A Lesson in Mindfulness

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East Rockaway Junior-Senior High students in Briar Falvo’s seventh-grade English classes participated in a mindfulness lesson facilitated by school social worker Amy Weissman. 

Ms. Weissman conducted a short breathing activity called Take Five, where students concentrated on taking five slow breaths in through their nose and out through their mouths. Students learned that being overstimulated, too busy or stressed can hinder one’s ability to be fully self-aware. Ms. Weissman explained that breathing mindfully — concentrating on one’s breath — helps to refocus and bring attention back to the present moment. Students shared how they were feeling after the exercise. Some responses included, “relaxed,” “focused,” “calm” and “at peace.” Many students reported that they would like to continue to practice mindfulness when preparing for a test or quiz or getting ready for a sports game. Eighth-graders will be receiving the same lesson in December.