It is exciting when BrainWise instructors seek to interest parents in learning the 10 Wise Ways! Jon Livengood, a Mental Health Professional and a new BrainWise instructor, is working with children in grades K-8. He introduced BrainWise in a Therapeutic Summer Program in Warren, Pennsylvania, and sent an email requesting help so that he could better provide support to parents.

“I am writing to inform you of the successes we (our Therapeutic Summer Program) are having using the BrainWise curriculum.  The children have taken to it very well. 

I am working on a short presentation for the parents and guardians to introduce to them the concepts of BrainWise and how the information their children are learning will be weaved into our treatment.  In particular it will give a common language for them to use with their children forever for solving problems.”

This complements the long-term goal of BrainWise — to provide graduates with thinking skills that will help them live happy and productive lives.  The drawing below by a BrainWise graduate in China beautifully illustrates how this works.

Arrows Before

Arrows AfterYou will always have problems, but BrainWise skills help you deflect them.

 


 

Ways to Help Parents Reinforce BrainWise

Here are suggestions and teaching aids that will help you involve parents in teaching and reinforcing the 10 Wise Ways with their children at home.

Hold a BrainWise Parent Session.

Present an overview of the program using the 10 Wise Ways posters or contact BrainWise for a PowerPoint presentation of the 10 Wise Ways. As you present each poster, ask the parents what they think the concept means before you give a short explanation.

After you explain each concept, introduce a short activity for each Wise Way.   For example, for Wise Way #1, Wizard Brain over Lizard Brain, hand out brain worksheets in the curriculum, or a copy of the BrainWise CPR brain worksheet (contact info here to get BW CPR brain worksheet). Explain the five senses, the thalamus, the Lizard Brain and Wizard Brain. Have the parents draw a line connecting the thalamus to the Wizard Brain.

Here is an example that uses Wise Way #5, Ask Questions.  Use the riddle in the curriculum, “She turned, looked at him, and ran.”  This is an engaging activity and can be done quickly. Remember, if one of the parents asks the right question, say, “That’s a good question; we will get back to it.” Move on, and get more questions from the group before you reveal the answer.

As you review each wise way, have the parents draw a connection on their brain picture for each one.  At the end, remind them that the connections disappear if the skill is not practiced!

  • Distribute copies of the BrainWise problem-solving worksheets (in back of curriculum), BrainWise checklists (also in curriculum), or a copy of the BrainWise CPR problem- solving worksheet .
  • Suggest that parents work with their children and create customized text reminders that remind them to use the 10 Wise Ways.  The texts say things like “Use your Wizard Brain!”  “Exit your Emotions Elevator!” “Think about the Consequences,” etc. Parents can randomly send the text reminders to their children.
  • Encourage parents to integrate BrainWise into daily activities. Parents can use the BrainWise checklists (make copies from curriculum) to help their children analyze stories or movies. You can suggest that parents have their children identify and label Wizard Brain and Lizard Brain foods and that parents use the 10 Wise Ways to analyze their own problems, as well as help their children. Encourage the parents to apply the Wise Ways to current events as well as family behaviors. They can use BrainWise problem-solving worksheets to work through issues.
  • Have parents and children create individual Constellations of Support that contain viable resources including pertinent humans, online sources, spiritual support, pets, etc. Draw or cut out pictures that remind them of their support systems, and glue or tape them onto their Constellations.
  • Ask your PTO, the school, or parents to purchase the $15.00 companion book, How To Be BrainWise for each family.
  • Encourage parents to create their own adaptations of the 10 Wise Ways to address family dynamics. Practicing using mantras is one strategy for lowering your Emotions Elevator, and Newsletter readers will remember that a family used “popcorn” as a mantra when emotions started skyrocketing. The absurd, but “silly connotations” word spoken during duress helped defuse volatile situations. Another family encouraged members to use “I” messages during dinner discussions.

