Once upon a time, mindfulness may have been seen as something hipsters did while making daisy chains in a field singing Kumbaya.
Now, this powerful wellbeing practice is gathering momentum and is beginning to embed itself into the heart of education rather than as an extracurricular.
And a new cartoon is set to introduce it to our little ones.
Say hello to True and the Rainbow Kingdom, with Pharrell Williams behind the executive producer steering wheel and created by Guru Studio, the animators of PAW Patrol.
The show, with mindfulness as its core theme, sees fearless heroine True encourage children to stop and take a breath in the face of uncertainty and change.
True, accompanied by best pal Bartleby the cat, comes to the rescue of Rainbow City’s whimsical citizens as they demonstrate how to deal with the unexpected – educating pre-schoolers on how to use techniques which can help cope with the current climate.
Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a way to prevent depression, with emphasis on it being used proactively to monitor mood rather than reactively in a crisis.
The practice involves reminding ourselves to take notice of our thoughts, feelings, and body to bring us into the present as thoughts tend to exist in the past or future as we worry about events that have already occurred or ones that are yet to play out.
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says: “Some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they’re doing, lots of thoughts and worries crowd in.
“It is useful to remember that mindfulness isn’t about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events.”
He explained: “Imagine standing at a bus station and seeing ‘thought buses’ coming and going without having to get on them and be taken away.
“This can be very hard at first, but with gentle persistence it is possible.
“Some people find that it is easier to cope with an over-busy mind if they are doing gentle yoga or walking.” Or watching True and her adventures!
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