Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-regulation, and interpersonal skills that are necessary and so important in life. It’s about coping with stress and emotions, self-compassion, and resilience…All of which are empowering because no one controls them other than you. It’s also about communication, interacting with others, and collaboration, which are all so important.
Genes are not our destiny. Every child can be helped by teaching the right things at the right time. How we treat ourselves and get along with others is just as important as math and science, and classes in communication, kindness, community, and emotional healing should be incorporated into schools. If we can teach them how to communicate effectively and be aware of the world around them, then we can begin to heal this planet. We must educate the heart, not just the mind, so we can increase pro-social behavior (learn to share, become trustworthy, helpful, kind, and take other views into account).
There is more bullying (1 in 5 kids), isolation, suicide, and homicide in young children under 15 years-old than ever before. Whether due to mobile phones, social media, video games, or culture, there is a mental health crisis in our country. Kids in middle school spend 8 hours in front of media every day, which may lend towards increased aggressiveness, desensitization, and lower self-esteem. Children need to be taught how to communicate with each other, respect and appreciate differences, and be kind to themselves and each other.
One of our missions is to teach the next generation how to have a mindful-mindset, cope with their emotions in a healthy way, think positively, appreciate what is good, and spread love and peace.
Mindfulness-based social emotional learning (MBSEL) is considered ‘next-generation SEL’ because it addresses the roots of under-performance and ‘diseases of despair’ (depression, violence, addiction, suicide, self-harm) by significantly reducing stress and priming the intellect for learning.
Mindfulness, social emotional learning, and emotional intelligence are mandatory in some other countries, just like math and science. I believe mindful programs should be part of the core curriculum in American schools as well. Fortunately, that is already starting to happen.
In my Ted Talk, I say that it’s crucial to learn mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning in addition to academics. They must be taught in schools. These are essential life skills. They are necessary to get a good job, keep a good job, be happy, healthy– and to navigate life. We need to be able to know and understand how we’re feeling and be able to cope and respond in appropriate ways; to know we have support systems and learn to communicate with each other so we can build resilience and bounce back; to ask more questions of ourselves and others and put ourselves in other people’s shoes to gain compassion and empathy.
In order to lower suicide rates and violence, we must build a child’s capacity for well-being, self-awareness, social skills, empathy, and self-management. Kids grow up to become adults. It’s not our responsibility to raise kids. It’s our responsibility to raise adults. Empathetic, loving, peaceful, kind, good adults.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our learning and resources pages, including mindful organizations, scientific studies, and videos.
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