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Insights from EdTech and Pancakes: Success without stress and well-being-oriented solutions in education

Mar 7, 2024 | EdTech

Discover a groundbreaking approach to well-being that transcends traditional reliance on willpower. In episode 5 of DreamApply’s podcast, EdTech and Pancakes, we delve into the innovative insights of Dr. Amy Johnson, a renowned psychologist, coach and author.

Known for her transformative work in helping individuals overcome unwanted habits, anxiety and self-doubt, Dr. Johnson has been a regularly featured expert on The Steve Harvey Show, The Wall Street Journal and Self magazine. Dr. Johnson also shares the no-willpower approach in her top-rated podcast, Changeable.

Unlike conventional methods that rely on predetermined steps or techniques, Dr. Johnson’s method is rooted in developing a deeper understanding of how our life experiences are created on a fundamental level. In the following segments, we explore key insights from Dr. Johnson shared during the podcast. These perspectives offer a fresh lens through which individuals, including educators and students, can pursue personal growth and well-being.

Understanding how the mind works makes us less afraid of what we feel, improving our well-being on a fundamental level

Instead of viewing feelings and thoughts as problems to be fixed, Dr. Johnson encourages an open exploration of what they reveal about our inner state. 

We are made to create unique experiences of life from the inside out, moment to moment. In other words, the mind works more like a projector than a camera. Our experiences of life are not merely unavoidable reactions to the external world, but are actively created from within, projected onto the canvas of our lives.

The metaphor illuminates that our external circumstances act more like screens for the projections of our inner experiences. Without this awareness, we may default to trying to control our surroundings to feel better. Alternatively, the next best approach may be to try controlling or transcending the thoughts that we believe have influenced how we feel.

Dr. Johnson invites taking a deeper journey, where one can appreciate that thoughts not only influence experiences but create them, letting us experience the “feeling of our thinking.” In addition, it’s important to realize that thoughts are inherently fluid, so instead of “making it go away”, we are better off simply recognizing that we are experiencing a thought.

Feelings are powerful indicators of the quality of thoughts, helping us navigate to greater wisdom and receptivity

Understanding the transient nature of feelings on a fundamental level transforms our relationship with them. First, we become less afraid of them. Then, we can appreciate and leverage feelings, even the most negative ones, as reliable indicators of the quality of our thoughts. 

Consider the analogy of being deeply involved in a movie at a cinema. For a moment, the scenes on the screen captivate us, making us forget that what we’re seeing is a projection, not reality. The fear or joy we feel is real, yet the moment we remember we’re simply viewers in a theater, the intensity of those emotions diminishes. The images, no matter how vivid or frightening, lose their grip on us.

It allows us to not only embrace our emotions without fear but also to consciously navigate towards healthier, less contaminated thoughts. In such clarity, creativity, productivity, and learning flourish naturally. We begin to perceive life with less distortion, unencumbered by the ‘inner noise’ that once clouded our vision.

Genuine productivity and learning capacity are innate, when we get out of our own ways

We asked Dr. Johnson what influences productivity and quality of learning. She shares how we are naturally made to learn, create and be resourceful, when there is less thinking in our minds. 

She mentions how many unwanted habits, such as procrastination, are perceived to be problems that need to be aggressively tackled, while in fact they are coping mechanisms and side-effects of having a busy mind. She reminds us that we all have innate well-being. Because it’s already there, we can allow ourselves to get back to it, which is a more effortless journey than it’s commonly perceived to be.

Recognizing well-being in each other is a game-changer in education and creates a positive learning environment

We discussed how educational institutions can benefit from the no-willpower approach shared by Dr. Johnson. By recognizing that everyone is doing the best they can, given their level of clarity, educators can provide better space for students and each other to gravitate back to resilience and well-being, which naturally leads to the benefits that many institutions seek.

We also discussed common myths about changing habits and ways to empower others. Since Dr. Johnson runs online and onsite programs for mental health education, we also asked about her approach to marketing and maintaining connection during remote calls, an issue, that’s becoming increasingly important as modern education becomes more and more digital.

Watch the full episode of EdTech and Pancakes with Dr. Amy Johnson

Elevate your university team’s well-being with DreamApply

DreamApply is committed to enhancing the operational capabilities of educational institutions while simultaneously prioritizing the well-being of university teams. By integrating our advanced application management software, universities can achieve a 40% reduction in application processing time. This not only boosts staff productivity but also has a profound positive impact on their mental health.

For example, its automated communication tools minimize the need for manual follow-ups, while customizable workflows ensure that each team member can focus on tasks that best match their skills and interests. Furthermore, the software’s comprehensive analytics dashboard allows for real-time monitoring of admissions metrics, enabling teams to make informed decisions quickly and maximizing their everyday productivity. 

This, combined with other features, reduces burnout and fosters a positive work environment, where teams can collaborate better and focus more on supporting students and their strategic priorities.

About DreamApply

Founded in 2011 in Estonia, DreamApply is an innovation-driven EdTech organization improving access to education around the globe. DreamApply’s application management software helps more than 300 educational institutions across 40 countries improve admissions, marketing, scholarship management and other internal processes.

DreamApply’s easy-to-use and customizable software increases student enrollment by 30% and reduces application processing time by 40%. With features designed with and for educational institutions, and integrations with commonly used systems, DreamApply empowers teams to get more done with less effort.

Continue exploring by requesting your free, personalized demo.

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