Mindfulness in the classroom: How can we reduce stress-induced mental health issues in high schools?

What do you need to know?

“Stressed-Out Students: Daily InfographicDaily Infographic.” Daily Infographic, 24 Aug. 2011,

What is mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Bayes-Fleming, Nicole, et al. “Getting Started with Mindfulness.” Mindful, 14 Sept. 2018,

During mindfulness meditation, we are forced to take a moment to breathe and explore the inner complexities of our mind. It allows us to become fully aware of our senses, thoughts, and emotions. Our brains are full of neural connections, which make up our behavior and habits. Only a small percentage of our thoughts and decisions are actually conscious; the majority of our personalities and behaviors are all subconscious. By practicing mindfulness meditation more often, we are able to get more in touch with this subconscious part of our brain, allowing us to act and react better in certain situations. If we can make mindfulness a consistent part of our lives, it starts to become a habit and those neural connections become stronger. In fact, research has shown that long-term mindfulness training can actually remodel the physical structure of our brains overtime. 

How does this relate to stress in school?

Peace in Schools. “Powerful Video about Mindfulness in Schools”. Online video clip. Youtube, 15 Nov. 2017. Web. 17 April 2020,

Increasing the practice of mindfulness in school allows students to better regulate their emotions and manage stress. Requiring students to take time out of their day to sit back and reflect allows them to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of their school life, whether that be the academic aspect or social aspect. Additionally, this is the age in which the development of the brain is most impactful on them in the future. Developing a better understanding of themselves and their emotions at such a young age can be extremely beneficial for their future lives and careers in the professional world.

What programs and resources already exist?

My Response:

I would like to implement a structured set of time in our school’s schedule where we, as a community, are required to spend 5 minutes on mindfulness meditation.

In the picture to the right, I have our school’s schedule. We have a rotating block schedule, which can make this a little bit more complicated, but still not too hard. I propose changing the first 5 minutes of class after lunch everyday to be dedicated to mindfulness meditation. The reason I am choosing after lunch specifically is because we will have just come back from a social part of the day so we might be too energetic to concentrate in class. Additionally, it is the middle of the day so it acts as a time to “restart” our brains before finishing our afternoon classes.

Mindfulness Times:

  • Monday: 12:55 – 1:00 (beginning of E Block)
  • Tuesday: 12:30 – 12:35 (beginning of Advising)
  • Wednesday: 12:15 – 12:20 (beginning of C Block)
  • Thursday: 12:45 – 12:50 (beginning of E Block)
  • Friday: 12:25 – 12:30 (beginning of G Block)

How can you get involved?

1. Implement my response into your own community

Look at your school’s schedule. Try to find a time in each day where it makes sense to implement 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation.

2. Practice mindfulness meditation on your own

Follow either of these guides and try to do mindfulness meditation. If you can, try to do this once everyday.

“Stressed-Out Students: Daily InfographicDaily Infographic.” Daily Infographic, 24 Aug. 2011,
Bayes-Fleming, Nicole, et al. “Getting Started with Mindfulness.” Mindful, 14 Sept. 2018,

3. Respond to the prompts below to give myself and others even more ideas:

What current mindfulness options does your school offer?

What other ideas do you have?

Please respond on my Padlet by clicking here.

Works Consulted

Works Consulted, GOA, 2020 (Elaine Jutamulia)

Feel free to leave comments down below with any other feedback or ideas for me!

Share this project
  1. April 24, 2020 by lucas

    I love that you’re taking a look at mindfulness in our schools. I also like that you’ve taken a proactive approach to considering how it can fit into the current schedule. I’ve seen some professors locally at UVA try and incorporate mindfulness into their existing classes. One struggle they’ve had is getting students to embrace the practice and culture. What suggestions might you offer them to help create a culture among students that is open to mindfulness practice?

    • April 27, 2020 by Elaine

      Hi Lucas! Thank you! Wow, that’s cool that a local college is implementing mindfulness; I think that could likely inspire other schools to follow. I definitely understand what you’re saying about student engagement. I think a big thing is that this is kind of a group mindset, so if simply incorporating mindfulness can slowly allow more and more students to start to see the benefits, I think that overtime other students will be less afraid to really practice fully focused mindfulness without feeling “stupid.”

  2. April 24, 2020 by gayatri

    Hi Elaine! What a great project! I definitely think implementing 5 minutes of dedicated mindfulness time is something that would be really beneficial in our school community, and would be really helpful. I know that for me, when teachers do short mindfulness exercise at the beginning of class, I feel so much more centered and focused and ready for class.

    • April 27, 2020 by Elaine

      Thanks Gayatri! Yes, I agree. I am mainly advocating for this because I’ve noticed how effective it is in the few classes that have included mindfulness at the start of class. It’s surprising how much of a difference those short 5 minutes can really make.

  3. April 25, 2020 by Natalie

    Nice proposal Elaine. At HKIS many teachers started their classes with a 2 minute breathing exercise. It was fairly successful when done regularly so it becomes part of the routine. Congratulations on your citation.

    • April 27, 2020 by Elaine

      Thank you! Wow, I think that also goes to show how easy it can be to make a daily routine. That actually reminds me of how schools in China (and maybe other countries as well) do morning exercises everyday. This is much longer of an activity, but it’s also something that we can use as a model.

  4. April 26, 2020 by Isabell

    Hello Elaine, I really like your project and I think it can definitely cause a positive impact on students’ lives. I think it can help ground students both for the class and also in a general sense so they can be focused on their general well being as well. I also think that spreading awareness about this is a very helpful thing to do because there is a little bit of a stigma about mindfulness and by showing that it is open to everyone can encourage more people to try it.

    • April 27, 2020 by Elaine

      Thank you! I completely agree; there is definitely still some stigma to get over before this can be as effective as possible. I think for teenagers specifically, the main reason for this being a problem is a fear of being made fun of for practicing mindfulness or just feeling stupid while doing so. But you’re right that the main response we can have for that is just showing that anyone can do it.

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