Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Brains are Like Velcro for Negative Experiences

I just read an article in the NY Daily Times entitled "In high-stress situations, you can Zen your way to calm, says author Rick Hanson." Hanson, author of Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, describes our brains like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.” We actually need to train our brains to hang on to positive experiences and feelings especially when we are in high stress situations.
Remembering positive experiences is something I try to help my students with pretty often. It is common for someone to enter my office with a list of all the things that aren't going well (homework, parents, friend troubles, etc.) and to breeze past all of the wonderful things they've accomplished. Whether it is getting an A on test or winning a sports trophy or doing something nice for someone else, all of those experiences give reason to celebrate in the midst of everything else that is going on. It's not just a trick for students, everyone can benefit from taking a moment to pause and reflect on what's good.

I think I really need to read Hanson's book.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Continuing to learn about mindfulness

I received a flyer in my mailbox entitled "Buddha's Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom." There are conferences on the East Coast this spring run by Rick Hanson, who wrote a book of the same title. It looks very interesting and I wish I could attend. It is just not in the budget right now. Perhaps I will check out his book. I already signed up for his e-newsletters Just One Thing and Wise Brain Bulletin. His website is http://www.rickhanson.net/

On a different note, I signed up for the Minfulness: Foundation for Teaching and Learning at Bryn Mawr College in March!! I'm very excited to attend 1 day of this 3 day conference and excited that it is close to home. I believe Gretchen will be attending as well, so we will have to compare notes. I am also very excited to meet with other liked minded people in our area and to see how they are incorporating mindfulness practice into their schools.