Minds Incorporated Curriculum
Minds Incorporated has built its own curricula drawing upon the most well-researched and relevant teaching resources nationally. Our Elementary and Teen Mindfulness curricula covers the following themes of Mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning (SEL):
- Mindfulness of Breath – We teach three different types of breathing as anchors to help settle, focus, and balance the mind and body. Connecting with the breath allows students to access the nervous system’s relaxation response and to alleviate the stress that arises from the fight-flight-freeze response.
- Mindfulness of the Body, Movement, and Posture – We teach awareness of physical sensations of the body in order to help students center and focus, release tension and stress, and develop greater insight into levels of fatigue, hunger and where stress is manifested in the body. We emphasize the importance of how we sit and stand throughout the day, as posture impacts our emotions. Mindfulness of Body training is taught through formal sitting mindfulness practice, as well as through Mindful Movement, walking, and sometimes dance.
- Mindfulness of Emotions – Improving emotional regulation and how to respond well during emotionally difficult situations begins with awareness of our mind. We teach students to notice, label, and be curious about their emotional states, as well as where emotions manifest in the body. This practice builds resiliency and offers tools to lower stress chemicals in the body.
- Mindfulness of Thoughts – Stress is often derived from our thoughts about a situation, or the mind over-analyzing or replaying events in the past and future. We teach students to have awareness of the natural thinking mind, learning to recognize, accept, and be curious about where our minds naturally go. This practice teaches students how to refocus when the minds’ activity is not serving them and leads to greater self-acceptance and empowerment.
- Mindfulness of Sounds and Senses – We train students to have a greater awareness and deeper perspective of the environment around them, tuning into the sounds, sights, smells and tastes, as well as their peers. All of this has a deep impact on the nervous system and levels of calm and stress. We teach students that any potential distraction of sound or sight can actually be used as a way to focus and return to the present.
- Mindfulness of Compassion, Listening, and Communicating – Students and educators are often in large settings of more than 2,000 people. We train students and adults to navigate their busy environments and teach the social and emotional learning skills that help them relate to their peers with greater kindness and empathy. These skills are now scientifically validated as trainable. We teach mindfulness to help people communicate in a more empowered, safe, and inclusive way. We teach self-compassion, so students and educators can learn simple tools for self-care.
- Neuroscience – When students and adults have a greater understanding of how their brain and nervous system work, the likelihood increases that they will use the skills and tools of mindfulness when difficulty or stress arises. We teach:
- How stress and anxiety are manifested in the brain and body
- Neuroplasticity of the brain, or ability to “rewire” with new learning
- Negativity bias and common patterns of thoughts and emotions
- How to access the relaxation response and the positive benefits of mindfulness in our brain