Teaching is important and rewarding work, but it can also be extremely stressful. Excessive stress may lead to burnout, which is characterized by exhaustion, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed and isolated. Other common symptoms of burnout are a loss of creativity, good humor, patience, and enthusiasm for life — all of which are crucial attributes for effective teaching.
Fortunately, the human brain has tremendous capacity to change and grow. We can train our malleable, dynamic brains
— specifically, the left prefrontal cortex, which figures prominently in emotional outlook
— to become happier and more optimistic through deliberate practice.
Research suggests that happy
people are more likely to have positive relationships with family,
friends, and colleagues; to perform better on the job; and even to enjoy
greater physical health than those with negative outlooks.
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