Many years ago, a well-rounded education was one that fully attended to the subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic. While I hate to use a cliché,
We’ve come a long way, baby!
A typical academic program
Today’s education system includes much more than the components of a basic education. The more modern programs include problem solving, group dynamics, and projects with real-world objectives that not only include the basic 3Rs, but also applying them.
And, as an important component of the education system, social-emotional life skills are always sure to be included.
- How does the character in that story feel? What does he say or do that proves your statement?
- How would you feel if someone said the exact same thing to you? Or did the exact same thing to you?
- How do you know what you are feeling, and when do you first feel it?
- When you are upset, do you say and do the things you mean to say and do, or are you better able to express yourself after you’ve calmed yourself?
- What are some strategies that can help you be calm so you can give a thoughtful response, rather than a knee-jerk reaction?
These questions, and more, will help with reading comprehension…at first. But, then, these questions will help a student, regardless of that student’s age, better navigate life’s typical ups and downs. And, according to scientific findings regarding mindfulness, the stronger a person’s life skills, the more successful and happy that person will be throughout life.
The impact of a mindfulness practice
Mindfulness, a secular, simple, and scientifically supported practice, is beneficial for students, educators, and families. It has been proven to
- Decrease stress, anxiety, emotional reactivity, and rumination
- Decrease blood pressure
- Improve the immune system, energy levels, and heart rate
- Improve focus and attention
- Improve quality and quantity of sleep
- Improve overall health and wellbeing
The benefits are so wide-spread that it’s actually easy to discount the information. It leads one to ask,
How can something so simple result in such amazing and consistent positive results?
The truth is, I, for one, do not know. Yet, the practice is simple. Not easy, mind you, because it’s never easy to tell yourself you have time to sit and do nothing. Turn off all technology, not answer that email, organize those papers, or attend to tasks at home, school or work. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that it’s more important, you’re more important, and you are worth the time it takes to establish a habit of self-care.
You are worth giving yourself a few minutes of attention, for nothing but yourself. Noticing how you feel, noticing how your body reacts to certain words, actions, or situations. Taking the time to consider what words and actions you want to use to represent your best self. One that you’ll be proud of after those words or actions have been released into the universe.
You’ll be able to look back and say,
I was worth it. And I was worth the time I took for myself. It not only benefitted me, but also everyone with whom I interacted.
And may be all benefit from life skills as they are explained to us today.