DeStress Monday at School
Wish Others Well
Encourage your students to think about how they're connected to the wider world with our Connect the Dots exercise.
Our focus this week is cultivating compassion in daily life. By caring about others’ happiness as if it were your own, you can reduce your stress level and improve overall well-being. Studies have also shown that compassion can help heal the body, reduce pain, and improve emotional intelligence! One popular way of developing compassion is loving-kindness meditation. This form of meditation cultivates feelings of goodwill towards others and can be practiced by anyone!
This Monday, build compassion into your approach to managing stress. Here’s how:
- Begin by focusing your thoughts and wishing yourself love and kindness by repeating “May I be happy, may I be well, and may I be at ease.”
- Next, think about people you love and interact with, then repeat, “May you be happy, may you be well, may you be at ease.”
- Lastly, broaden your focus to send positive wishes to your community – even to difficult people. Let the generosity of your spirit radiate feelings of goodwill for you – and everyone.
For help cultivating compassion for others, start your week by listening to this audio meditation from Emma Seppala, Ph.D:
For the Classroom
We often think of ourselves as independent, but there is a web of connection among people, animals, plants, and things. When we stop to think about it, we can see that our day-to-day actions have a big impact on other people and the environment. For example, think about how it affects other people and the planet if we throw our trash on the ground.
Other people’s actions also help us stay alive. For example, the juice we drink in the morning didn’t just arrive there by accident! It’s the result of an entire chain of people—from the farmer to the packager to the truck driver to the storekeepers. We may never personally know all these people, but just thinking about our relationship with them can help us feel more connected to the bigger picture.
Here’s a practice to help you discover this web of connection in your life:
- This morning pick something you regularly use (toothbrush, clock, etc.) and think back to how it was made and all the people involved in getting it to you.
- Draw a circle on a piece of paper and write down all the different steps and people involved.
- Look at these connections, and appreciate how they contributed to your life.
Listen to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse-Tyson as he gives a most inspirational explanation about how and why we are interconnected—not just to each other but to the cosmos:
See the full DeStress Monday at School Curriculum