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Students share how MindFULLme help them manage stress, anxiety

By Joan Murray,


Students share how MindFULLme helps them manage stress, anxiety 03:13

FORT LAUDERDALE — The school year is now in the rearview mirror, and students at Fort Lauderdale High School are exhaling and dreaming about summer.

But before the final bell rings Thursday, a group of students who have been attending the free MindFULLme program spoke to CBS News Miami about how the program has helped them cope with stressors and what lies ahead.

Mindfullme is a nonprofit that is aimed at improving mental health. Through breathing exercises, yoga and mindful meditation, students learn how to handle anxiety, fears and personal challenges.

Teacher Dan Katz is a co-founder.

"I have been a practitioner for 30 years. This is the best way to handle every part of the day no matter what the stress is. It keeps things even," he said.

Katz spoke to us in the mindfulness garden that was created at the school. There are covered seating areas and shade trees creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity where any student can go to relax and sort through their emotions.

Sophomore Sarah Abreu, who was leading a yoga session, said MindFULLme helped her to deal with Algebra 2 this year.

"It showed me the journey and allowed me to move forward," she explained.

The end result was better grades.

There is a real science behind mentally training yourself to handle stress, slow down racing thoughts and letting go of negativity.

"Deep breathing activates a nerve in our system, causing us to release endorphins and makes us calm," explained Katz.

Coming off the pandemic, there were a lot of stressors at South Florida schools with lockdowns and disruptions.

Next year, there may be more changes in Broward County with discussions on making schools safer.

It's why Katz would like to see MindFULLme programs started at more Broward public schools.

Fort Lauderdale High Junior Ben Polsky said not a day goes by that he isn't using what he's learned in MindFULLme.

"It has been a lifesaver," he said. "It's taught me about myself and made the days easier."

MindFULLme is hosting a summer retreat next week.

The cost is several hundred dollars. It will be held June 12-15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Snyder Park in Fort Lauderdale. It is open to 8th through 12th-grade youth.

There will be instructions on yoga, Tai Chi, sound healing, meditation, sports and other mindfulness tools.

For more information, you can log onto .

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