Sometimes you get so mad you want to KICK and SCREAM and maybe say some not so nice things. It happens, especially if you’re struggling with a bunch of complicated emotions you may be experiencing for the first time.
Getting upset is, unfortunately, part of the human condition, and schools in England will now try to address that in the classroom, by teaching students how to practice mindfulness. The program is part of a new mental health study, announced by the British government earlier this week, that will go until 2021.
Students in primary and secondary school will learn “mindfulness practice, breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation techniques,” as well as how to identify support systems in their friends and classmates. In secondary school, students will get more hands-on education aimed at teaching them to increase their awareness.
England isn’t alone—mindfulness is on the rise in schools in the U.S. as a way to keep students calm, decrease the stress they might feel in their daily lives, and improve focus in the classroom. In 2016, an elementary school in Baltimore replaced detention with an area in which kids could do some deep breathing and stretching exercises when they got into trouble. (A student who had been pushing and name-calling his classmate described the experience of going to the “Mindful Moment Room” to CNN at the time: “I did some deep breathing, had a little snack, and I got myself together. Then I apologized to my class.”)
All of this sounds infinitely better than getting punished in front of your peers and getting even more upset and embarrassed, which maybe was the problem all along. Learning to deal with your emotions can be uncomfortable at first, but also be infinitely rewarding. These kids are going to be really good at clearing their mind and being present by the end of this.