Today, I woke up at 4:30am. My mind thought about work… I was up. I was trying to talk to my son about his day, I looked at my phone and got distracted…. I had to ask him to repeat what he said. I was busy working away at my desk when I was sent an unpleasant email… I couldn’t focus. I had to make an important decision around how to care for someone… I got stressed. These are real examples of my life and some of them might feel familiar for you too.

God calls us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). We can often be consumed with life’s worries, but we are called to slow down, step back and have a mindfulness which is directed at and anchored in God. That is why in Term 2, Covenant’s Mental Fitness programs focus on Mindfulness and Prayerfulness.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has a lot of different meanings for different people. At Covenant, we see it as being very present in God’s presence and the place he has put us in at that moment.

It’s a way of paying attention and being aware of what’s taking place around us, as opposed to getting caught up thinking about the past or the future. It helps us develop coping strategies during stressful moments and to develop goals to focus on to move forward.

One of the ways we can do this as Christians is quietly coming to God in prayer.

Are there benefits?

Research has demonstrated lots of benefits from practising mindfulness and prayerfulness to your overall wellbeing, such as:

  • Help with focus
  • Increase positive emotions
  • Improve physical health
  • Help manage stress
  • Lower levels of anxiety and depression

God’s word reminds us that this goes far beyond just these positive benefits.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

We have a God who gives us peace when we focus in on him. Amen!

Top Tips

  1. Teaching your kids to take things to God is a powerful first step for all our kids. Good and bad; he loves to hear us.
  2. Deliberately set aside a time each day/week for prayer together as a family.
  3. When you’re starting out, focused breathing exercises and prayerfulness can be hard, but the key to success is practise, practise, practise. Teach your kids these things when they are not stressed. Anchor Prayers are excellent for this or using box breathing can help as well.
  4. Just go for a walk and look around. God’s creation is beautiful and is something we should be thankful for.

I look forward to seeing our students’ hearts and minds set on things above.

Dan Apin
Director of Student Wellbeing

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