Mindfulness Talk to Leaving Cert Students, Presentation College Athenry

My name is Marie Cronnelly. I am a former pupil of Presentation College Athenry a long time ago!

I have recently completed a 2 year Diploma in Psychology for Counselling in NUI. Within this course I was fascinated by 2 modules on the course: Art therapy and Mindfulness. I have branched out further and I am currently studying to become a certified Mindfulness coach with the “Mindfulness Teacher for Life Programme” with full accreditation to teach mindfulness to children, teens and adults.

I have a  particular interest in sharking my skills with children and adolescents – so thank you for having me chat to you today!

What is Mindfulness?

 Mindfulness is all about living fully in the present moment, without judgment, and with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. It’s about breathing, noticing what’s happening right here and now, sending a gentle smile to whatever you’re experiencing in this moment (whether it’s easy or difficult), and then letting it go. You can be mindful anytime, anywhere, no matter what you’re doing. It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to do, especially when you are stressed! 

Lets set an intention this morning 

Lets take a few moments to think about how we would like our day to go. I invite you all to close your eyes, take a deep slow breath in through your nose, hold for 4, and release slowly through your mouth. During this intention, just let go of any stress you may be holding or anything that you are worrying about, just acknowledge it and be kind to your self by saying to yourself “I’m ok”.  If your mind wanders, its ok, just have the awareness to bring yourself back into your breath. This may not come straight away to you, remember mindfulness is like a muscle, the more you train it, the better it becomes but for now…….. the “Good enough” approach is how we will roll today. 

Filling the Happiness GAP

Gratitude Write 3 things you are grateful for in your life 




Marie to give examples of mine

Acceptance for what you haven’t got 




Present You are here, you are alive, you are loved, you are good enough

“Yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love & affection”

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude

  • Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. …
  • Gratitude improves physical health. …
  • Gratitude improves psychological health. …
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. …
  • Grateful people sleep better. …
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem. …
  • Gratitude increases mental strength & resilience 

Changing the Channel

We can all change what we are thinking about, choosing a thought that will give us more enriching feelings. We have up to 60,000 thoughts a day.

I look at them as unexpected visitors, they come and they go!

Thoughts may go through our heads that are disturbing.  These thoughts sometimes make us angry, sad, worried or scared.  While these feelings are perfectly okay, there are times when we all would prefer to “change the channel” on our thoughts, and to shift our focus to something more pleasant and less upsetting.  For example, negative thoughts have the potential to keep us up at night, distract us from getting something done, or just plain interfere with our enjoyment of our day-to-day lives. Here are some ideas I use in order to change the channel of my thinking:

  1. Imagine yourself in a lovely, relaxing, peaceful spot. This spot can be a real place or an imaginary place. Now do a survey of your 5 senses and concentrate on what each of them is registering while you imagine you are in that peaceful spot.  What do you see when you look straight ahead?  How about to your left and right?  What do you hear close by?  How about far away?  What do you feel?  Taste?  Smell?  Take as long as you possibly can to fully explore and appreciate your peaceful place.
  1. Concentrate on your 5 senses in the here and now. Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. Repeat as often as necessary.

it also can be helpful to just notice a thought and let it go.  Imagine the thought on a train that is pulling out of a station, or attached to a balloon that is flying away, or on top of a leaf that is drifting away down a stream. We are not defined by our thoughts

Marie Cronnelly
Marie Cronnelly

Dip. Psychology for Counselling, Accrediting to IMMA, IPHM, CCPH

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About me
Hello! My name is Marie Cronnelly

Marie is very tuned in to children’s energy and has been teaching privately at her purpose built studio in Athenry.

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