Teaching mindfulness in the classroom: how to promote well-being and focus


Teaching mindfulness in the classroom: how to promote well-being and focus 

Allowing youngsters to focus in the classroom is vital to successful learning and it’s why a growing number of teachers are turning to mindfulness practises to enhance lessons.

Simply put, it’s an approach which uses different activities to encourage youngsters to gather their thoughts and control their emotions to boost their learning potential.

In doing so, it encourages a greater awareness of their well-being and helps to foster a learning environment where everyone in it feels safe, comfortable and relaxed.

With Children’s Mental Health Week taking place from 6-12 February 2023, here we look at how teachers can explore the topic of mindfulness and enjoy the benefits it brings.

Why teach mindfulness in the classroom?

Mindfulness enables a person to live in a particular moment, allowing them to fully focus and take in their surroundings.

This level of emotional awareness means children will often be kinder to others and give greater consideration to their well-being.

It’s also great for tackling stress and anxiety, and has been proven to support youngsters with anger and attention issues.

By promoting calm and relaxed behaviour in this way, pupils are therefore better placed to learn.

What approaches to mindfulness can teachers use?

The majority of approaches to mindfulness involve breathing exercises and calming activities – colouring, for instance, is a popular approach with primary-level pupils.

If you’re looking to promote mindfulness and well-being in your classroom, it’s recommended to do these activities first thing in the morning, as it means pupils can start the day ready to learn.

You may also wish to carry out the breathing exercises ahead of afternoon classes, as it can help to calm and focus pupils after any energy exertion during the lunch break.

Common breathing exercises involve inhaling deeply before pupils place a hand on their chests and breathe in and out slowly, counting to three or five in the process.

Alternatives to breathing exercises

Another option is to use a relaxing soundtrack or collection of music to create a calming atmosphere, enabling youngsters to shut their eyes and focus on themselves.

If you have the opportunity, you could also take your class outside into the playground so they can be immersed in nature and its accompanying noises.

Visual aids can also help pupils to focus by encouraging them to use their imaginations – this can also support learning goals if the images relate to the lesson content.

Or, you may wish to ask pupils to close their eyes, before you talk through a scenario related to a certain topic.

Even a couple of minutes of this can help divert a pupil’s attention towards the work at hand, ultimately meaning they are more focused, engaged and ready to learn.

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