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Last week Miss Middleton ran a Mindfulness taster session as part of the E-welfare programme. The aim was to give students a way to switch off from their mobile phones and other forms of technology.
We turned up to Miss Middleton’s room which wasn’t difficult to find as we were led by the smoky smell of incense burning and Indian flute music playing.
After a short burst of giggling, we settled into the quiet and Miss Middleton began by explaining the benefits of Meditation. Then we started to focus on our breath. This sounds easy but is actually really difficult! My mind wouldn’t switch off, as l was thinking about everything and anything except my breath! Apparently this is normal and we were told to acknowledge our thoughts, let them pass and then focus back in on our breath.
Then we started breathing in and out to a count of 5. Gradually my body started to relax and my mind started to switch off, as l followed Miss Middleton’s instructions. Maybe this could work?
We were led through a body scan where we tensed and relaxed each muscle in our body, whilst continuing to focus on our breath and by the end of this exercise, l felt extremely calm and my mind was settled and clear. We finished with a countdown from 50 – 1 whilst breathing and l must say, l felt strangely heavy and warm. It was almost hypnotic.
As we slowly opened our eyes, everyone was mellow and chilled. I slept really well that night and will definitely try this again at home when l’m feeling stressed or can’t sleep.
Mobile Phone Free Day
On the 28th November all pupils, though reluctantly, handed their beloved phones in to their tutors to be locked away for seven hours. I know, shocker! But it was harder than expected. I think everyone underestimated the impact the loss of our phones would have on an ordinary day at school. People found themselves instinctively reaching into their blazer to check the time or send a message, only to find an empty pocket.
I personally did miss my phone quite considerably. Using your phone is something you can do in an awkward situation or when in a room with people you don’t know. It’s kind of like a safety blanket. More importantly, I use my phone to find out where people are or to keep up to date with people’s news via Snapchat stories.
In some ways, it is a bit scary how dependent we are on our phones. My friends and l all felt there was something significantly missing throughout the day.
However the day did bring about positive results. People found themselves talking to one another face to face rather than missing out on valuable time with your friends whilst messaging others. To be fair, phones are not always used in a negative way. Most people use them to take photos of the board or a page in a textbook.
It would be unrealistic to expect everyone to hand in their phones. The sneaky few pretended they had ‘left it at home’. The unlucky ones were caught by Miss Middleton, who was on the rampage in the Houserooms!
The day certainly proved how reliant some pupils are on their phones and that the vast majority need to buy a watch!