This is the "In a nutshell" page of the "Mindfulness" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content


A repository for resources that are being considered by the group that is focussing on Mindfulness for their P4L in the 2015_16 school year.
Last Updated: May 30, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

In a nutshell Print Page

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment



Mindfulness and meditation are often confused with relaxation techniques, however in their truest form  the practices are about focused attention on the present moment, leading to a heightened awareness of one’s self and the world around. This is sometimes referred to as a state of ‘relaxed attention’. Through the practice of mindfulness we are able to achieve stillness and space within ourselves, counteracting the force of incessant thoughts with wise and considered action rather than impulsive behaviour. Mindfulness can be practised through silent or guided meditation (using a mantra, focusing on the breath or the sounds or objects around us), through focused physical activity such as yoga, walking or eating, and as part of our daily lives through our interactions with others and the world around us.

Regular mindfulness practice can help us ‘step back’ from situations and act with clarity, wisdom and perspective, rather than simply reacting in the heat of the moment.  We are more able to focus on solutions rather than problems and to manage conflict and stress more effectively.  This enables us to think and act with more awareness rather than just functioning and getting by. The positive effects of mindfulness are grounded not only in spiritual tradition, but in scientific fact. Whilst rooted in Buddhist philosophy, the practice of mindfulness is not dependent on a religious belief system. It is increasingly recognised in western psychology as an effective way of reducing stress and enhancing focus, self-awareness and emotional well-being.

Living Well

Some definitions:

  • The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2003).
  • The non-judgmental observation of the ongoing stream of internal and external stimuli as they arise (Baer, 2003).
  • Keeping one’s complete attention to the experience on a moment to moment basis (Martlett & Kristeller, 1999).


Mindfulness exercises - A list of 15 different strategies

Elsewhere on the LibGuide:

Under the different tabs of this LibGuide, many strategies are set out.  Some are podcasts leading one through the breathing exercises, some videos, some music, some movement



Advantages of mindfulness when included in the school day

“Our school has begun MindUP™ this year and we are witnessing incredible results concerning behavior, attention, and overall confidence in our students.”

— Jevon Lewis, Principal
Children's First Academy, Arizona

MindUP™ = Results



Increased Happiness

2/3 of all students said MindUP™ made them happier.

Increased Inhibitory Response

78% of all students said MindUP™ helped them be more relaxed.


Improved Math Achievements

MindUP™ can be the difference between a pass or fail grade on standardized tests.

MindUP™ Aligns with Common Core

MindUP™ aligns with math & literacy Common Core State Standards.

Improved Social Behavior:

Increased Social Interaction

90% of all students felt MindUP™ helped kids get along better.

Increased Empathy

64% of all 4th and 5th graders demonstrated increased empathy.

Increased Social Acceptance

56% of all students reported greater peer acceptance.


Increased Compassion

58% of children tried to help one another more often.

Improved Self-Concept

81% of children learned to make themselves happy.

Improved Optimism

82% of children reported that MindUP™ helped them to have a more positive outlook.

Executive Function:

Improved Planning and Organization

75% of 3rd graders showed improved planning and organization skills.

Increased Emotional Control

Over 1/3 of 3rd graders demonstrated greater emotional control.

Increased inhibitory response

54% of 2nd and 3rd graders increased inhibitory response.


Examples of Successful Practice

Resources and Downloads From Schools That Work - Edutopia

Edutopia's flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn. Below, find tools used by practitioners, and dive into a real-world example of mindfulness in schools.

Daily Meditation: A Bold Approach to Reducing Student Stress

Learn about Visitacion Valley Middle School, in San Francisco, California, and the positive effects of a Quiet Time program that was implemented in 2007; read "How to Start a Meditation Program in Your School" to find out more; then, check out a few of this school’s tools:


Loading  Loading...