Mindful Meditation Exercises for Teachers

Quick and Easy Mindful Meditation Exercises to Help De-Stress Your School Day

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We have all heard about how meditation and mindfulness can improve our health, but did you know that research has proven that it can help teachers, specifically? The Australian Journal of Teacher Education studied teachers who practiced mindful meditation and found that these teachers had less teacher burnout, less stress, were overall healthier (which meant less unexpected sick days), and were better able to concentrate and focus on their job duties.

With these kind of benefits, it's no wonder so many people are jumping on the bandwagon and practicing mindful meditation daily.

You may have read about the mindful classroom where students practice being mindful, or incorporating a yoga practice into your students' school day. But, have you ever tried this de-stress method for yourself? These mind-body exercises can transform the way you feel in a matter of minutes and take your not-so-good day into a great day!

How to Mindfully Meditate

Before you can practice the method, you will need to understand what it is. You're being "mindful" of the present moment that you are in, and focusing your attention on your thoughts through "meditation". It is quite easy for the mind to wonder while you are practicing, so it is your overall goal to control your mind and bring your thoughts back to the present moment. Here are a few simple exercises that you can try before, during, or after school to get you started.

Take a Moment for Yourself

The first exercise to help you de-stress is to practice focusing on your breath. This is the easiest way that you can begin your practice. Take a moment to sit quietly before you start your day (this can be at home, in the car, or even in your classroom) and just listen to your breath.

Make sure that you are somewhere that is comfortable and quiet and that is not distracting to you. Start by taking a moment to listen to your inhales and exhales. Just listen to your natural breath as it goes in and out of your body. If you find that your mind is wondering, know that this is completely normal and just simply bring your attention back to your breath each time this happens. You can also count your breaths as you inhale (...1) and you exhale (...2). This will help you stay focused in the present moment. Continue to do this until you feel you have had enough. It can be two minutes or thirty minutes, it depends on you and what you need at the time.

Give Yourself a Reminder

Now that you know that mindful meditation can be as easy as just listening and concentrating on your breath, you will need to give yourself a reminder or a signal that will help you remember to take a moment for yourself throughout the day. When you hear the lunch bell that can Que you to know that as soon as the students are in lunch, you will need to take five minutes to just sit and breathe, or just sit and listen to music, or just take a quick walk and focus on the sounds of nature. Find a sign that will remind you to just take a moment for yourself.

Then, once you have given yourself a moment of peace and tranquility, set an intention for you to follow throughout the day. It can be something as simple as " I am free of all stress" to something more specific and elaborate.

Tip: If you really want to de-stress then try incorporating a weekly yoga practice into your life. Yoga Design Lab has a great eye-catching yoga mat that is made out of microfiber, and you will love the cool designs.