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#7: Mindfulness for YOU

April 30, 2019 3 min read

#7: Mindfulness for YOU

April 30, 2019 3 min read

Today we’re going to be jumping into talking about Mindfulness for YOU. We’ve seen this idea of mindfulness for our students time and again, but I think it’s really important for us as teachers to be practicing mindfulness as well.

Now, I know we’re all super busy all the time. So you may ask, when on earth am I going to find time to fit mindfulness into my day?

Well, to that I say, you can my friend. And you must.

The two simple strategies I’m going to give to you today have been the two that have had the biggest impact on my life, and I know they absolutely can have that same impact on your life.

I want to preface this by saying I am not a mindfulness expert by any means. However, we do have a mindfulness teacher that comes to my school every Tuesday and practices mindfulness with the students. And let me tell you, the moment she walks into the classroom, I become a student, too, and participate in every lesson and activity she does with them.

We’ve been practicing mindfulness for about two years, and it has really had a profound effect on the way I handle stressful and challenging situations when it comes to teaching.

#1 Equanimity

The first idea is something called equanimity. And equanimity is this idea that we can all reach this evenness or calmness of mind – even in stressful situations. Which, okay that’s great, but how on earth do we do that? Teaching is so stressful.

Well it starts with allowing our thoughts and feelings to just be.

By accepting those thoughts and feelings.

By not passing judgement on those thoughts and feelings.

By allowing those thoughts and feelings to sit with us.

And in doing so, you want to notice how your body reacts.

For example, when something makes you incredibly frustrated. How does your body physically react? Do you tense up in your shoulders? Does your heart rate increase? Do your fists and jaw clench?

#2 A Daily Mantra

The second strategy has more to do with self love than mindfulness, but I think they still go hand in hand, and this one is incredibly important.

I don’t know about you, but there are days where I am super hard on myself. The things I say to myself in my head, I would never think of uttering to someone else. Maybe you’ve said similar things to yourself as well.

Well in the mindfulness practice, we are asked to show ourselves more love, more kindness. To be kind to ourselves.

So I want you to come up with a mantra that you are going to repeat to yourself every morning when you wake up.

Before you create your mantra, think about the areas in your life right now where you’re struggling. When are you hardest on yourself? What are you hardest on yourself about?

Now turn those negative thoughts around and create a positive mantra to repeat constantly.

Write your mantra on your mirror, put it on a post-it note on your computer, say it to yourself when you’re feeling moments of self-doubt, say it to yourself before walking into a challenging meeting, say it to yourself before you go to bed.

Because you know what? The mind is a powerful thing. And the more you hear these words repeated to yourself, the more real they become, and the more a part of you they become.

The mantra I repeat to myself every day and have for the past 4 months since I started this exercise? “You are smart. You are strong. And your students want to learn from you.”

I hope this has inspired you to work toward practicing mindfulness even if just in the smallest capacity. These two ideas of equanimity and creating a mantra for yourself can easily be applied in your daily life.

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Caitlin

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