Last updated on September 23rd, 2023.
Teachers are, understandably, often stressed out. From dealing with life stressors, students, and their parents, sometimes you want to either pull your hair out or sit by yourself and cry. However, when asking around for ways to cope, whether it be by a friend, family, or professional, there is a chance that one will recommend practicing mindfulness techniques. Although you are aware of that, you may not be aware of the different practices you could implement today.
There are many techniques to practice mindfulness, but four of these great techniques include S.T.O.P., gratitude, journaling, and positive affirmations. However, you still may not feel as though you have enough time in the day nor know whether mindfulness is helpful or not for you.
Read more to learn about what mindfulness techniques are and whether mindfulness can be helpful. You will also learn about the four different great mindfulness techniques for teachers.
What is a Mindfulness Technique?
Mindfulness techniques, or mindfulness exercises, are a series of meditation practices. With mindfulness, you focus on how you feel in the moment, which is recommended to be done without interruptions or slight judgments from anyone, including yourself. Practicing mindfulness can include breathing, guided imagery, and any other practice that will help you relax your body and mind, hoping to reduce the stress you initially felt before you began. The practice of ViniYoga helps to balance movement and breath consciously.
For some people, this can be helpful for them to practice on a daily or semi-daily basis, while others remain skeptical about the authenticity of this practice and whether it would work for them.
Let’s continue reading to see whether the practice of mindfulness is deemed helpful or not.
Is Mindfulness Helpful?
So, is mindfulness helpful? Overall, this is a subjective question because this varies from person to person. However, studies have shown that mindfulness, if practiced consistently and if you take the time to learn with patience, can help manage any stressors you are going through, whether it be stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
A lot of people, when practicing mindfulness, learn that you know, as people, due to daily stressors and life moving at a fast pace that so does your brain. As an added helpful benefit, practicing mindfulness helps slow those fast-paced thoughts down, and you will feel calmer and at peace with yourself. Explore the 10 ways mindfulness can help you manage your anxiety to get even more reasons to start the practice.
However, again, this answer is subjective and depends on the person, but there may be some who have tried to practice mindfulness, and they feel as if it were a waste of time. It is recommended that you try again in a quieter location and remain patient.
With being a teacher and wanting to practice mindfulness, you are likely to be confused about where you can find a place to practice during your hectic schedules.
Where Can Teachers Use Mindfulness?
Teachers, like any other profession, have hectic work schedules. So, coming home from work every day in the evening or late hours into the night, you are, understandably, too tired to want to do anything, let alone practice mindfulness. However, there are different areas where you can try to incorporate a mindfulness practice. Various regions of mindfulness practice can include:
- In your car while commuting to and from work.
The practice of mindfulness, for anyone, does not have to take place for a long time. It is recommended that you practice the act of mindfulness at least twice a day, but you can do it once a day. Some take ten minutes out of their time to do these practices, but others often do a maximum of twenty minutes if they have the time.
It has also been thought that implementing mindfulness in the classroom is beneficial for both teachers and students. Because not only are teachers are facing stressors every day, but the students are as well. So mindfulness practices between teachers and students can be a bonding moment while also bringing both parties back into the present moment with less stress and anxiety.
But, for teachers, various techniques are great for them to practice. Let’s continue reading about four great mindfulness techniques for teachers.
4 Great Mindfulness Techniques for Teachers
Mindfulness can include but doesn’t have to be just sitting on the floor, or your couch, with your legs crossed while having your eyes closed in the quiet or peaceful music. However, this form of mediation is a widespread technique. Other forms of mindfulness can be implemented into the lives of a teacher to relieve their stressors.
Please read more about four mindfulness techniques teachers can implement into their day-to-day lives.
S.T.O.P. stands for stop, take a breath, observe, and proceed. To stop means that you are feeling some tension when it comes to a day of working at school, and you need a silent moment to reset your mind into a more positive and calmer mindset.
The S in stop means to stop, and you are to pause whatever you are doing. T means to take a breath, which means taking a deep breath in and out at least two or three times. O means to observe, and you will name and take a mental note of how you are feeling in the moment. Lastly, P means to proceed, and you begin again to where you left off in what you were doing before you stop. Practice your breathwork with one of the 5 best breathwork apps out there.
