Mindfulness Takes Anaheim By Storm

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Mindfulness Takes Anaheim By Storm

Maegan Davis, Author

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Mindfulness has taken Anaheim by storm. Since the beginning of the school year, students have been surrounded by the new implementation of mindfulness on our campus. The school has really been enforcing mindful practices within each and every classroom. Recently, teachers have been trained on how to bring mindfulness to their students. But what is mindfulness? In the words of AUHSD Superintendent Michael Matsuda, “ Mindfulness is a skill for not just students, but adults, and really everybody, to really go inward rather than outward, meaning really understanding your own emotions, to be able to put the pause button on harmful emotions, and to choose other emotions and responses. So it’s really a lifelong skill to have mindfulness.”

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Superintendent Michael Matsuda Talks to Meagan Davis, AE News Reporter, about the impact of mindfulness

But why should schools feel responsible for the implementation of mindfulness? Although it may seem unlikely, mindfulness, or the absence of, affects the quality of our education. According to adaa.org, “Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse.” 

As you can see, the need for mindfulness is more prominent now than ever before. With a growing rate of anxiety and depression among teenagers, change is necessary. Our teenage years should be our most memorable years, filled with fun, laughter, and good times, yet we still see various cases of students suffering from crippling anxiety or depression. Mindfulness gives us an escape from all of those bad feelings and helps us focus on the present. Megan Garrett, a teacher here at Anaheim High, is very well known for her continuous efforts to bring mindfulness to the Colony. She says, “Mindfulness is a continuing practice where you try to remain present in the moment and not focus on a bunch of things you can’t control. I think that we live surrounded by constant distractions. I think that especially teenagers, now have more distractions, more responsibilities, more information that they have to process and retain and I think there are a lot of things that prevent people from being able to experience things as they are happening. We tend to live behind our phones, we take pictures of things rather than experiencing them. Even when you’re in a classroom, there are a million things going on in your brain at once and it’s good to have a space to focus on just what’s happening now.”

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Ms. Garrett shares the reasons she practices mindfulness with her students

It is too easy to get lost in life’s adversities and now we have a way out. The District has done everything in its power to implement mindfulness to help our students progress academically, with the least amount of stress possible. Now, it is our turn to push this movement forward. We must be diligent in our efforts to continue practicing mindfulness and helping students become more aware of their surroundings and less focused on the hardships of being an adolescent.

 

Children and Teens. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children.