Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
by Catharine Hannay
One of my main goals is to help teachers quickly and easily find the resources you need, for personal practice and for teaching adults or kids. This includes the hundreds of posts here at MindfulTeachers.org, as well as high-quality links from other sources.
This time the focus is on noticing and accepting (without necessarily acting on) on our thoughts and feelings.
Activities and Practices for Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
As always, please use your own best judgment about what's appropriate for your particular context. If you're using the activities to teach others, consider factors like:
- the age and interests of your students
- how much training you have in teaching mindfulness and meditation
- how comfortable your students or clients are with you and each other
Please don't lead any practices you haven't done personally, and please respect participants' decisions about how much personal information they choose to share with the group.
- Emotion Improv: an exercise for developing mindfulness of feelings, from A Still Quiet Place by Dr. Amy Saltzman
- Harnessing the Four Elements: a mindfulness activity for facing challenges, from Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety by Dr. Christopher Willard
- Increasing Your Ability to be Present, by Sean Fargo from MindfulnessExercises.com
- Next Time I'll Do Better: recognizing and learning from mistakes, by Catharine Hannay, founder of MindfulTeachers.org
- One-Word Labeling : thoughts, emotions, sensations, and urges, from The Practicing Happiness Handbook by Dr. Ruth Baer
- Pebble Meditation: a mindfulness activity to cultivate peace, from Teach, Breathe, Learn by Meena Srinivasan
- Personal Triggers: recognizing the causes of problematic behavior, from Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents, by Sam Himelstein and Stephen Saul
- Restless Mind: typical strategies for denying stress, from In This Moment by Dr. Kirk Strosahl and Dr. Patricia J. Robinson
- Self-Compassion and Growth Mindset: Don't Be Afraid of Mistakes from Nothing You Can't Do! by Mary Cay Ricci
- 7 Ways Our Thoughts Deceive Us, from Letting Go by Christine Fonseca
Additional Self-Compassion Practices
- 5-Minute Self-Compassion Break from Greater Good in Action
- 8 Self-Compassion Guided Meditations and Exercises from Dr. Kristin Neff
Additional Activities for Kids
- Somatic Activities for Kids: Using Performing Arts to Explore Emotions in the Body by Andrew Jordan Nance at Mindful Schools
- 7 Social-Emotional Lessons for K-4 That Help Little Kids Learn to Manage Big Feelings from WeAreTeachers.com
Advice and Teaching Tips for K-12
- How Growth Mindset Complements Mindfulness: interview with Mary Cay Ricci, an expert growth mindset for kids
- How to Help Teens Become More Self-Compassionate, by Karen Bluth for Greater Good: "For teens, self-compassion appears to have a protective effect against trauma, peer victimization, depression and self-harm, and low self-esteem."
- 10 Tips for Teaching Emotional Regulation (and Improving Classroom Behavior at the Same Time) from We Are Teachers
- What Teachers Need to Know About Childhood Depression from We Are Teachers
- What Teachers Need to Know About the Rise in Teen Suicide from We Are Teachers
- Why We Should Embrace Mistakes in School, by Amy L. Eva for Greater Good: "There are good reasons to rethink our approach to mistakes so that we can help our students to ultimately benefit—both academically and emotionally."
Song Playlists for Teachers
- Are You Happy?: songs about feeling happy, looking on the bright side, and pretending to be happy while hiding our true feelings
- Great Children's Songs: songs for young children about feelings and self-acceptance
- Self-Acceptance: songs about being true to ourselves and recognizing our own strength and vulnerability
- Self-Compassion, Self-Acceptance, and Empathy
- Sign Language (ASL) Song Playlist on Mindfulness, Compassion, and SEL
If you found these resources useful, you may also be interested in the following posts:
and see the Mindfulness Resources page for many more posts about practicing and teaching mindfulness, compassion, and SEL.
About the Author
Catharine Hannay is the founder of MindfulTeachers.org and the author of Being You: A Girl’s Guide to Mindfulness, a workbook for teen girls on mindfulness, compassion, and self-acceptance.