School stress, anxiety and mindfulness

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The only times I’ve felt truly free from debilitating stress and anxiety was while in the classroom. As a special education high-school teacher, I’ve always been able to get in the “zone” and focus on my students. However, when the lesson was over, and it was time to go back to the real world, stress and anxiety would come flooding back. Why was my mind so busy? How was it that other people could just go through life without a care in the world while I was stuck with this criticizing voice in my head? My mind continuously ran through “what if” and “if only” statements all day, every day. It wasn’t fair, and I was sure I was the only one experiencing this self-doubting dialogue.
Drowning in stress and anxiety
Five years ago I was on a mission to find out what was “wrong” with me. I was looking for a pill and/or a doctor that could understand my plight and offer a concrete solution. I stumbled on mindfulness, but wasn’t ready for something as silly as “following my own breath.” It wasn’t until months later, while reading how mindfulness was a research based, secular, scientifically proven program that had been used to …