A recent NYT magazine article profiles a number of interesting school programs that have been implemented in order to increase the students' awareness to the social and emotional reactions in themselves, as well as, in others. The theory behind social-emotional training is that in processing the various feelings, behaviors and thoughts of oneself and others, new neurological pathways are established that could make children "less vulnerable to anxiety and quicker to recover from unhappy experiences". In fact, this article mentions a number of studies which imply that having social-emotional training might lead to less aggression, violence, and higher scores on aptitude tests in children.
Those already engaged in the process of self-exploration, whether it be by themselves, in talk therapy or by any number of meditative practices, are quite familiar with the power of having the patience and perspective to untangle confusing and messy emotions. The ability to "sit with" and work through one's internal states can lead to powerful insights, shifts in perspective, and subsequent changes in behavior. Such self-awarenss can also lead to more understanding, tolerance and compassion for the thoughts, feelings and actions of the people that make up the world at large.