Just Breathe

http://youtu.be/RVA2N6tX2cg

We loved this short, beautiful video from our friends at Mindful Schools, showing kids using mindfulness to understand and manage their emotions. The further we go into the research behind this, the clearer it is that self-regulation skills, and emotional intelligence more broadly, are central factors for a successful adulthood.

As we wrote earlier about Laurence Steinberg's book "Age of Opportunity", research shows that by age 16, adolescents reach the cognitive capacity of adults - but only when they are calm and focused, or as Steinberg calls it, in "cold cognition." The challenge is that adolescents are far more prone to distraction, emotional arousal, or pressure, leading to the poor judgment we see in "hot cognition." If they've developed strong self-regulation skills - and mindfulness is one of the best routes - then they have access to excellent judgment. 

This directly impacts students' academic development, as well -- a student who otherwise might be preoccupied by a disagreement with a friend, or by self-criticism, can use mindfulness to release those concerns and focus more deeply on their learning. Indeed, Time magazine recently published the results of a new study on mindfulness in schools, showing a direct impact on math test scores among other promising results. 

Christopher BalmeComment