CoverIntroductionWellbeing and Its Importance in SchoolsWhat frameworks exist to promote school wellbeing?What is the best approach for my school/district?Valuable Tools and ConsiderationYour Call to ActionStudent Wellbeing InterventionsPositive Emotion Three Good ThingsCounting BlessingsEnvisioning Your Best Possible SelfUnderstanding HumorThree Funny ThingsOutdoor LearningBringing the Outside InBibliotherapyEngagementRecognizing and Utilizing Personal StrengthsARCS Model of CuriosityCarousel BrainstormingGenius HourPerspective Taking and Role-PlayArts IntegrationDrawing and Coloring TherapyCulturally-Enriching and Arts-Based Field TripsCulturally Responsive PracticesSocial Belonging InterventionEmotional Self-Regulation: RULER methodModeling Emotional Self-Regulation SkillsTeacher PraiseRelationshipsModeling Love, Kindness and ForgivenessActive Constructive RespondingDialogue JournalsSecret Strengths SpottingPeer Praise NotesActs of KindnessVolunteeringFast FriendsBuddy BenchMeaningEducating Students about Benefit AppraisalsGratitude LettersSavoring StrategiesTaking in the Good (HEAL)Mental Time TravelBrief Mindfulness ActivitiesMindful BellMindful BreathingBody Scan RelaxationMindful Walking/MovementFive Senses MindfulnessMindful PhotographyMindful Self-CompassionAccomplishmentFuture Thinking & When/Where PlansHope MapG-POWER Goal SettingEmbedded Self-Regulation StrategiesGrowth MindsetGrit and Deliberate PracticeDeveloping Students' Resilience and Coping SkillsHealth and VitalityHealthy Sleep HabitsClassroom Physical ActivityYogaCreative Playground EquipmentHealthy Body Image InterventionStudent-Led Health ProgramSchool-Led Interventions for Teachers and StaffSupporting Teacher AutonomyMindfulness TrainingCompassion TrainingHumor TrainingIncentivizing Physical ExerciseIndividual Interventions for School EmployeesPositive and Reflective JournalingSelf-Regulation and Coping StrategiesSelf-AffirmationSelf Compassion LetterDiscovering and Utilizing Character StrengthsJob CraftingMindfulnessAdditional Interventions to ConsiderDedicated Wellbeing SpacesIndividual Wellbeing Plans for School EmployeesOther ResourcesPROSPER
Addressing Wellbeing In Schools

Mindful Walking/Movement

Mindful walking is one of the interventions used as part of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction(MBSR), developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (2017).  The mindful walking activity encourages students to bring awareness to the sensations involved in walking. For this activity, walking is done very slowly, with attention focused on the feeling of the feet touching the ground with each step, the rolling forward of the foot from heel to toe, the shifting of one’s body weight and the feeling of the arms swinging at one’s sides (Kabat-Zinn, 2017; Sutton, 2020). Mindful walking not only encourages students to be mindful, but also to engage in physical activity, another key component of wellbeing. An example of this meditation is shown in the Headspace video below. 

Image preview of a YouTube video about mindful walking by Headspace
Watch on YouTube

Grade Level: All
Materials: None
Duration: 10 minutes daily or as needed.
  1. Find a location inside or outside the school to teach students the practice of mindful walking.
  2. Have students walk about 10-15 normal steps, take a deep breath. Have students walk back the opposite direction and take another breath.
  3. Instruct students to focus on the sensations of the walking process in their next steps such as where the weight is placed on each foot, the rotation from the heel to the toes with each step, and the shifting of weight from the legs to the feet. 
  4. Have students take slow small steps, but remind them that the steps should still feel natural, and not exaggerated or uncomfortable.
  5. Have students continue focusing and redirecting their attention to their steps while walking for 5-10 minutes.

Greater Good in Action. (n.d.) Walking meditation. Greater Good Science Center: University of California-Berkeley. 

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2017). Walking meditations. Mindfulness, 8, 249–250. 

Sutton, J. (2020, July 15). What is mindful walking meditation and how can it impact your life?.  


CC BY-NC: This work is released under a CC BY-NC license, which means that you are free to do with it as you please as long as you (1) properly attribute it and (2) do not use it for commercial gain.

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