Why Mindfulness Education Can Change Your Life
Healthy stress is actually a great part of life, even children experience it; adults and children alike should go through healthy stress to be able to grow and develop. Unfortunately, with the education system we have today healthy stress is often overpowered by toxic stress; when the demands of life regularly outpace a person’s ability to cope with the said demands then toxic stress occurs.
What Toxic Stress Can Do
Dozens of problems arise from the constant feeling of toxic stress, like impaired mood and emotion regulation, sleep, attention and willingness to learn in the classroom. Prolonged periods of exposure to toxic stress, especially at an early age have negative impacts on a person’s physical and mental health. Decreased creativity and productivity are usually where toxic stress begins and it could very well escalate to more serious symptoms like frustration, anxiety, dissociation and burnout. Because of toxic stress, and other defining factors, around half a million teachers in the United States leave their profession on a yearly basis.
Of course parents are also highly prone to toxic stress, it could affect parenting styles to a point that it feels more like a to-do list instead of a present-centered, empathic relationship with a child. Being exposed to parental stress in the early stages of childhood has been known to affect gene expression even when the child has developed into adulthood. Due to the fact that every person’s response to stress involves an old survival hardware in the body, toxic stress could be extremely difficult to work with.
The Solution: Mindfulness
Toxic stress stems from somewhere deep in the body’s nervous system, specific tools are required in going beyond the conceptual mind and reaching the said target system. In transforming a person’s habitual responses, constant skill practice has to be implements when the situation does not call for a fight, flight or freeze mode. It’s basically the development and enhancement of a person’s mindfulness as well as constant awareness of their sensation, surrounding environment, emotions and thoughts.
Mindfulness Education’s Benefits
Proven scientific research suggest that mindfulness education and interventions aid with a person’s emotional resilience, memory and immune system response, attention span, recovery from addiction and self-control. Here are just some of the benefits relevant to educators:
1. Attention Span – enhances the mental muscle so it will be easier to bring back focus or direct it where and when the person wants it to be.
2. Emotional Regulation – being highly aware of one’s emotion helps identify whenever they occur, to see their essence and to decide how to properly respond to them.
3. Resilience – being objective in the way things occur in the narrative of the world’s ups and downs being forth greater balance in a person’s life.