Mindfulness Exercises to Improve Mental Health
Mindfulness Exercises to Improve Mental Health
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Andilynn Feddeler

The back-to-school frenzy has mostly calmed down at this point, but managing responsibilities and organizing calendars can still be overwhelming for students, teachers, and parents alike. In times of stress, anyone can benefit from mindfulness exercises that allow us to concentrate, breathe, and focus. Below are some great ideas for activities to implement in the classroom or at home in order to restore a sense of calm and self-confidence.

  • Practicing yoga. This meditative practice has dozens of health benefits, from increasing flexibility and blood flow to helping with concentration and personal relationships. Schools have started leading students in simple yoga exercises and are seeing the benefits firsthand.

  • Breathing exercises. When everything starts feeling like too much to handle, paying attention to our breathing can be very calming and reassuring. Mindful breathing has been shown to improve overall well-being and allow us to slow down and center ourselves.

  • Listening to music. Taking time to appreciate music is a great way to improve empathy and how we interact with others. Just a few minutes a day of relaxing and being mindful about what we hear and think can go a long way.

  • Talking about it. When we experience intense emotions, it’s usually better to express them in healthy ways than to keep them bottled up inside. Having mindful conversations can be scary in itself, but can ultimately improve communication and coping abilities.

  • Getting outside. Nature can boost kindness, happiness, and creativity, and spending even a small amount of time in the fresh air can reduce stress. Being outside can give us the boost we need to make it through the day.

When it seems like there’s too much to worry about, trying out some of these simple exercises can be the first step toward peace of mind. Just a few minutes a day of deep breathing, taking a walk outside, or listening to music can greatly improve mental health.