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In this study, we investigate the experiences of first-year college studentswith Just BREATHE (JB), an eight-session voluntary mindfulness-based wellness program. We collected qualitative interview data from 26 participants selected as a convenience sample from the larger quantitative study at three points in time: pre-implementation, post-implementation, and one semester to 1 year post-implementation. During the interviews, participants described stressors, coping skills, their perceptions of JB, and changes resulting from the program. The interview data reveal that JB provides college students with coping strategies to combat common stressors and may help address underlying causes of stress. Students described changes in several areas: (a) improved organization and time management, (b) commitment to a healthy lifestyle, (c) improved emotional awareness and relationships, and (d) self-compassion. Our findings suggest that mindfulness programs could be utilized and incorporated into required first-year courses to promote the adaptive, social and emotional skills necessary for effective stress management.

The heavy demands of teaching result in many teachers becoming alienated or burning out. Therefore, it is imperative to identify ways to support teachers’ internal capacities for managing stress and promoting well-being. Mindfulness is an approach with a growing foundation of empirical support in clinical as well as education settings. Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) is a mindfulness-based professional development program developed to improve teachers’ awareness and well-being and to enhance classroom learning environments. Using an explanatory design, we analyzed data from four focus groups each with three to eight teachers who participated in CARE to explore the mechanisms underlying the intervention effects. Specifically, we examined if/how the CARE intervention affected teachers’ awareness and analyzed why CARE affected particular aspects of teachers’ physical and emotional health and why some aspects were not affected. Results suggest that participants developed greater self-awareness, including somatic awareness and the need to practice self-care. Participants also improved their ability to become less emotionally reactive. However, participants were less likely to explicitly articulate an improvement in their teaching efficacy. Implications for professional development are discussed.

The heavy demands of teaching result in many teachers becoming alienated or burning out. Therefore, it is imperative to identify ways to support teachers’ internal capacities for managing stress and promoting well-being. Mindfulness is an approach with a growing foundation of empirical support in clinical as well as education settings. Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) is a mindfulness-based professional development program developed to improve teachers’ awareness and well-being and to enhance classroom learning environments. Using an explanatory design, we analyzed data from four focus groups each with three to eight teachers who participated in CARE to explore the mechanisms underlying the intervention effects. Specifically, we examined if/how the CARE intervention affected teachers’ awareness and analyzed why CARE affected particular aspects of teachers’ physical and emotional health and why some aspects were not affected. Results suggest that participants developed greater self-awareness, including somatic awareness and the need to practice self-care. Participants also improved their ability to become less emotionally reactive. However, participants were less likely to explicitly articulate an improvement in their teaching efficacy. Implications for professional development are discussed.