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Why Mindfulness is Needed in Education

Healthy stress is a natural part of life. However, in the modern education system, healthy stress is frequently displaced by toxic stress. Toxic stress occurs when life’s demands consistently outpace our ability to cope with those demands. In Students, toxic stress impairs attention, emotion and mood regulation, sleep, and learning readiness. Prolonged exposure to childhood toxic stress has lifelong impacts on mental and physical health. In Educators, toxic stress starts as decreased productivity and creativity, rising to more serious symptoms like frequent anxiety, frustration, and, eventually, burnout. Roughly half a million U.S. teachers leave the profession each year – a turnover rate of over 20 percent. Because the roots of toxic stress lie deep in the nervous system, we need tools that go beyond the conceptual mind to transform our habitual responses. We need Mindfulness! There is solid scientific evidence suggesting that mindfulness interventions improve attention, self-control, emotional resilience, recovery from addiction, memory and immune response. Let’s move to improve the overall health and wellbeing of our school community as we "breathe" together.

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