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Mindfulness Basics

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Mindfulness involves keeping something in mind. It is commonly associated with increasing one’s concentration on the present moment rather than getting caught up in one’s runaway thoughts. One can do various activities mindfully, even eating. It involves seeing things as they are. As one does an activity mindfully, they are conscious of their thoughts and actions. This may foster a sense of awareness and connection to others. There is a sense of taking control of the mind. It is not about trying to stop or deny thoughts.

Therapists have incorporated mindfulness into treatment for anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and more. Research has shown mindfulness is beneficial for populations with and without mental disorders. For example, mindfulness interventions have been shown in research to reduce stress.

Mindfulness in the Classroom

Mindfulness has been used in schools, helping to reduce depression, stress, and improve well-being.

  • Brief Classroom Intervention: Include a brief mindfulness practice in the classroom, such as the three minute breathing space
  • Mindful assignments: Encourage and give students time to contemplate assignments more mindfully.
  • Mindful teaching: Incorporate mindfulness into your life as a teacher to affect your teaching and resilience. Various universities offer mindfulness teacher training programs, for example.


Research shows that there are downsides to letting the mind wander and benefits to mindfulness. However, researchers are now looking at if there are some potential benefits to letting the mind wander as well, such as enhanced creativity.


Albrecht, Nikki, Patricia Albrecht, and Marc Cohen. 2012. “Mindfully teaching in the classroom: a literature review.” Australian Journal of Teacher Education 37(12): 1-14.

Bhikkhu Bodhi, ed. 2005. The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Trans. Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi. Boston:Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition. Original edition 1995.

Hanh, Thich Nhat. 1987. The Miracle of Mindfulness. Trans. Mobi Ho. Boston: Beacon Press. Original edition 1975.

Kuyken, Willem, Katherine Weare, Obioha C. Ukoumunne, Rachael Vicary, Nicola Motton, Richard Burnett, Chris Cullen, Sarah Hennelly, and Felicia Huppert. 2013. “Effectiveness of the Mindfulness in Schools Programme: non-randomised controlled feasibility study.” The British Journal of Psychiatry 2013(203): 126-131.

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