Research shows that regular, intentional mindfulness practice - even just a few minutes a day - can increase attention control, emotional regulation, presence and compassion. Grey matter increases in specific areas of the brain (supporting stronger neural connectivity in areas that are responsible for memory, learning, problem solving and controlling emotions).
Research shows that increased screen time, which keeps our brains in the hypnotic state receiving a massive surge of dopamine (the pleasure transmitter), can decrease attention control and presence. So although one may seem to be laser focused on one thing - technology - we are actually receiving many cues all at once leading to the practice of sliding attention from one thing to another at a rapid rate. This can be beneficial, but only when paired with practice and the development of focusing on one thing at a time. With technology engagement such as this, research has shown that white matter decreases in the brain; an area key to language development, literacy and cognitive skills.
With increased screen time use in households today, as we try to navigate the new norm with the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure there is a balance between online and offline experiences.
To balance the increased connectivity through technology, should we consider adding - or increasing - our current intentional mindfulness practice? The answer is an easy, yet astounding YES. Stop and focus on your breath or the sounds around you a couple of times a day. Intentionally focus your mind on repeating words (a mantra) that are meaningful to you. Explore the outdoors, without distraction or technology. Exercise. Support an under-stimulated mind at home. Let the minds wander. Let yourself - your kids - be "bored."
"Boredom is the space in which creativity and imagination happen," says Pediatrician Michael Rich, Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston's Children's Hospital.
To learn more about the power of mindfulness and the importance of starting with YOU, check out the online course, Mindful Parenting: Keeping it Simple or Launching a Mindful Classroom: It Starts with YOU. Use the code: FAMILY to receive 50% now through May 15th in response to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. We are in this together.
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I'm obsessed. This is fabulous. LOVE that you are doing this. The new way of being a student forces us to think outside the box and approach how we teach more dynamically.
~Derek, Father of 2 and Elementary School Principal
Just a girl with a dream to collectively build a healthy mind space for children, while creating a healthier mind space for ourselves.
Copyright Healthy Mind Space 2019