#2 How to manage emotions (especially worrying)
Humans are emotional creatures, and life can test us to the limit at times.
How do you deal with worry? What makes you angry or frustrated? What makes people do silly things sometimes? Lust? The ego?
With the advent of the Mindfulness in Schools Project in 2009, educators began to see how self-observation can be taught to students as a meaningful way to avoid an unconscious reaction.
Just think of the problems that this philosophy could solve, were it taken seriously and implemented nationwide. A fifteen-minute meditation session per day, for example, could help students become calmer, more focused on lessons and even more willing to embrace self-acceptance, making life more enjoyable.
As for the emotion of worrying….the statistics speak for themselves. According to the Anxiety Association of America:
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (which equates to around 18.1% of the population every year).
- Anxiety disorders can be treated easily, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
- Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
In my personal opinion, kids need to know this stuff! Yet how many schools offer a rigorous ‘Worry Combat’ curriculum? Almost none.
Yet again, it’s one of the things we kind of have to figure out by ourselves (and many people never figure it out).
Scientists have also found strong links between stress and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
I think it’s high time that kids were taught about the effects of worry and how to tackle it as part of a national curriculum strategy. Here’s a book I think should be compulsory reading for every school student (click on the book to take you to the Amazon UK page):
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