Coping Skills

Coping skills are the tools that we use to get through a difficult situation. Mindfulness is just a skill we can use to help us calm down or refocus when we face a challenge or something stressful.

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Breathing Techniques

Mindful breathing is simply taking a breath and being aware of that breath and how it affects your body. Pick at least two activities below to practice mindful breathing.

Five Fingered Breath - 10 to 50 seconds

Hold your left hand out with the fingers spread apart. Take your right hand and with one finger trace the outline of your left hand. When you are tracing upwards, take a slow breath in. When you are tracing downwards, slowly exhale.

Candle Breath - 1 minute

Close your eyes and imagine you are holding a candle in front of you. You want to make the flame dance but don't want to blow the candle out. Take a deep breath in and slowly exhale making the flame wave and move but don't blow it out! Repeat 2-3 times.

Pressure Breath - 1 minute

Put your tongue on either the top of your mouth right behind your teeth OR along your bottom teeth. Gently push your tongue so that you feel a tiny amount of pressure. Turn on the timer and slowly breath in and out for one full minute. You can keep your eyes open or close them if you feel a little awkward. :)

Guided Meditation or Body Scan

If you have a little bit more time or are feeling really stressed/anxious and need something more than a breathing exercise, guided meditation can help you calm your breathing , focus on your body and how you are feeling, and slow down fast moving thoughts. Pick at least one activity below to learn how this works.

Personal Mantras

A mantra is something you repeat to yourself to calm down, feel empowered, or refocus your thoughts. Pick at least one mantra and practice.

4 Fingered Mantra - 7 seconds

Hold out your left hand. Gently touch your left thumb to the tips of the remaining 4 fingers on your hand. As you touch each finger speak or think the phrase "I am okay" and then silently exhale any remaining breath. Take another deep breath and repeat until you feel calm.

You can try different phrases such as "I have control" or "I am happy" or "Everything's fine." You can also make up your own mantra! Make sure that it has 4 syllables (one for each finger).

You can also try tapping your fingers against your desk or leg instead of touching your thumb to each finger. If you do this, your mantra needs to be 5 syllables instead of 4. (Example: I am doing fine, I am in control, I am safe and loved, I will get through this, etc.)

Loving Kindness - 2-5 minutes

This is a combination of a meditation and a mantra. The first step is to be mindful of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths and pay attention to how each breath makes your body feel. Try to establish a rhythm.

Keeping mindfully breathing and with each breath think the following phrases (in order):

  • (Breathe) May I be filled with love and kindness.
  • (Breathe) May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.
  • (Breathe) May I be healthy.
  • (Breathe) May I be calm and happy.

Keep mindfully breathing and modify each phrase to say:

  • (Breathe) May my family be filled with love and kindness.
  • (Breathe) May my family be safe from inner and outer dangers.
  • (Breathe) May my family be healthy.
  • (Breathe) May my family be calm and happy.

Keep mindfully breathing and modify each phrase to say:

  • (Breathe) May my friends be filled with love and kindness.
  • (Breathe) May my friends be safe from inner and outer dangers.
  • (Breathe) May my friends be healthy.
  • (Breathe) May my friends be calm and happy.

If you are feeling angry at someone, you can also modify each phrase to say:

  • (Breathe) May my enemies (or insert the name of the person you are upset with) be filled with love and kindness.
  • (Breathe) May my enemies/_______________ be safe from inner and outer dangers.
  • (Breathe) May my enemies/_______________ be healthy.
  • (Breathe) May my enemies/_______________ be calm and happy.

Other Resources

All of the websites below are free to use. They do require you to create an account so make sure to chat with a parent or read the user terms before you sign up for anything. Some of these sites are ones that your teacher uses as well. Check with her to see which ones she would recommend. You can use remaining time to explore the websites and add more tools to your mindfulness box!

Now that you have explored some different mindfulness techniques, fill out this form with your plan for the future.