How Being Calm Translates to Better Relationships
Imagine the part of your home where you feel the calmest. In this personal space, you most likely have reminders of who and what you love to help you feel your best. When you start your day in this calm and energizing space, as any teacher knows, your day may go a little more smoothly because of your sense of calm. The non-stop schedule of a teacher can challenge that sense of calm throughout the day. Imagine how your interactions at the faculty meeting might go if your sense of calm has faded through the day. You don’t want to try the new reading software, you don’t want to contribute to a positive atmosphere, and you don’t want to smile at anyone. How could you? Your calm has been deflated.
Next time you go to a meeting, get calm beforehand. Make a space somewhere in your work environment where you can go during those few minutes to yourself. Take a deep breath and drink some water or your favorite cool beverage without caffeine or sugar. Life feels much better in a faculty meeting when you’re calm and physiologically cooled down. The effect of drinking cold water cools down the body and gives a person time to slow their breathing, hydrate, and clean out toxins. The body recognizes cooler temperatures when it’s at rest, so a glass of cool water gives the body a signal that it’s time to slow down. People trained in conflict resolution and mediation may use this calming strategy when tensions run high between those involved in a disagreement.
Focus on the water and how it makes you feel calm. Now, when you look at the people around you, you may even be able to exude some calm to someone else.
Children are similar in their interactions with each other. When they are calm, like us as adults, they communicate better and are able to interact with others without the weight of anxiety or self-concern. Making mindfulness a part of social interaction can help to set the time for calm. Being equipped with our Superpowers (what we call mindful strategies at Moshi!) can help kids navigate social interactions and even make it fun to be mindful with friends.
Try these cool interactive ideas to get kids to connect with others in a calm, positive way:
Differentiate on the playground
Conflicts are bound to arise, and social bonds can be strained, on the playground. In the physical activity of the moment, communication between kids can turn into a social exclusion situation. If this happens, before the next playtime in the environment where the conflict happened, lead a class discussion about choices. Ask, “What do you want to do on the playground today?” After the activity is mentioned, invite the rest of the class who else is interested in that activity. If someone seems to be on the receiving end of exclusion, be sure to ask them what they’d like to do. Often, there will be volunteers who want to take part. Then, the calm discussion beforehand can help to break the ice for those who might not have the skills yet.
Form small groups of students. Let each group know they’ll be teaching the other groups a mindful skill such as deep breathing, showing gratitude, body scanning, or any of the Moshi Superpowers activities. Each group takes a turn going to visit other groups and teaching them about their skill. For in-person learning, this is a great activity to do outside or in an open space since it involves considerable social interaction.
Journal about it
When emotions are high after a disagreement, having kids write down their feelings, or draw about them, makes communication easier. If an apology is needed after an event, writing a letter can help each person process the situation in a calm state.
This lesson, 5 Minute Stream of Calm with Yawnsy, is a fun, soothing track that comes with a detailed coloring sheet. Play the track to listen for sensory details about what Yawnsy’s calm world looks like. Coloring calms and focuses our minds, which is a great wind-down activity at the close of a busy day. Try out this lesson by printing this reflection guide and activity for 5 Minute Stream of Calm with Yawnsy. Click on the link to open the audio track in Moshi’s web player. For a complete mindfulness lesson on the Moshi superpower of calming yourself, just press play!