3 Reasons Why Every U.S. Public School Teacher Should Have a Mindfulness Practice

By Jimmy Warden

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 600,000 teachers have left the profession since January 2020.

Why?

Increased stress, anxiety, and burnout.

A survey of public sector workers from October 2021 stated that K-12 public school teachers were the most likely out of all public service professions to report heightened stress, anxiety, and burnout. As a public school teacher, I second that notion.

Considering the egregious education system is unlikely to change, teachers must prioritize how to combat the challenges at hand.

According to neuroscientist and mindfulness researcher Amishi Jha, high-stress, high-demand situations create these effects: cognition fails, mood sours, performance lowers, ethical behavior degrades, and autopilot is activated.

However, mindfulness training protects practitioners from those effects and helps them bounce back.

Mindfulness will help them…

  1. Combat chronic stress.
  2. Improve decision-making.
  3. Enhance memory.

How will it do that?

Each mindfulness technique develops an understanding of how your mind and body function. The more you notice and pay attention to what’s going on in your mind and body, the better you manage a stressful environment.

For example, noticing your thoughts about your responsibilities helps you decide what to prioritize.

Experiencing how your body feels when a student talks back to you lets you make a rational decision.

Deliberate pausing helps you remember what you were doing before you got distracted.

Those are just a few examples of how mindfulness can help teachers manage the stress of each day.

For more tips on mindfulness in the workplace, follow me @WardensWisdom for more!

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