Mindfulness can go a long way in reducing student and teacher anxiety and worry this school year.

8 ways I embraced mindfulness this year

Here's how a middle school teacher decreased her and her students' anxiety and began to think more positively, all with mindfulness

Mindfulness has become a buzzword in schools over the past few years. Many schools have hired mindfulness professionals to work with their students and faculty. According to scientist and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

As the daughter of two developmental psychologists, I was introduced early to the concept of being mindful, though I am not proficient at being mindful in my own life. After 19 years of teaching adolescents and then having children of my own, I have become more aware of the importance of mindfulness. I decided to spend time throughout the year improving my mindful skills. My goal was to decrease anxiety in myself, my students, and my children. I also hoped to create a space where I was thinking more positively.

Related content: Creating a mindful classroom with 6 helpful apps

1. I dropped all social media for the summer
With my mindfulness mission in mind, I decided to try out life without social media for the summer. This meant getting at least an hour or two back every day (100+ hours total for the months of July and August).

To be honest, the first week was a little more difficult than I expected. I tried to meditate during the time that I had been wasting scrolling through random pictures, but I found it difficult to concentrate. I started reading instead and was able to burn through a few books in just two weeks.

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