When BrainWise graduates are asked, “Which Wise Way do you find most helpful?” they frequently name  “Wizard Brain over Lizard Brain” and the “Emotions Elevator.” Further questioning reveals why.  Learning about the Wizard Brain and Lizard Brain made them aware that they have control of their impulses, something they did not know.  This knowledge helped them understand how they could control their emotions and exit their Emotion Elevators.

WW #1

WW #1

WW #4

WW #4

Some BrainWise graduates give dramatic examples, such as the ex-gang member who backed out of participating in behavior that resulted in the incarceration of his homies, or the parents who said BrainWise skills helped them learn how to not hit their children.  Many BrainWise graduates cite problem situations and pinpoint the techniques they used to control their urge to react. They will proudly describe how they used their Wizard Brain to stop talking, leave the situation, use control self-talk, or find acceptable ways to redirect their emotions. Now that they recognize consequences, they see how controlling their reactions helps prevent problems.

Although techniques to redirect emotions don’t get mentioned as often by graduates of the program, they can be just as important.  For example, Mindfulness, Contemplation, and Meditation (MCM) techniques may be overlooked because they take more time to learn. Program users need to see this as a BIG MISTAKE!  These techniques have been scientifically proved to have significant, long-term benefits for health.

Mantras are a valuable aid that complement and enhance MCM. A word or phrase that you repeat over and over, silently, or aloud, “mantra” comes from a Sanskrit word that has the root, “man,” and means “an instrument of thought.” This definition is a great description for a technique that helps you use Wizard Brain thinking over the Lizard Brain’s impulse to react. How does it work?

Studies show that repeating a word or phrase over and over relieves stress and promotes bodily changes that have physical benefits. Detailed research has been published by neuroscientists Alex Korb, Ph.D. and Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, Ph.D. and her colleagues  The findings add further credibility to using MCM, as they explain the mantra effect and how it is related to controlling Lizard Brain reactions.

Previous posts have discussed the importance of addressing stress in our lives, including the wake-up call that Kaiser Permanente’s Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) study gave us. Researchers were stunned to find the serious health consequences that stressful life has on our bodies, including earlier death. As a BrainWise user, you understand the importance of replacing Lizard Brain reactions with Wizard Brain skills. You know that using words or statements such as “stay calm,” “control,” and “wizard brain” help you build more neural pathways/brain connections that promote Wizard Brain thinking. Repeating a mantra over and over to build neural connections is one more way to help you use Wizard Brain thinking to control Lizard Brain reactions.

Establishing a mindset to use mantras and other MCM techniques effectively takes practice. It is a mistake to give up if you don’t see immediate results, as the positive benefits are lasting. The following example shows how a family got in the habit of using mantras. Their unorthodox approach shows how a personal twist can promote Wizard Brain behavior.

The public health nurse who worked with the family said its members struggled with multiple problems, including explosive outbursts. When talking about ways to exit the Emotions Elevator, he introduced mantras. When the nurse revisited the family, he learned that the family patriarch had chosen “popcorn” for his mantra, and he repeated the word over and over when things started to escalate. He found that it helped him defuse tense situations as he and his wife and children started laughing when he said “popcorn, popcorn, popcorn.” This novel approach worked, and the family started using humorous as well as serious mantras to lower their emotions.

Homework Stress

Homework Stress

As we learn more about research on the brain and the toxic effects stress has on our bodies, we are finding  ways that we can prevent  and manage problems.  BrainWise teaches coping techniques, and past newsletters have introduced  BrainWise instructors who have infused the 10 Wise Ways into their teaching and counseling,  as well as their mindfulness, contemplation, and meditation (MCM) practices (Link to October 2016 and April 2017 newsletters).

Scientists support the effectiveness of mind and body interventions.  Today, the techniques involved  techniques are embraced by athletes, astronauts, physicians, Fortune 500 CEOs, welfare moms, soccer moms, inmates, celebrities,  and others seeking a stress intervention.  And while MCM may seem like a simple process, it still is difficult for many us to practice it.

