Should schools teach mindfulness?

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Should schools teach mindfulness?

Alexa Richardson '21, Reporter

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Being aware of your emotions and knowing how to deal with them properly can truly change your life.

Mindfulness can help you focus on the present moment and help you be aware of how you are feeling. Also, mindfulness can help with regulating emotions and mental help, which can be extremely beneficial to those who struggle with it. Many studies have been done, such as one conducted at Harvard Medical School to prove that mindfulness is directly connected to the functioning in your brain and behavior changes.

“Mindfulness is a heightened awareness of how you feel which is key in finding your way to serenity,” according to school psychologist Mr. Przybylski.

Mindfulness helps you with being aware of your emotions as you are feeling them and not letting them control you. Separating yourself from your emotions and reacting wisely while being aware of how you feel.

“More than a fun extra, mindfulness initiatives aim to help address growing concerns about youth mental health as teen suicide rates are increasing and studies show more than one-third of American young people suffer from anxiety,” stated in MEA Voice Magazine.

This approach is not by any means a cure, it is just a way to help accessing and being more aware of your emotions.

So lately, a question has been raised: should we teach mindfulness in schools? Mindfulness helps with focusing, mental health, regulating emotions, relaxation and more. Mindfulness truly only has positive effects on people and if it could help students be more at ease, why would we not take advantage of it?

The main concern most people have with branching this idea out to schools is that students will not take it seriously. Would students honestly be open and engage in this form of “being aware”?

Schools would partner with mental health experts to learn and create the best relaxation techniques and breathing exercises for the specific kids in their classrooms. The techniques of mindfulness include things like: yoga, breathing exercises, seeing things in a different perspective, or just plain and simple being more aware of your thoughts. All of these different mechanisms can be used to lessen anxiety, pain, and reduce your need for support further in life.

“Mindfulness should be baked into the culture of our school in a systematic way,” stated Mr. Przybylski.

In today’s society, we are more open to talking about and helping mental illnesses than ever before. Therefore, this technique is something that schools are going to seriously start considering. Maybe not with highschool or college students, but with younger children. Their minds are less developed and are more open to trying new things. Also, if a certain young student is exposed to this form of “mental therapy” in the early stages of their life, they can use these techniques over time to help them.