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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

Starting the school year with mindfulness

Addison Gload
Student practicing mindfulness in the courtyard.

As the 2023-24 school year picks up, stress levels have increased and students are looking for ways to cope. 

Mindfulness is a type of cognitive therapy that helps people become aware of their thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Taking five minutes to use mindfulness before school or work can diffuse stress effectively.  

“The goal of mindfulness is to be present in the moment as many people struggle with being worried about what happened yesterday or what they could have changed,” Dr. Sashauna Hutton, Jupiter High School’s behavioral health professional, said. “Mindfulness is effective, I know that for sure.” 

For some students school is a leading cause of anxiety and stress, whether it be from classes, assignments or presentations. Practicing mindfulness reduces these symptoms and is beneficial in helping students calm their nerves. 

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“A huge mindfulness skill that calms me down is box breathing. I use these skills during big presentations, or even going up to a teacher,” Gabby Palomba, junior, said.

Box breathing, or deep breathing, requires full oxygen exchange, slowing down heartbeat and stabilizing blood pressure. Slow down your breath, then your thoughts will follow. The ideology behind deep breathing stems from studies that suggest it can help calm nerves, improve attention span, and reduce stress. 

“Engaging in deep breathing controls your body’s reaction,” Hutton said.  

Although mindfulness has been a leading concept in psychology for centuries, only recently has it been put to the forefront of society’s mind. Still, despite the novelty in implementing mindfulness in daily life many practice mindfulness without even realizing it. 

“We practice mindfulness in our program quite a bit,” Joseph Depesquale, boys varsity basketball coach, said. “Before practice we’ll have a circle and have seniors give a message of gratitude for the day.” 

Optimistic thinking allows you to regain your sense of worth, and allows the mind to focus. When we say positive things we want or believe, it allows a center of calm.  

“Positive affirmations remind me why I’m here and how I want to show myself to college coaches,” Palomba said.

Other mindfulness practices such as the 54321 method is a common technique taught by therapists with results have proven to be effective. Through this exercise a person focuses on one thing you can taste, two things you can smell, three things you can hear, four things you can touch and five things you can see. 

“It helps you refocus on something that is doable to you. It engages your five senses,” Hutton said. Sometimes uncomfortable situations are inevitable, knowing coping skills such as mindfulness can be beneficial. 

Mindfulness is a skill students will use throughout their lives. Stress, anxiety, and hard emotions are minimized with the help of this influential type of therapy, and practicing these coping strategies can be extremely applicable in establishing healthy ways to deal with negative emotions. 

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    scarlettSep 8, 2023 at 10:50 am

    love thissssssss we need more ways on staying mentally healthy while juggling school. this is great

  • AnonymousSep 7, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    This is an amazing article and will help many people nicely done!