Why Mindfulness In Our Schools:
Social and emotional learning (SEL) has increasingly been recognized as a critical component of student success, both for its intrinsic value and for its relationship to student academic success. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) lists the following five competencies social emotional learning competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision-Making.
Mindfulness practices contribute directly to building three of these foundational competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, and Responsible Decision-Making. Mindfulness teaches students to have greater self-awareness of their mind, which in turn impacts a student’s ability to recognize how their thoughts and emotions influences their actions and behaviors. This increased self-awareness, along with the core focusing and attention building tools mindfulness provides, empowers students with an increased ability to regulate one’s emotions, resulting in students who feel more resilient, and can make better decisions when faced with stress, overwhelm, and other challenging emotions.
Figure from: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): The Future of Education. Power Point presentation by Mary Utne O’Brien, PhD, Vice President, CASEL Research Professor, Psychology & Education, University of Illinois at Chicago. February 4, 2013. Accessible at www.casel.org.