The deep breathing, focused attention, and abstract thoughts are not as easy as they sound, and often require expert guidance to learn and retain.  Without help, and even with help, they can be puzzling and

Work Stress

Work Stress

uncomfortable, conditions that make it easy to give up.   Some effort is needed to locate a good instructor, as they vary widely in their training. Finding the right fit takes time and effort, as well as money.  These barriers contribute to reluctance to become serious about learning MCM.

BrainWise helps bridge this gap, a fact that appeals to instructors who also are mindfulness and contemplation masters.  They recognize that using the 10 Wise Ways establishes strong links between body and mind.  The Wizard Brain over Lizard Brain lesson and “building brain connections” activity that follows  each wise way provides a visual reinforcement that helps everyone, even young children and  developmentally disabled adults, understand the connection between their brains and bodies.

Practicing Buddhist and BrainWise instructor Dell Brooks immediately saw the 10 Wise Ways as tools he could use to teach contemplation methods to high-risk teenagers in his classes, many of whom had returned to school after previously dropping out.  He found that students had learned about the Wizard Brain and Lizard Brain and about building brain connections  were motivated to learn and practice contemplation.  His students recognized that MCM was a form of control self-talk that helped them lower their emotions elevator.

BrainWise also helps children, teens and adults recognize how a mantra – the repetitive use of word – can help them control their emotions to lower their Emotions Elevator and use Wizard Brain thinking.  In fact,”mantra” is based on a word in Sanskrit that means ”to think.”  People pick a number of simple words and statements such as  “Calm,” “Peaceful,” and “Happy,” or “You can do it!” and “Keep going!”

A BrainWise instructor shared a clever use of mantras that helped some combative parents in her caseload . When asked to pick a word that would help them lower their elevators and calm down, the couple happened to chose words that made them laugh.  When issues started getting tense, they agreed to use a nonsense mantra they had chosen.  For him, it was “Popcorn!”   This funny mantra defused the situation by helping them quickly lower their elevators.

Here are other tips for mantras:

Customize the mantra to fit the situation.  Whether you are giving yourself an emotional boost (“You can do it!”), want to get rid of anxiety (“Stay calm and carry on”) or are trying to go to sleep (“Sleep”), choose a word or phrase that fits the specific  situation.

Make it realistic.  “Breathe.” “Cope.” “Get through this.”

Select a favorite line or phrase from a song, movie, or book.  Pick a word or phrase that brings a smile to your face or makes your feel good.

Personal mantras  affect stress by lowering our cortisol levels, blood pressure, and numerous other reactions triggered by the Lizard Brain.  Placed in the context of control self-talk, individuals quickly understand  that using personal mantras is an effective way to lower their Emotions Elevators.

No Stress

No Stress

The March post shared examples of how BrainWise changes behaviors, and past newsletters presented data that show how BrainWise graduates have improved outcomes on measures of decision making and executive functions.

Dr. Judson Brewer

Dr. Judson Brewer

These successes would not surprise Dr. Judson Brewer.  Dr. Brewer’s research focuses on mindfulness training, a process he describes as teaching us how to focus on what is happening in our minds and bodies from moment to moment. He calls this experience “getting curious,” and says it helps us step out of “old, fear-based, reactive habits.”  His 2016 TED talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” has been viewed more than 6 million times.

In BrainWise terms, he is talking about recognizing our Red Flag Warnings and then using Wizard Brain thinking to lower whatever emotions our problems trigger, including craving, anxiety, anger, excitement, and fear.  This awareness, which he calls a “step into being,” helps us manage our urges from moment to moment.  By breaking problems down and making them more manageable, they become easier to change.

He admits that this “might sound too simplistic to affect behavior,” but his lab research shows that “mindfulness training was twice as good as gold standard therapy at helping people quit smoking.” He has gone on to successfully apply the approach to a wide range of problem behaviors.

The reception to his work and presentation is exciting!  Likewise, BrainWise users learn how to replace Lizard Brain emotions and reactions with Wizard Brain responses, a similar technique that alters problem behaviors. By using BrainWise CPR (Marty put link to summary of BW CPR here), program graduates learn that Red Flag Warnings prepare them to access their Emotions Elevator.  This process helps them control the impulse to react because it makes them aware that what’s happening in their bodies is connected with their minds and how they react.

