Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a behavior strategy that removes the mind's focus on negative emotions.  Mindfulness activities help the mind to a focus on the body's senses.

Activities for Young Students

Shark fin:

  1. Sit on a chair or comfortable surface and close your eyes.

  2. Place your thumb on your forehead with your other fingers pointing to the sky like a shark fin.

  3. Move your hand slowly down from the forehead to your chest, keeping these S-words in mind:

    • Sit straight

    • Still

    • Silent

    • Soft breathing

    • Shut eyes

  4. Breathe in and out a few more times.

  5. Open your eyes and notice how you feel.

Hand tracing:

  1. Sit quietly and take a few slow, deep breaths.

  2. Stretch out your fingers on one hand.

  3. With your other hand, slowly trace around your thumb. Breathe in as you trace up one side of the thumb, and breathe out as you trace down the other side.

  4. Do the same for the other four fingers, tracing up and breathing in, tracing down and breathing out.

  5. Switch hands and do it again. This time, pause slightly at the top and bottom of each finger.

  6. Think about which method you prefer today: with or without the pause.

Belly breathing:

  1. Choose a small stuffed animal or bean bag.

  2. Lie on your back on the floor, your bed or the couch.

  3. Place the toy on your belly. Keep your eyes open.

  4. Notice the weight of the toy. Feel your body touching the surface beneath you.

  5. Watch the object rise and sink as you inhale and exhale. Do this seven times.

  6. Take a moment and notice how you feel.

More Activities 

Chime

Listening:

(requires a bell or music wand)

 

Activity 1 

Say:  I'm going to ring a bell one time.  Listen to the sound it makes until you can't hear it anymore.  When the sound stops, raise your hand.

Students may be allowed to ring the bell for the class.

Activity 2

Say:  I’m going to ring this bell. Count how many out-breaths you take before it stops ringing. Breathe in and say in your head “in”, then breathe out and count in your head “one.” Breathe in “in”, breathe out “two”, and so on.

Senses Countdown

  1. Listen for 5 things you can hear.

  2. Reach for 4 things you could touch.

  3. Listen for 3 things you can hear.

  4. Breathe deep for 2 things you can smell.

  5. Think of one thing you really like about yourself.

  1. Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and sit comfortably. Ideally you can sit as you would to meditate, however if this is not possible you can sit on a chair with your back straight and your feet planted firmly on the floor. The technique can also be done lying down if you prefer.

  2. Close your eyes and take a minute to go through each part of your body, making sure that your muscles are relaxed and you are not holding any tension. In particular release your shoulders, however check all of your body.

  3. Now bring your awareness to your breathing, just listening to the air flowing in and out, not trying to control the breathing at this stage, but just noticing the breath start to slow down as you relax. Stay at this stage until you feel fully relaxed.

  4. Next breath in slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth.

  5. Now with each ‘in’ breath imagine that you are breathing in a relaxing color. Just choose a color that you find relaxing. For most people it is usually a blue, a green or a purple. So with each breath you are breathing in that color. Feel it traveling all around your body, relaxing you as it goes.

  6. As you exhale imagine you are breathing out the color bright red. Feel this color red leave your body with each ‘out’ breath, and with it you are exhaling any stress or tension that you have built up during the day.

  7. Continue to do this for several minutes, keeping the eyes closed.

  8. When you are ready slowly bring your awareness back to your physical surroundings. Start by wiggling your fingers and toes, still with your eyes closed at this stage, and then when you are ready gently open your eyes. When you feel awake again you can stand up.

Color Breathing: