To introduce students in Special Education classes to relaxation strategies for stress and to improve coping skills in and outside of the classroom by guiding them through a meditation session.
Meditation is the process of relaxing your mind by intentionally setting aside time to create a state of awareness and focus. Meditation can relax the body and mind of the busy, stressful, and overwhelming life of a teenager battling day-to-day anxiety. Professionals who teach meditation believe it can help in many areas including building self-confidence, helping resolve fears, improving focus and concentration, stabilizing an emotional state, and lessening aggressiveness. Mindfulness is a general awareness of living each day consciously and it encourages us to be fully present, in the here and now. Tapping into your own strength to manage stress and increase focus can help high school students respond to everyday stressful situations. This lesson will introduce the idea of being mindful and practicing mediation to reinforce their ability to relax and focus both mentally and physically.
A short quiz about mindfulness and a guided meditation plan specific to quiet, breathing techniques.
Assignment and Activities:
- Identify and define keywords that could be challenging for students such as mindfulness, meditation, breathe in and out (in through the nose and out through the mouth), terms to describe how body feels (tense, sore, tight).
- Ask students to take the mindfulness quiz (attachment 1). Go over results and discuss examples where mindfulness would be helpful.
- Transition from the idea of mindfulness to the benefits of meditation.
- Lead meditation from guided plan (attachment 2).
- Ask students what was it like? How did you feel? Did you like trying to meditate? Why? Why not? Did you notice any changes in your body? Describe. How do those areas fell now? How do you feel now? Describe what your day would be like if you practiced meditation everyday.
- Ask how they felt about the quiet and stillness?
- Ask if students would use meditation by themselves?
There are many ways to reduce stress and relax. By becoming aware of our own self we can sharpen our focus. We can also intentionally make time to settle down and create our own sense of awareness and quiet. Best of all, meditation can be done on your own. You can check out just for a little while to feel better about yourself.
Can Mindfulness Benefit Me?
If you can answer "yes" to one or more of the following statements, and it's something you would like to change, then practicing mindfulness can benefit you.
- I eat meals while watching TV or doing something else, and sometimes find my plate emptied even though I don't remember eating.
- I find myself listening to someone with one ear, doing something else at the same time.
- I drive or go places without remembering how I got there.
- I misplace important items like my phone, keys, or homework.
- I re-live past events wishing I had done something different.
- I have left hazardous things unattended, such as a candle or stove.
- I have gone to the kitchen or bedroom for a specific item and returned without it because I forgot.
- I forget a person's name almost as soon as I hear it.
- During class or a discussion, I mentally wander off and end up missing something important?
- I have read things (a book or article) without remembering what I just read.
- Close your eyes. Notice your breathing. To yourself answer is it fast? Is it slow?
- Put your hand on your stomach. Notice how your stomach goes in when you breathe in and out when you breathe out.
- Take a long deep breath through your nose and breathe out through your mouth, fully and completely. Breathe like this a few more times.
- Now imagine your whole body. Notice parts that are hurt or tight or tense. Notice parts that feel comfortable and loose.
- Use your breath. When you find a part of your body that is hurt or tense, send your breath there. Breathe in and out. Your breath can make that part of your body relaxed.
- Feel your head…your face…your shoulders…your back…your arms…your hands…your stomach…your legs…your feet.
- Notice the room, the people, the building. Not thinking, just noticing and listening. Breathe slowly and easily, in and out.
- Feel the chair under you where your body touches it. Feel your muscles relax as you breathe in and out, easy and peaceful.
- When you are ready take a long, slow, deep breath in. Then completely and gently open your eyes.
Gimbel, L. (n.d.). Managing Stress to Improve Learning: Guided Meditation Lesson Plan.
Retrieved September 18, 2015, from www.nelrc.org/managingstress
Meditation Lesson 1: An Introduction to Meditation. (2011, May 6). Retrieved from http://