What if I told you you already have the answers?

I want to let you in on a little secret…You already have the most powerful tool to regulate your emotions at your fingertips every moment of every day.  

Any idea of what it is??

It’s your breath…

As teachers we (and our students) are essentially captives in our own classrooms.  Because of this, all of our emotions can be a bit heightened. If we can’t leave and take a break we must find and have tools to help with our own emotional regulation which can help our students (even if it’s us being role models for our students).

How Paying Attention to your Breath can help…

As teachers we (and our students) are essentially captives in our own classrooms.  Because of this, all of our emotions can be a bit heightened. If we can’t leave and take a break we must find and have tools to help with our own emotional regulation which can help our students (even if it’s us being role models for our students).

During stressful moments, conscious breathing allows you to shift and release negative energy instead of storing it in your body. This is important, because stored-up energy often manifests as muscle tension and other physical ailments.

Breath work has other benefits, too. It can increase alertness and oxygen flow and allow your body to release toxins more readily. Although breathing is something your body naturally does, it’s also a skill that can be sharpened.

Studies have found that regularly practicing breathing exercises lowers one’s level of the stress hormone, cortisol.  Having lower levels of this hormone may be indicative of an overall calmer state of being, which may translate into less reactivity in the face of inevitable life stressors (like being a classroom teacher!).

Regulating these emotions can be as simple as a few DEEP BREATHS!

How can we get ourselves into the habit?

Try some of these little ways to remind yourself to really breathe

  • Set an alarm on your phone
  • Put a post-it on the clock with the word “breathe”
  • Write “BREATHE” or draw a smiley face on the back board so that you can see it while teaching
  • Put a post-it on the computer

Pick out some set times to practice three breaths during the school day. Then you will be practicing in preparation for the big event (classroom teaching).

When you feel the stress rising, try to take those three breaths.

Victor Frankl says, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

This is what we are trying to find when we pay attention to our breath…

We need this space more than ever so we can respond mindfully to the demands on our time and energy instead of react mindlessly.

What do you still need help with in regard to finding ways to remember to breathe so that you can tap into the healing power of your breath?

If you want some immediate ways to stop stressing now, get Teaching Well’s free guide10 Ways to Find Calm Amidst Chaos so that you can Stop Stressing & Start Teaching Again .” 

Want to build community on your way to wellness? Join us at our closed We are Teaching Well Facebook group.

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Danielle Nuhfer
danielle@teachingwell.life

Here are a few titles I go by...teacher, student, gardener, runner, nature-lover, writer and meditator. I care deeply about my own journey to wellness and want to inspire others to walk this path. Inspiring others to discover the value of mindfulness, positive psychology and other holistic health practices is my life's work.

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