Emotions Elevator

Emotions Elevator

In addition, BrainWise graduates learn to make further connections with the prefrontal cortex when they use their support systems, apply strategies that help them lower their emotions elevators, separate facts from opinions, ask the right questions, identify all their choices and the consequences of their choices, and communicate effectively. These additional skills not only provide a simple way to break a bad habit, they also are easy techniques that help us make lasting changes to improve our lives.

So the next time your Red Flag Warnings fly and your emotions shoot up your Emotions Elevator, recognize what is happening, and step back.  Assess the situation by using the 10 Wise Ways.  And as was discussed last month, use BrainWise CPR problem-solving worksheets to practice applying your skills.  It won’t be long before you are making better choices.

Tags: ,

Girl under Stress

Girl under Stress

The October post discussed how stress is related to chronic disease and the importance of using BrainWise CPR to prevent and manage problems. Here are two examples from children and teens who have successfully used the 10 Wise Ways as their first response to deal with a range of issues.

BrainWise CPR Problem-Solving Worksheet: Practice Brings Behavior Changes. You may know what the 10 Wise Ways are, but do you apply them to problems? The problem-solving worksheet  is a fast and effective way to use your thinking skills. People have found that going through the steps helps them analyze the problem and come up with a solution. They are surprised to find that it does not take many times using the worksheet before the process becomes automatic, and suddenly they are using Wizard Brain thinking to replace Lizard Brain reacting!

The following story shows the positive consequences of using the worksheet with children. After hearing about the successful handing out of worksheets at another elementary school, the staff of an after school program requested their students fill out the BrainWise problem solving worksheet to address conflicts and other issues. The results were immediate and unexpected. Not only did the students resolve their problems, but they also helped each other fill out the worksheet. The staff found that the worksheet helped children see what they could have done differently, and to realize that the problem could have been prevented if they had used BrainWise skills.

The director said the activity “helped get the BrainWise message across in a more hands-on way,” provided an opportunity for the children to “connect the dots,” and guided them to realize that they do have control over their emotions and can successfully deal with their issues by themselves. This “has been a blessing. Before, the smallest issue would take hours for children to get over, even when the staff thought the issue had been resolved.”

handshakeBrainWise CPR Is Successful for Anger Management. Tenille, a teenage mother and high-school sophomore known for her explosive temper, was placed by the school counselor in a BrainWise class. Tenille showed her BrainWise skills when the new girlfriend of the father of her child came to her locker and taunted her. A crowd gathered, expecting a fight. Instead, Tenille closed her locker and walked away. She said that she thought about the consequences of getting into a fight. “I realized that it was not worth getting kicked out of school over a stupid boy.”

Parents and educators “need to teach information literacy as soon as children can push a button.”
Carla Hayden, PhD, 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, PhD, 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, PhD, 14th librarian of Congress

Carla Hayden, PhD, former president of the American Library Association and the 14th librarian of the US Congress, says that information literacy is key to addressing fake news. “Librarians have been pounding on this issue in a different way for a while—just having computer literacy is great, but as information professionals, we’re always looking at what’s the most authoritative source for the information and teaching information literacy. It’s great to have all this stuff, but you need to teach how to use the library.”
Dr. Hayden promotes the valuable service libraries offer and understands the important role libraries play in communities. From school and local libraries to the Library of Congress, she sees professional library staff as resources who give unbiased, nonpartisan information and will provide answers to questions about fake versus factual news. Because of their long-standing reputation as stewards of information, libraries and librarians should be “double lines” in everyone’s Constellation of Support. They are the “go to” fact checkers for accurate information on any subject matter, including government. This link shows the wide range of online resources libraries offer for government information:
For some people, libraries are their sole resource to electronically access information they may need for their health, job, and families. As many businesses, health providers, and government agencies now use electronic formats as their only means of contact, libraries provide everyone with online computer services, free of charge. They thus enable all members of the community, regardless of income bracket, to find needed information. Additionally, in times of disaster, the library may be the only functioning source for contacting critical government services for people from all walks of life.
And while the services of skilled librarians and the resources of libraries are invaluable, individuals also need critical-thinking skills to navigate the information-gathering process and to evaluate multiple sources of information. This is where BrainWise CPR tools are needed, including knowing how to use Wizard Brain thinking, build a Constellation of Support, recognize red flag warnings, manage emotions, separate fact from opinion, ask the right questions, identify choices, consider consequences, set goals, and communicate effectively. BrainWise graduates recognize that solving problems requires them to wisely assess a situation, and using credible resources is part of this process. BrainWise provides the foundation for information literacy by teaching skills that prevent and solve problems associated with the assimilation and dissemination of information.

