Taking Mindfulness into the Classroom
In the past six months, my mental health has not been its best. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression, however I’ve been working to improve my state by taking prescribed medication and seeing a phycologist. The topic of mindfulness has come up several times in therapy sessions and conversations with parents. It surprised me when a college professor began speaking about the importance of the subject of mindfulness. I am a freshman here at OSU, so I’m still used to high school unspoken rules and teachers. One of which being that english teachers are the only ones to speak out and care about students’ mental health, most other teachers at my high school were very hesitant to speak about such a topic. For reasons, I am not sure, one would think that the mental health of their student is just as if not more important than their physical health. So you can understand my surprise when a professor, not teaching in the english department, expressed clear concern and spoke out of the importance of mindfulness. Ever since I began taking prescribed medication, mindfulness has been spoken to me about many times. I began to practice mindfulness, specifically meditation. I use the Headspace application and I highly recommend it for others seeking a wonderful use for meditation practices. When the subject of meditation came up during Wicked Problems in Industrial Practices course, and the fact that we will now be beginning class with a moment of mindfulness and a brief session of meditation, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to begin a college course with a clear, calm mindset.
I am well aware that practicing mindfulness is not a cure all. I don’t even believe that it will take you half of the way. One needs proper medication, meditation, therapy, and then one’s own work in order to see significant improvement. It is small moments, every day, where you pause, turn off your autopilot and notice your world. Mindfulness will not change the things in your life; it will change your life by helping you notice the things in it with a new perspective. By taking such a new perspective after properly practicing mindfulness, I believe the upcoming generation will be far more empathic than previous. This can lead to incredible improvements in our day to day lives. By talking about the importance of mental health and the value mindfulness in such an educational setting like a classroom, or a zoom call, it will help students learn and or find ways to heal with their mental state. Leading to nothing but progress overall.