3 Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Classroom Today
I've been in Public Education for many years, and I've seen it first (and secondhand) the amount of pressure and stress teachers are constantly under. I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way! Yes there are going to be good days and some bad ones, the goal should be to reduce the bad by leveraging all of the good.
Start every morning by saying "Today is going to be a great day!"
I know it may sound kinda simple and silly, but you're setting your mind up to look for all the ways in which it is going to be great. Dr. Daniel Amen says that by doing this you are "resetting your day to be in a positive place". The opposite is also true. If you say it's going to be awful, hard, tough or stressful, your mind will automatically look for ways to confirm this. Think: Self-fulfilling prophecy. Try it and watch the magic unfold.
It is said that when we are feeling gratitude that we cannot experience any other emotion. Example: when you are really pausing to reflect on what you are grateful for at the beginning of your day, you may be overcome with joy, happiness, or love. It is when we are experiencing these feelings that we cannot also experience hate, anger, anxiety or sadness. Think about it, when was the last time you were mad and grateful at the same time?
Meditate on the Breath
When we meditate on the breath, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system while calming the sympathetic nervous system. So if you find yourself feeling anxious after a challenging class, your heartbeat or your mind is racing; pause. Take a seat at your desk, or in your car before you drive away and focus on your breath. Watch as your belly rises as you breathe in and falls when you breathe out. Notice the touch of air inside of your nose as you breath; the coolness of the inhalation and the warmth of the exhalation.
If you've started implementing these into your daily rituals, I'd love to hear how it's going. Any roadblocks you've noticed? Wins? Comment below :)