During session 3 we explored the connection between mindfulness and the brain. Adolescents struggle with emotional and impulsive regulation because important parts of their brains are changing quickly during this developmental stage. Teaching them about the brain can provide them with an understanding of what is happening, which can help them deal with emotional experiences more effectively.
When children understand what’s happening in the brain, it can be the first step to having the power to make choices… Sometimes our brains can become overwhelmed with feelings of fear, sadness or anger, and when this happens, it’s confusing—especially to children. So giving children ways to make sense of what’s happening in their brain is important. It’s also helpful for children to have a vocabulary for their emotional experiences that others can understand.
In our group we discussed Dan Siegel’s Brain Hand Model, and this article, from Mindful.org, provides us with another tool.
Only 3 days?? Yes! Check out this study recently published and highlighted in a New York Times article. 35 unemployed men and women looking for jobs and under a lot of stress were taken to a retreat center. Half completed mindful meditation at the retreat while the other half were engaged in a faux mindfulness practice.
“There was more activity, or communication, among the portions of their brains that process stress-related reactions and other areas related to focus and calm. Four months later, those who had practiced mindfulness showed much lower levels in their blood of a marker of unhealthy inflammation than the relaxation group, even though few were still meditating.”
Read Full Article Here
Check out this video that talks about all of the different benefits you can gain from practicing mindfulness!
Mindful Mondays, 5-7pm
Location of first meeting: The Living Room Cafe, 701 S 5th St.
(We will get an idea of the most convenient location to meet at regularly after we meet everyone and either keep the Living Room or change to another spot!)
2/22: What is mindfulness and how is it practiced?
2/29: How do I teach and model mindfulness for my students?
3/7: How do students benefit from mindful practice? What structural changes happen in the brain after practicing mindfulness?
3/14: How do your students perceive things? How does this affect their responses and behavior?
3/28: How can mindfulness positively impact student engagement with content? How do I incorporate the use of mindfulness in my approach while teaching content?
4/4: How can Mindfulness support teacher resilience in environments low on collaboration, modeling or support? How can mindfulness decrease stress reactivity in teachers?
4/11: Who is practicing mindfulness in their classrooms and what works for them?
4/18: Guest students and their experiences with mindfulness.
We are a group of current and former educators who have experienced the every day frustrations of teaching. We know how powerful and effective practicing mindfulness as a teacher is on decreasing disruptive behaviors and increasing student engagement. Our goal is to collaboration with experts in mindfulness who will share their resources and practices with people who work with youth. We will learn how to be mindful and how to create a mindful environment for our students.