Mindful Relationships - Intermediate Mid
Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes
- recognize the importance of their relationships with themselves and others.
- identify ways to use mindfulness to build healthier relationships with others.
- develop strategies to connect better with others.
Language Learning Outcomes
- practice note-taking strategies for main ideas and supporting details.
- elicit conversational language in a discussion.
Having healthy relationships with ourselves and others is key to well-being. Because we spend most of our time with others, it is essential to be mindful of the way we interact with them. This lesson will teach students how to be more mindful of their relationships. This includes the relationship with themselves as well as others.
Activate Background Knowledge
Show students this quote:
Retrieved from spirited-thinking.com
Have students discuss what they think this means.
- When is it hard to do things alone?
- In what types of activities do we need other people in order to complete or accomplish something?
- Examples: learning a language, business, eating at a restaurant, having a conversation, playing a board game or online game, searching information on the internet, parents raising children, sports teams.
- What do you think a healthy relationship is?
- Why do many people have pets?
- What is loneliness and what are its effects?
- Why is it important for us to have mindful relationships?
We have relationships all around us, even with animals. Having mindful relationships will help us to be more connected with ourselves, and those around us--including our friends, classmates, co-workers, and family.
Activity 1: Writing/Speaking
Have students write down five things they love about themselves. They don’t need to share this with anyone so encourage them to be as honest as they can. Invite students to pay attention to how they feel when they think positively about themselves.
Then have students think of two strengths and two weaknesses they have. Again, nobody is going to look at this so the students can try to be completely honest with themselves. Again, invite students to pay attention to how they feel when they think about their strengths versus their limitations.
Five-minute reflection: Have students just think and write down their thoughts to this prompt
- “What is your relationship with yourself?”
Then, have students switch gears a little bit and answer similar questions but about someone that they love.
- Think about someone you love. What are five things you love about this person?
- What is a strength this person has that you think might be one of your weaknesses?
Have students share their answers about the person they love (they don’t need to disclose the name or title of that person). Then have them brainstorm and discuss together how that person’s strength can help them with a challenge or problem or even just help them with a weakness. Highlight any positive comment about others that students may share, show appreciation when they share their feelings.
Introduce the word “acceptance” to the students. Acceptance means you believe that something is sufficient or good enough. Acceptance welcomes and approves something as it is without changing it. Emphasize that it’s important we accept ourselves and others.
Activity 2: Listening
The movie Frozen is a good example of acceptance. Elsa has magical powers to create ice and snow but she doesn’t think she can control herself. She tries to hide her powers and “shuts people out.” To “shut someone out” is an idiom. Have students search to try to find out what this means in context.
Students are going to watch a music video from the movie; before they watch, have them prepare to think about how Elsa’s unacceptance of herself affects all of her relationships.
Watch the following video:
After students watch the video, ask first how well they stayed focused before talking about the clip.
- What is Elsa’s relationship with her sister? With other people?
- Does anyone know what happens in the story?
- How does it end?
- How are Anna and Elsa different?
- Even though they are different, how do Anna and Elsa use their strengths to help each other in the end?
Have students brainstorm and think about another story from a book or movie where the relationship(s) affected either the problem, solution, or both. Then, share their answers with a partner.
Activity 3: Speaking
How well do we know those around us? This activity will assess how well students think they know their classmates. Give each student one of the handouts. Note* They only need page two of this worksheet; page one is instructions for the teacher. Split students into groups of three or four to complete the second part of the worksheet. They can simply follow the instructions listed there but model how to answer the questions in the first part because some of them may be difficult to understand, i.e. treasured possession, greatest achievement, ambition, etc.
Activity 4: Listening
In 2021 there are a lot of things that can distract us from being mindful of our relationships. In this TED talk Rober Reffkin explains 5 ways we can have better connections. Have students practice note-taking while they listen to the video. They should try to write down the five ways and then try to write one or two details/examples from each way. Watch the following video:
After playing the video, ask students whether they were able to stay focused on the 5 main ideas presented during the talk or if they got hung up on other things.
Afterwards, the students will compare notes to see what similar or different details they noticed.
Have students pick one of the suggestions from the video and do it during the week. Be prepared to share what they did by Thursday. As part of this goal, invite students to set a time and a place to remove distractions and stay focused for 5 minutes every day practicing the suggestion they chose to work on.
What is feedback? We often need to receive positive and constructive feedback in our lives.
- Why is it useful or important to receive feedback from someone you trust?
Have students commit to asking for feedback on personal/professional goals they are currently working on from someone they trust and love.
Sometimes being mindful simply means being thankful for the people in our lives. Have students try to think of 10 people they are thankful for. Ask students to focus their attention to the feelings they experience when thinking about these people and invite them to share their thoughts. Highlight any comment about positive feelings and emotions.
Give students a few minutes to share their experiences from their homework.
- What did you do?
- Was it hard to do? Why or why not?
- Was there any positive result?
Highlight any comments related to focusing one’s attention and praise students when they talk about coping with distractions and staying focused on their goal to work on one suggestion.
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