Mindful Meditation Exercises for Teachers

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

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The ancient practice of mindfulness has seen increased popularity in the West in recent years, finding its way into the fields of medicine, fitness, and, yes, even education. In 2012, 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 fewer 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 finding ways to incorporate the practice of mindfulness into their daily routines. Here are some tips, especially for teachers, to get you started.

Take a Moment for Yourself

One of the most important elements of mindfulness practice is the focus on the breath. Take a moment to sit quietly before you start your day (this can be at home, in the car, or even in your classroom, but it's best to choose somewhere quiet and fairly private) and just listen to, and feel, your breath. Inhale and feel your breath in your nose, chest, or stomach. Listen to your natural breath as it goes in and out of your body and feel how your body expands and contracts with each breath. 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 this practice for as long as you like. Mindfulness is shown to have benefits even at just a few focused moments each day. 

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, you to know that as soon as the students are in lunch, you will have a chance 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" or  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.