Students Can Use Mindfulness to Relieve Stress and Improve Focus


Megan Little, Staff Writer

The mindfulness elective at Trottier was started five years ago by Mrs. Hibben and Ms. Tetrault. Mindfulness is an elective offered to eighth-grade students, and it takes place once a week in Ms. Tetrault’s room.

The practice of mindfulness was founded by Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School In Worcester. In mindfulness with Mrs. Hibben and Ms. Tetrault, students practice mindful eating, yoga, and coloring, and they occasionally practice body scans.

Body scans are a great tool to work on breathing and focus on the body. For this practice, one can either lie down or sit on something that Is comfortable. The first thing that Is focused on is finding one’s breath. The person speaking tells the listener where to focus, and the speaker will guide the listener through the whole body while still focusing on breathing.  It will start at the head and continue all the way down to the feet.

The class also practices mindful eating. Mindful eating Is when one has a regular lunch or dinner but does not talk at all. This gives a person the opportunity to sit and process everything. It also makes one think about things.  For example, one might think about the people who had to grow and make the food on the table.

Mindful yoga is not as intense as normal yoga. The class practices very simple poses and works on breathing.

Some things learned in mindfulness can be used as little stress relievers in class or a time when a person needs to calm down. The five finger breathing practice is an example of something a student can do in class that won’t distract anyone. It allows a person to take five big deep breaths, and it clears the head because it focuses on breathing.

According to Mrs. Hibben, mindfulness is important for a variety of reasons, including relieving stress.  It can ground a person, help one to accept things, and give clarity. Mindfulness can be used on any age group and works for everybody.

Ms. Tetrault said, “Mindfulness is important for students and teachers to practice daily, even if it’s just for five minutes. It can help you think clearly and improve your focus.”

The mindfulness class is not just meditation; it’s a great option to help a student relieve stress!