Mindfulness Matters

Friday, January 11, 2019 - By: Lindsay W, Allard ‘19

Any typical student could attest to the busy and challenging life that Brentwood’s tripartite program has to offer. As we work vigorously to receive good grades - first term report cards came out in December - the talk of stress around campus has been no secret to anyone. 

Recently in the AP Psychology classes, we were immersed in learning the M.E.S.H. unit which stands for Motivation, Emotion, Stress and Health. By being familiar with the theories and concepts of this unit, we are now able to better recognize when we are in a heavy stage of stress and we are then able to use the correct methods to help us through it. 

As a wrap up of the unit, on Wednesday, November 14th, Ms Richardson’s AP Psychology classes took a much-enjoyed trip to Shawnigan Lake to participate in a mindfulness session with Ms Cusi. Ms Cusi is the yoga teacher here at Brentwood which makes her no stranger to the up-beat life that Brentwood students are faced with. During the time we spent at Ms Cusi’s cozy home in the village, we were able to become educated on the different breathing techniques used to calm oneself down. 

We were settled in a quiet room with tall ceilings where mats covered the floor. The smell of essential oils filled the room as serene music played in the background. All of us were instructed to lie down and get comfortable as Ms Cusi began the process. The room was silent as we were glued to the floor, motionless. Through listening to the calmness of Ms Cusi’s voice as she guided students through her session, some of us fell into a deep sleep, while others lay there with nothing but ease. 

When students are stressed at Brentwood, it may seem like we are Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders; many students expressed that the main thing they gained from Ms Cusi’s workshop is that it taught them an extremely valuable way to deal with stress. Matthew P, Rogers ‘19 well known for his prowess on the rugby pitch reported, “This workshop helped me organize my thoughts and stifle the daily stresses I feel.” Students also explained their learning process throughout the session: “Previous to the workshop, I didn’t know the actual definition of mindfulness. Our instructor did a great job of explaining the benefits of practicing it, and how doing so allows us to be more present during the day” said Maria R, Mackenzie ‘19, cellist. This field trip allowed us to learn the true meaning of relaxation through experiencing it first hand. “It was a very calming experience and I now feel better prepared to deal with stress” debriefed Kristyn S, Mackenzie ‘19.

Lindsay W, Allard ‘19

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