Negativity Bias and Mindfulness
I was giving a talk recently (I do a few of these online talks
to help inform, educate and give you the confidence to start teaching kids/teens meditation) and I came across a term ‘negativity bias
It means that our brain and body constantly scan the environment for threats. If we detect a threat, we manage it as it activates our stress response (fight/flight/freeze) – which is designed to keep us alive.
What it means is that we are hardwired (neurologically speaking) to seek out the negative in our life experiences more easily than the positive ones.
As Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and author of “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom” argues that our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones.
I found this fascinating.
Toddlers tantrums are difficult to manage as they can often go
from 0 to 100 in the space of a few seconds. This roller coaster of emotion can be difficult to manage at the best of times, never mind if you are a stressed out parent or educator.
The idea that toddlers will sit for long periods of time meditating may be a challenge, but we can help them use mindfulness tools to recognise the signal their bodies give them before the meltdown begins.
In class, I teach students about the body and how it is a useful barometer of our emotional state. Most of the time we don’t pay attention to it until it is uncomfortable or in pain and even then we take painkillers rather than tuning into the body’s needs.
Just as we teach toddlers to recognise the signals they get from their body during potty training, we can teach them to be aware of the signals in their body that they are unhappy before it reaches a point of no return; aka a tantrum.
Here are some useful tips that you might like to try in helping your toddlers learn meditation and become more mindful. Continue reading