These 30 second mindfulness practices will change your school day

The time it takes to relax and soothe is shorter than you think. When you or your class is having a rough moment, try these 30-second mindfulness practices to shift the mood. 

Open your eyes

During your mini-meditation, you can keep your eyes open. I had no idea that eyes-open meditation was even possible, let alone desirable. But Pema Chodron, in her book How to Meditate, gives instructions for mindfulness meditation that includes this tip:

"Open the eyes, because it furthers this idea of wakefulness. We are not meditating in hopes of going further into sleep, so to speak...This isn’t a transcendental type of meditation where you’re trying to go into special states of consciousness. Rather, we meditate to become completely open to life. So keeping the eyes open actually demonstrates this intention to stay with the present. It is a gesture of openness."

You may find that opening your eyes helps you open your mind. One further advantage: No one needs to know that you are secretly meditating.

Offer yourself some mindful self-compassion

If you notice that your mind is conjuring up scenarios that make you anxious or angry, give yourself some reassuring words. A little self-compassion goes a long way to calm an agitated spirit. “May I be kind to myself in this difficult moment” is an example of self-talk that is short and soothing.

Choose one activity to do with mindful attention. 

You can do any activity mindfully: Walking in nature, talking with a spouse or child, taking a shower, even sitting in a meeting — these activities can be done with deliberate intent to focus on the present moment. Start with 30 seconds of mindful attention and go from there.

Read more on Psychology Today.

Nicole Cardoza