Benjamin Franklin - “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Benjamin Franklin – “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

No one would associate fake news and untruths with John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and other leaders of the American Revolution, but history sheds a different light.  Dr. Robert Parkinson, a professor of American history at Binghamton University in New York, found documentation in personal diaries, and the Congressional Library, that proves otherwise. He reports that John Adams, his cousin Sam, and other Boston patriots planted fake stories about the British designed to undermine King George. They were aided by the governor of New Jersey who fabricated a number of stories, also published in colony newspapers, that accused the king of sending thousands of soldiers to kill Americans.

Benjamin Franklin added to the fray by making up a gruesome story about American soldiers discovering bags containing 700 scalps of boys, girls, infants, and soldiers allegedly taken by Indians in cahoots with the British.  To support his story, Franklin wrote a fake letter purportedly written by a real war hero that urged the colonies to declare independence because of the murders.  He printed the story in a fake issue of a mock-up of a real Boston newspaper. He sent copies to his colleagues as real news, and they published the story in their papers.  Later, he wrote a friend about the power of what he had done – “By press, we can speak to nations.”

BrainWise CPR worksheets, and BrainWise Checklists help guide discussions of such situations, as students use the 10 Wise Ways to assess and analyze the lizard brain actions that that drive behaviors.  For examples, the PBS New Hour’s educator editor has posted a lesson plan on fake news that includes incendiary stories related to the election.  Inserting BrainWise questions into it would help students use critical thinking skills to analyze the problems not only from their point of view, but from the point of view of others.


It is a privilege to keep in touch with BrainWise instructors, and I would like to mention two who have been longtime program champions:

Dr Li and Dr Pat

Dr Li and Dr Pat

Xiaolaing Li, M.D., translated the BrainWise curriculum to Mandarin in 2005 and trains educators in Kunming and Hong Kong.  When she retired from Kunming Medical College, she started Pioneer in Health, a nonprofit organization serving youth.  She enjoys the newsletter, and sends her love.

Melanee Stevens

Melanee Stevens

Melanee Stevens attended a BrainWise training in Seward, Alaska in 2006.  She taught BrainWise to Alaska Native youth and families before moving to Washington State where she continues to teach BrainWise to youth.  She placed a new order, and added her name on the newsletter list.

In November, Stanford University researchers shared their “bleak” and “dismaying” findings on research they conducted with 7,804 youth regarding how they interpreted information on the internet.  They asked the students to discern fake stories from real stories, activist groups from neutral groups, and ads from articles.  They found that the respondents –   “digital natives” who simultaneously Tweet, Twitter and upload selfies while texting multiple friends – were unable to separate truthful information from false.  The participating youth, middle school, high school, and college students from  12 states, were easily duped, ignorant of their deficiencies, and clueless on how to conduct accurate fact checks.

Despite the efforts of Facebook, Google and Twitter to stem fake news, the problem will only get worse.  The issue is not new, as humans have a long history of presenting false information as fact.  What is alarming today is the exploding number of deceptions and lies, and the inability of those receiving them to recognize those that are false. Examples include inserting untruths about bottled water (it is better for you) alongside of factual information (there is no difference) and websites that masquerade under misleading names (see Daniel Levitin’s TED Talk for a more detailed discussion).

