflection:Through this practice we can take a greater distance from emotions and, by seeing them as passing phenomena inside us, learn not to obey them as conditioned by the impulses that accompany them.
Source:Germer, C. (2009). The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions. Guilford Press.
Area:the emotions  
Methodology:Mindfulness
Aim of the activity:Notare come le emozioni si attivano automaticamente in risposta a degli stimoli attivando il corpo.
Target group:parents, adult educators  
Duration:10-15 minutes
Video:LINK AVAILABLE AFTER LTT
Description:Create a 10-15 minute playlist of music, possibly classical or ethnic music. Some songs to start can be:
– Arvo Part
– Spiegel im Spiegel
– Binge
– The watermill
– Les tamboures du bronx
– The caravan
Lie on your stomach, with your legs slightly apart and your arms at your sides. Close your eyes and let your mind and breathing slow down a bit.
When you’re ready, start playing the playlist. The goal of this exercise is to imagine listening to the songs not with the ears, but with the body, noting how the music has an energizing, relaxing effect, causes chills, impulses to move, cold or hot, regardless of whether we like it or not  
Reflection:This exercise helps us to perceive emotions in the body, realizing the close link between body and mind  
Source:Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (2011). Acceptance and commitment therapy: The process and practice of mindful change. Guilford Press.
Area:the emotions  
Methodology:Mindfulness
Aim of the activity:The aim is to develop the ability to observe emotions, without identifying with them and feeling overwhelmed.
Target group:parents, the adult educators  
Duration:10 minutes
Video:LINK AVAILABLE AFTER LTT
Description:You can begin this practice by sitting with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight. Let your eyes close and allow your mind to slow down, bringing your attention to the breath for 1-2 minutes.
Then, bring your attention to your feet and legs and feel the weight being grounded onto the floor. Every time the air comes out of your body, imagine that your legs get heavier and anchor firmly and solidly on the ground.
Then shift your attention to your back and head, and every time the air enters your body, imagine being drawn towards the sky, stretching your back upwards.
Now, concentrate on the whole body: when the air comes out, you feel your solid base towards the earth and when the air enters you feel your back and your head gently pulled upwards.
Through these sensations, imagine yourself to be a mountain, solid and heavy towards the bottom, majestic towards the top. Dwell on this image for a while.
Now imagine that spring arrives on the surface of the mountain: imagine the fresh colours, the swarm of the awakening of the animals of the forest, the warm sun that melts the ice. Imagine observing spring from the perspective of the mountain: a passing phenomenon that can be seen from above, and that does not move the foundations of the mountain itself.
Then imagine that summer arrives, the heat of sunny days sometimes interrupted by downpours … Imagine the thunder that vibrates the rocks and clouds that darken the sky. Then, also observe this season from the perspective of the mountain: feel the solidity of its foundations and observe from above how this season is also passing.
Imagine that autumn arrives, the dark mists and the first colds that turn the leaves yellow. It also observes this season as a passing phenomenon, which colours the surface, but which does not move the foundations and which does not change the essence of the mountain.
Finally, imagine the arrival of winter, darkness and silence. Observe the sensations that this season brings with it, but then, remember to observe them from the perspective of the mountain: even winter is fleeting and does not affect the solidity of the mountain.
And now imagine that the seasons represent our emotions: from the most pleasant ones to the most unpleasant ones and that scare us the most.
Instead of identifying with emotions, we can remember to take the perspective of the mountain: all emotions are transient phenomena and cannot change the essence of who we are.
After reflecting on how this metaphor can be carried over to your current life, go back to your breath and when you feel ready, open your eyes again
Reflection:The metaphor of the mountain helps to change perspective regarding our emotions: instead of fighting against them or fear them, we can learn to observe them, anchoring ourselves on the sensations of solidity and majesty that come from our body
Source:Fleming, J. E., & Kocovski, N. L. (2013). The mindfulness and acceptance workbook for social anxiety and shyness: Using acceptance and commitment therapy to free yourself from fear and reclaim your life. New Harbinger Publications.
Area:the body and senses  
Methodology:Mindfulness
Aim of the activity:The aim of this exercise is to learn how to use the breath to observe the comings and goings of our mind and to activate its calming system.
Target group:parents, the adult educator  
Duration:10 minutes
Video:LINK AVAILABLE AFTER LTT
Description:Let’s find a comfortable position, where we can rest both feet on the floor and let our back assume a straight but relaxed position.
Let’s feel comfortable and stable and, if possible, let’s close our eyes.
We begin to drive our attention to the flow of breath in and out of our body. Let’s perceive our breath without trying to change or correct something, but simply remaining in contact with the act of breathing.  
Let’s listen with curiosity as our breath descends into the belly, paying attention to the abdomen and chest that rise and fall. Let’s the air reach the bottom of the lungs.
When we exhale we notice the abdomen that lowers or contracts slightly. We feel the muscles below the rib caging moving at each breath.
As we watch the belly rise and fall, let the breath find its natural rhythm and course. With each inhalation let’s pay attention to our body and with each exhalation let’s feel our whole body letting go.  
Now let’s extend and prolong the exhalation and let the breath tune into a slow and calm rhythm. Let’s inhale for three seconds, try to pause for a moment, then exhale for another three seconds and stop a little longer. If we can, we can prolong this rhythm for four seconds for each inhalation and each exhalation, and then at a rate of 5 seconds. Let’s keep this rhythm gently, using it as a guide and as a rhythm. Whenever our mind moves away to thoughts, images or distractions, we can softly remind ourselves that this is the nature of our mind; immediately after the last inhalation, let’s bring our attention back to the calming rhythm of the breath.  
Let’s keep our attention onto this calming rhythm of breathing as much as we can, feeling each inhalation descending along the lungs, noting the abdomen that rises and falls and having the perception of the release of air during exhalation.  
After practicing this type of breathing with a calm and slow pace for a few minutes, let’s exhale and let this exercise go, bringing our body back to the environment, opening our eyes and returning to the present experience.
Reflection:This practice is an invitation to find a moment of tranquillity during the breathing experience, from which it is possible to observe the comings and goings of the mind. This tranquillity involves the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and has a calming and relaxing effect.
For some people it can be difficult at first to indulge in listening to their breath, so we suggest starting with short sessions and feeling free to keep your eyes open. There are also numerous apps that can help you tune into slow breathing rhythm.
Source:Irons, C., & Heriot‐Maitland, C. (2021). Compassionate Mind Training: An 8‐week group for the general public. Psychology and psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice94(3), 443-463.