Meditation is a popular form of practicing mindfulness. For at least five to twenty minutes, the benefit of meditating is to help with sleep, control your anxiety, better concentration, attention span, etc. Meditation can be done either by yourself, in a quiet and non-interruptive space, or with friends, family, or colleagues.
There are various ways to complete these meditations. You can sit in silence, listen to peaceful music, visit countless websites, or use apps to conduct your meditations.
Journaling is an excellent way of self-reflection and can either be done throughout the day, done in the morning, or at the end of the day, for at least five to ten minutes to write down your day and how you are feeling. There are different forms of journaling.
You can free-write with just lined paper and write down all of your feelings, or you can use what is called a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is free-writing, but you are more focused on what you are grateful for, designed to focus more on your happiness.
There are various forms of a gratitude journal, but one example is The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal: Give Thanks, Practice Positivity, Find Joy.
Practicing positive affirmations are a great way to practice mindfulness. The beneficial aspect of affirmations is that you can do these whenever you feel down and stressed out. Positive affirmations reframe your original thinking about yourself and turn it into a positive.
For example, if you, as a teacher, are feeling stressed and you’ve been making mistakes, you are likely to think that you are not good enough to work this job. Reframe your thinking and say, instead, “I am worthy of working as a teacher.” You are reminding yourself that you are human, just like everyone else, and reframing your thinking helps to prevent further pessimistic thinking.
With these techniques in mind, after consistent practice and use, many benefits are exhibited to teachers.
Benefits of Teachers Practicing Mindfulness
Like for many, many benefits surrounds the practice of mindfulness. Especially for a teacher, changes within themselves can be shown after a progression of reframing their mindset into something more present, calmer, and happier.
Mindfulness practice helps to form better sleeping habits. When teaching for hours a day, a lot of energy has to be brought to the table to lead many kids and keep up with their energetic natures. It’s exhausting. With mindfulness inducing sleep is helpful, and it is typically recommended to try and use a meditation app.
You are likely to become more focused on your tasks. For teachers, one of the jobs that they have to become accustomed to is the act of multitasking, and this can quickly become overwhelming. By practicing mindfulness, you will be training your brain to improve your attention skills and cognitive skills so you will have the ability to focus on those multiple tasks.
Understand Your Emotions Better
You will have a better understanding of your emotions. When you are always on the go, you are not likely to take the time to figure out what is causing you stress or why you are feeling sad and depressed, but through mindfulness, you are forced to a stop.
In taking this stop, you pause what is around you to focus on yourself and recognize the emotional patterns you’ve been exhibiting, and you can focus on how to respond better and react to stressors.
Teachers are often stressed and tired during work and after the workday. You can reclaim that happiness through mindfulness and have a happier attitude and aura. In reclaiming your joy through mindfulness, you are also reducing your feelings of the likes of anxiety and depression.
Your productivity becomes enhanced. With practicing mindfulness, a significant benefit is decreased stress and feelings of burnout. By eliminating those factors, you are likely to be more productive throughout your day-to-day life, but it also makes you aware that you need to make improvements on conducting more self-care for yourself at the same time.
Healthier Relationship Between Teachers and Students
Practicing mindfulness produces a healthier relationship between teachers and their student and build a better, more positive learning environment for everyone. Effective communication between teachers and students is beneficial for educational purposes and teaches the students better ways of communication when they are out in the real world on their own.
Maintaining a non-judgmental rapport with your students can make them more open, with non-optional statements and questions (not saying “okay” at the end of every sentence because this shows the students that the conversation is optional).
In practicing mindfulness, in a classroom full of students, you are more prone to paying better attention, noticing how your students feel, and creating better social-emotional dynamics.
So, now that you’ve learned about the different techniques that you can use to practice mindfulness, you or any other teacher will be able to practice these during your free time in-between classes or at home. And among learning four new techniques, you have also learned a bit more about what mindfulness is, along with some of the significant benefits that teachers can benefit from practicing mindfulness.