Mindfulness meditation re-routs counter-productive reactivity.
Mindfulness meditation nurtures the brain by decoupling regions that have tended to function together… and generally not very helpfully, except when being chased by tigers and bears, oh my!
Mindfulness meditation, regularly practiced for a just a few minutes a day, creates new neural connections and changes how different regions of the physical brain relate to one another… most specifically the amygdala (the center for fear, anger, and ‘knee jerk’ emotional reactions) and the pre-frontal cortex (the center for logic, reason, executive function responses).
Teachers don’t have to figure it out on their own
There are so many quality resources for bringing mindfulness into the classroom – even for very young students. Consider Thich Nhat Hanh’s many clean and concise offerings.
Although the KIDS’ OWN WISDOM approach does not, specifically, teach mindfulness, there are many parallels in approach and benefits:
- Providing opportunities to increase students’ awareness of their own (and others’) inner and outer experiences.
- Recognizing that thoughts are not set in stone – that other options are available, based on free will and best judgment.
- Engaging in peer group discussions for collaboratively re-evaluating situations and responses, which often, spontaneously, results in impulse control.
- Increased internal freedom to consciously choose actions and responses over unconscious reactivity.
Regular practice, with either or both approaches, provides measurable short and long term benefits. In other words, Mindfulness practices and Kids’ Own Wisdom shared-thinking experiences are highly compatible and complementary practices for supporting young children’s well-rounded social, emotional and cognitive development.