Mindfulness benefits Social and Emotional Learning

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Integrating SEL and mindfulness

When SEL and mindfulness are integrated, the five SEL competencies laid out by CASEL have more fertile ground in which to grow and ultimately be embodied by students and adults alike. For example:
Competency 1: Self-awareness Students’ self-awareness deepens when enhanced by the mindfulness practices of focusing attention and self-compassion.
Competency 2: Self-management Mindfulness increases students’ emotion regulation skills, which enhances their ability to resolve conflict more creatively or to say how they’re feeling in an emotionally balanced way.
Competency 3: Social awareness Mindfulness increases students’ empathy by helping them to regulate their emotions rather than get emotionally overwhelmed when faced with a difficult situation. As a result, their capacity to notice another person’s suffering and respond to it increases.
Competency 4: Relationship skills Mindfulness increases compassion. Thus, when students practice SEL skills such as creating a win-win solution with someone who challenges them, they are doing so with more compassionate understanding.
Competency 5: Decision-making Mindfulness increases cognitive flexibility and creativity, which gives students a wider range of responses to challenging situations.
Being the change in the world

Ultimately, when taught and learned together, mindfulness and SEL have the potential to transform our communities and our world with the former cultivating the tendencies for compassion and ethical ways of living and the latter teaching the skills to make that happen.

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