50 Mindfulness Quotes to Help Your Students Now

Mindfulness is one of the most overlooked powerful tools in our lives. Maybe it's the perceived simplicity of the concept that makes people dismiss it's value. However, research shows that practicing simple mindful behaviors daily can result in long term mental and physical benefits.  Even better, your students can improve their concentration, memory, and overall happiness.

Mindfulness is simply being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the current moment and accepting your reality for what it is without judgement.   

50 Mindfulness Quotes

(Sprinkled with mindfulness activities to awaken your students and improve their lives.)

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~Dalai Lama
“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” ~Robin S. Sharma
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~ Buddha
 “Your actions are your only true belongings.” ~ Allan Lokos
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” ~Sharon Salzberg
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron
 “Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.” ~ Buddha
 “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
 “The basic root of happiness lies in our minds; outer circumstances are nothing more than adverse or favorable.” ~Matthieu Ricard
Decorative banner serves as a visual reminder to practice mindfulness daily.

“Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.” ~Buddha
 ”Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
“A mind set in its ways is wasted.” ~ Eric Schmidt
“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.” ~ Amit Ray  
“Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.” ~ Buddha
“How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it.” ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru
 “Step outside for a while – calm your mind. It is better to hug a tree than to bang your head against a wall continually.” ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru
“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.” ~ Amit Ray
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
“One who is patient glows with an inner radiance.” ~ Allan Lokos
 “Nothing is forever except change.” ~ Buddha
 “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.” ~ Pema Chödrön

These masks encourage mindful breaks during the school day.  They are also fun to color using "Mindful Coloring."

“We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night.” ~Jack Kornfield
 “Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
 “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha
 “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ~ Amit Ray
 “Three things can not hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.” ~ Buddha
“Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~Dalai Lama
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ~Amit Ray “You only lose what you cling to.” ~ Buddha  
“You cannot control the results, only your actions.” ~ Allan Lokos
“Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it.” ~ Jack Kornfield “The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh “Respond; don’t react. Listen; don’t talk. Think; don’t assume.” ~Raji Lukkoor
 “Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” ~Allan Lokos
“There is something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.” ~Tara Brach
“What would it be like if I could accept life – accept this moment – exactly as it is?” ~ Tara Brach

Every student will want to make one of these arm bands with their favorite mindulfulness reminders.

“Do every act of your life as though it were the last act of your life.” ~Marcus Aurelius
 “The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” ~Rabbi Harold Kushner
“Don’t let life harden your heart.” ~ Pema Chödrön 
“When I’m hungry, I eat what I love. When I’m bored, I do something I love. When I’m lonely, I connect with someone I love. When I feel sad, I remember that I am loved.” ~ Michelle May
“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.” ~Victoria Moran
 “When you bow, you should just bow; when you sit, you should just sit; when you eat, you should just eat.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
 “In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go” ~Jack Kornfield
 “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~James Baraz
“There’s only one reason why you’re not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it’s because you’re thinking or focusing on what you don’t have…. But, right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.” ~Anthony de Mello

Do you have a favorite mindful quote or activity? Please share in the comments.

Growth Mindset Activities You Can Use Now to Help Students Today

“We can do hard things.”

This quote echoes through our home pretty often, and it’s one that I have to say to myself a lot, too. (7am faculty meetings, anyone?!)

The truth is that life is tough. And the students in whom we are so heavily invested are also navigating their own share of hard things. From bullying and friendship struggles to family problems and exposure to drugs, our students are facing lots of decisions that make life complicated and difficult.

One of the most significant ways we can empower our students to face hard things in life is by equipping them with a growth mindset. Helping them see the positive potential in a situation, to push through frustrating circumstances knowing that there’s something better on the other side, these are life skills that our students can employ for the rest of their lives. And the good news is, one can do this every day in the classroom!

There’s a lot to be said for teaching content in engaging and inspiring ways. And I’m in awe when I peek in on classrooms where teachers like you are consistently motivating even the most checked-out students and leaning into all of the challenges that being an educator brings. Whether you’re a counselor or a kindergarten teacher or anywhere in between, educating students in our world today ain’t for the faint of heart.

No matter what life throws at us, we can face it and allow it to shape and mold us into better people. This is a heart posture that many people lack because they haven’t learned to embrace all of life – the highs, the lows, and the in betweens – and learn from it. As you embolden your students to this truth, their hearts and minds are sure to awaken in ways you might not have thought possible.

 If you’re like me and want to promote a growth mindset in your students without sacrificing a lot of instructional time, I’ve put together some resources that will enable you to address this critical life skill in a time-efficient and no-prep way. From games and a scavenger hunt to crafts and class presentations, you’ll be set with my Growth Mindset Mega Bundle. With all of these activities at your fingertips, you can help your students shift from a fixed to a growth mindset all year long. And you’ll also rest easy knowing that you’ve also helped them make a change that will impact their lives in the years to come.

Engage Your Most Disinterested Students in 3 Easy Steps

Whether you are a classroom teacher, specialist, or school counselor, you have likely found that some students are just harder to reach during classroom instruction time. Let's put ourselves in their shoes for a moment. 

Have you ever sat in a faculty meeting and felt like the leaders at your school were completely out of touch with the needs of their teachers? I know I have. Feeling like your voice doesn’t matter, like your perspective isn’t important can be isolating and defeating. And it can also take a toll on one’s level of involvement and effort.

While we might not have control over how our school administrators value us as educators, we do have a say in how our students feel in our classroom. In a traditional classroom, teachers are the voice and students are the ears. Teachers say what to do and students do it. But as our understanding of learning and teaching methods grows and progresses, researchers now see a strong connection between student autonomy and student engagement in the classroom.

If you had a choice, I think we all would prefer to be in a learning environment in which our opinions are valued and we are given choices instead of simply told exactly what to do without any “give.”

This kind of shift is not necessarily easy to make, particularly for teachers who have been in the classroom for a longer period of time. But here are a few ways you can modify your current classroom methods, procedures and teaching strategies to incorporate more student choice and autonomy and also lessen your role as “the sage on the stage” in your classroom.

3 Steps to Engage Disinterested Students

1.    Instead of telling your students the answer to a question, ask them to discuss with a partner and justify their thinking. You can even give them a sentence-starter like, “I think the answer is ____ because today I learned that ____.”

2.    Give students three ways to show what they have learned at the end of the class period instead of giving them one independent assignment to complete. I like the “Talk about it, write about it, draw about it” method where students can either videotape or record themselves explaining their new knowledge, write a brief essay communicating what they’ve learned or draw an illustration that shows their main takeaways from the lesson.

3.    Give surveys to your students on a regular basis to gauge how they feel about your class and what changes they would make if they were the teacher. Google Forms is a great way to create surveys in a flash so that your students can give you confidential, focused feedback to drive your classroom instruction and structure.

At the end of the day, your job is not to make every student happy every time. But your job is to ensure that your students are learning at the deepest and most meaningful level. If you’re reading this, I already know that you’re a rockstar teacher because you care enough about your students to read education blogs in your free time! Why not try one of the tips above and see how it impacts the culture and community of your classroom?

Looking for some engaging craftivities to perk up your students and give them a brain break?  Click here.

For more tips on student-centered learning, check out this fantastic article by John McCarthy at Edutopia. 

Teacher Video Memes

Just for fun.  

Hopefully you can relate to a few of these.

How to Make Smart Goals that Stick

Every year, I talk to my tween and teen students about the importance of goal setting.  I use the metaphor that life is a car ride.

It's important to enjoy this ride called life.  It's great to take a joy ride occasionally and just enjoy being in the moment.  Eventually though, you'd get tired of getting in the car and driving to random places without a destination or a reason.  Why would you do that with your life?  If you are just going with the flow and letting things happen to you, you really aren't in the driver's seat.  You are a passenger.  Life is about being the driver.  Go where you want to end up, not where somebody else wants you to go. 

Let's face it, if you don't plan your day, your day will plan you.  Many students are living in the moment.  They may have some goals in mind already but they often need fine tuning.  They also need to understand the importance of short term goals (pit stops) that help them reach their dream destination.  Most importantly, goals need to be SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.






Goals should answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why.  Who is involved in the goal?  What am I trying to accomplish in the end?  When will I know I'm finished?  Where will this happen?  Why am I doing this in the first place?


A goal needs to be measurable so that you know exactly when it has been attained.  If your goal is to be happy, how would you know when you achieved the amount of happiness that you need?  If you said you wanted to make better grades, you wouldn't be able to measure "better" because it is a relevant term.  You could use measurable number or letter grades.  So a better goal would be to say that you want to make nothing less than a C on your report card.


It's great to set your goals high, but be sure that it is something you can actually achieve.  Saying that you want to be a millionaire by next week would be out of most people's reach.  Be realistic so that you will take your goal seriously.


Is your goal worth the effort?  Does it fit into your overall plan or purpose in life?  Having a goal that speaks to your purpose in life is going to feel more satisfying and you will be more likely to strive for it when the going gets tough.


If you set a time limit on your goal, you will be less likely to procrastinate.  You will know if you are doing enough to achieve the goal in the amount of time that you have. You will also know if you were successful in reaching your goal.  You can always tweak your timeline if it becomes apparent that the time limit is not attainable.


Short Term Goals


What can I start doing right now, today?


Once a student fine tunes their ultimate goals for life, ask them to begin coming up with things they can do today, tomorrow, and the next day that will help them achieve their goals.  For example, a student who wants to play college sports could be creating an exercise plan for this year that would get them physically prepared.

When students see the big picture and realize that what they do today has meaning, they will be more interested in doing a giving their best effort.  This is why teachers relate their lessons to student lives.  They need to have a "stake" in it to make it more meaningful.

Do you have a SMART goals lesson or craft?  I find it easier to give students a craft that allows them to stay on task while I go over the parts of a SMART goal.  Even big kids like to color, cut, and paste!

My students and I are obsessed with Llamas, so this year I am using my updated Llama themed SMART goals flipbook.  They get to take the booklet home with them to remind them of what they learned.