World Mental Health Day
Harmony Garden was invited to Western High School to celebrate World Mental Health Day.
Jaime used music therapy as a platform to help students find ways to connect with themselves and to promote wellness and mental health support.
Jaime arrived to the high school just after 7:30am with a multitude of pitched instruments to help provide a space of relaxation and inner connection for the students. Each session was started with a 5-minute guided meditation that Jaime specifically curated for students and teachers. After a brief discussion on music therapy, the students were encouraged to create a sound scape together. There were crystal bowls, hand chimes, hanging chimes, hapi drums, ocean drums, and tingsha available for exploration.
Students picked out an instrument they were called to play. The soundscape started from silence and then slowly gained momentum of expression and each individual in the room found space to create sound. There were moments of peace and moments of chaos within the music. The students found enjoyment in this exercise and followed up the silence with words to describe the experience. Words used to describe the music were: peaceful, hopeful, beautiful, stressful, chaotic, exploratory, and supportive.
We have shared the guided meditation below.
Let us know if you use it and how your students and teachers respond to the supportive guided meditation.
Guided Meditation for Student/Teacher Connection and Mental Wellness
Welcome to this 5-minute guided meditation, dedicated to promoting mental wellness and fostering a sense of connection. As students (and teachers), you likely face various challenges and pressures, but remember that you’re not alone. This meditation is designed to help you relax, connect with your inner self, and reflect on your needs for connection and well-being. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down, and let’s begin.”
- Find Your Comfort:
- I invite you to close your eyes if you’re comfortable doing so, or you can just relax your gaze. Take a deep breath in, filling your lungs, and exhale slowly. Relax your body – shoulders, face, hands, etc – and find a comfortable posture.
- Breath Awareness:
- Pay attention to your breath. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Inhale slowly for a count of four. Feel your lungs expanding, holding your breath for a count of four. Exhale through your mouth for a count of four, releasing any tension. Do this a few times. Now, keep breathing at your own pace.
- Imagine a warm, gentle light at the center of your being. The center of your being is unique to you. It may feel like it is in your heart center. It may feel like it is in your throat, your head, your stomach. Wherever YOU feel your center, focus the light there. This light represents your inner self, your true essence. Visualize it glowing brighter with each breath. Feel the warmth and peace it brings.
- Connection to Self:
- As a student (or educator), you likely have many responsibilities and expectations to balance. It can feel like a lot. Take a moment to connect with your inner self. What do you need right now to feel centered and at peace? Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings without judgment. After acknowledging these thoughts, let them go. They won’t be gone forever, but if they are not helping you right now, tell them you will come back to them later. Right now, you want to find peace and balance. Those thoughts can wait.
- Gratitude for Support:
- Think about the people in your life who support and care for you—your friends, family, teachers, colleagues, and mentors. Reflect on their presence and guidance. Feel gratitude for the connections you share with them.
- The Power of Connection:
- There is power in connecting with others. Recognize that human connection is essential for mental well-being. It’s okay to seek support and share your thoughts and feelings with those you trust. You don’t have to face challenges alone.
- Take a moment to repeat these affirmations in your mind or out-loud, if you feel called to do so. Repeat to yourself, “I am worthy of love. I am worthy of support. I am worthy of connection. I am not alone in my journey.”
- Sending Positive Vibes:
- Imagine sending positive vibes and love to your friends and loved ones. Think of that light from your beings center again. Sending beams of that light as those positive vibes connecting you to those you love. Visualize your connections strengthening and growing. Feel the warmth and joy of these connections both in you sending the love, and in them returning the love.
- Deep Breath:
- Take another deep, cleansing breath in, and as you exhale, let go of any stress or worries. As you connect again with your breath – take a moment to thank yourself for this time of inner reflection. You are now feeling rejuvenated and connected.
- Slowly return your focus to the present moment. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Roll your shoulders and your head around. Slowly open your eyes if they were closed. Stretch if you feel like it. As you go forward, know that you are not alone, and there are people who care about your well-being.
Closing Message: Thank you for taking this time to connect with yourself and reflect on your needs for connection and well-being. Remember that you have the strength to navigate school and life’s challenges, and there are people who support and care about you. Promote wellness, foster connections, and reach out to those who can provide the support you need. Happy World Mental Health Day!