Stop, Breathe & Think

About Stop, Breathe & Think

Documented studies have shown that kindness and compassion have many positive effects. They lead to increased happiness and good feelings, a strengthened immune system and a healthier heart, in addition to more positive interactions and relationships. Mindfulness and meditation have been proven effective in managing stress, anxiety and depression, which can interfere with our ability to be kind, and can negatively impact our relationships and our performance at school or at work.

Tools for Peace developed Stop, Breathe & Think, a step-by-step mindfulness, meditation, and compassion-in-action curriculum that guides participants through a variety of mindfulness activities, personal reflection and group discussion. Students begin with an introduction to mindful breathing, a basic building block of mindfulness, and build upon that skill by following a three-step process:

Becoming Aware

Participants deepen their awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.

Broadening Perspective

Participants learn to settle themselves down and proactively manage their actions and reactions.


Participants engage in service learning projects that address a community need in their classrooms, on campus, or within the wider community.

SB&T is implemented in in-person and online workshops and retreats for adults, in addition to classrooms, after-school programs and summer camps for teens.

SB&T for Teens

The SB&T teen curriculum helps middle and high-school students learn to handle stress, manage emotions, and relate to adults and peers more positively by learning to approach people and everyday situations from the perspective of kindness and compassion—skills that support student achievement across all academic subjects, and will support their trajectory into adulthood.

Studies demonstrate that anxiety and stress negatively impact a student’s school performance, due to their diminished capacity to concentrate, be still, follow directions, and calm down after a provocation. Mindfulness has been proven to help reduce behavioral problems, improve academic achievement, and reduce the gap between high and low-achieving youth by providing students the necessary skills to be successful in school and in life.

“By far, Tools for Peace has been the most significant thing I’ve ever been a part of. My life is completely different now, and there is no telling how far I’ll be able to take it… Thank you Tools for Peace for changing my life.”

Scientific Evidence

Scientific evidence has shown that social and emotional intelligence can be strengthened by using the modalities employed in the SB&T curriculum:

Studies have also demonstrated the many positive effects of Kindness and Compassion:


Additional Benefits of Mindfulness


  • A 2011 study conducted by Nadine Burke, former Medical Director of the CPMC Bayview Child Health Center, showed that anxiety and stress negatively impact a student’s school performance, due to their diminished capacity to concentrate, be still, follow directions and calm down after a disappointment or provocation. Mindfulness has proven to be an effective tool to help students manage stress and anxiety, improve focus, harness attention and manage emotions. (Meiklejohn, J., et al. (2012). Integrating Mindfulness Training into K-12 Education. Mindfulness.)

  • A 2013 study completed in the UK with secondary school students showed that an in class mindfulness program had the effect of reducing the likelihood of depression related symptoms in young adults at 13-20. (Mindfulness at school Reduces (Likelihood Of) Depression-Related Symptoms in Adolescents 2013)