Elementary School Students Learning Brainwise

Elementary School Students Learning Brainwise

Fake news comes from many sources, and assessing information that is entwined with lies, and identifying misinformation convincingly presented as fact, requires using the skills BrainWise teaches.  The 10 Wise Ways can be used to help students figure out how to spot fake news, respond rationally, and teach what they have learned to others.

BrainWise instructors know that students who have mastered the 10 Wise Ways are equipped with tools that help them use executive functions to assess and analyze information.  Preteens and teens who have mastered BrainWise know how to recognize Red Flags that warn them if something does not seem quite right.  They know how to use their Constellation of Support to seek legitimate fact sources, and understand why that in order to stop and think, they need to stay low, or off, their Emotions Elevators.  These steps will allow them to Separate Facts from Opinions by Asking Questions, Identifying Choices, and Considering the Consequences of each choice Now, Later, and Affecting Others (CNL)/CAO).  This process makes them aware of why it is important to take others’ points of view, and helps them integrate this knowledge into their communication.

Teens Learning Brainwise

Teens Learning Brainwise

The serious issue of fake news provides an opportunity for BrainWise instructors to use examples from websites, videos, social media and printed materials to discuss how thinking skills override Lizard Brain reactions.  The BrainWise Problem Solving Worksheets offer a self-directed guide on how to apply the 10 Wise Ways to asses  assess fake news

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Stanford psychologist

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Stanford psychologist

In a number of situations, accepting and embracing stress can make you healthier.  Once you appreciate that going through stress makes you better at it, it can be easier to face each new challenge.

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Stanford psychologist and popular TED talk presenter

The upcoming holidays can be a time bomb of expectations gone bad and Lizard Brain explosions.  In last month’s newsletter I discussed the strong correlation between levels of stress, health problems, and premature death.  The column shared how BrainWise® instructors apply the 10 Wise Ways to courses on mindfulness and contemplation, helping their students and clients better cope with stress and related challenges.

 

stress2So when Dr. McGonigal introduced research that shows it is better for us to embrace stress, as opposed to trying to ban stress from our lives, it raised questions. Haven’t we been told that we need to get rid of the stress in our lives?  She mentions one study that found simply setting a goal to reduce stress increased the outcome of depression, divorce, and getting fired.  The reason?  It increased people’s reliance on harmful coping strategies (e.g., drinking, procrastinating, or imagining worst-case scenarios.)  An analysis of the research puts these findings in perspective:  For people who are unaware of the 10 Wise Ways and don’t have coping skills, trying to reduce stress creates another set of problems.

BrainWise practitioners will recognize that the thinking skills they use are exactly the methods that provide the positive mindset McGonigal and other researchers recommend to embrace stress.  BrainWise graduates know to get help from their constellation of support and recognize the red flags that signal the onset of stress.  They manage their emotions by lowering their emotions elevator and use positive self-talk to deflect the impact of stress.  With their emotions low, or off, the elevator, they easily separate fact from opinion, ask questions, identify choices, and assess the consequences of each choice.   Their goal is not to get rid of stress, but to develop coping strategies that help stress work for them.  They are able to recognize the success of their approach, and learn to handle all problems this way.

Some people think that these are a lot of steps to take. In fact, after observing a BrainWise class, a nonprofit executive looked at all of the BrainWise posters hanging on the walls, and asked students if they were able to remember everything.  A teenager promptly answered.  “It took time for me to learn about the 10 Wise Ways, but once I started using them, they made me think fast. They are in my head now, and easy to use.” 

This describes the “aha!” moment when the rapidly firing brain neurons sync together, providing the information and guidance that helps us stop and think.  BrainWise instructors see this happen when an aggrieved student walks away from a fight because “it’s not worth it,” or when a client says she did not attempt suicide because she thought about the consequences affecting others.

Jill-Botle-Taylor, Brain Scientist and TED Talk Celebrity

Jill-Botle-Taylor, Brain Scientist and TED Talk Celebrity

“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.” – Jill Botte Taylor, M.D., Brain Scientist and TED Talk celebrity

BrainWise skills make it possible to achieve a blissful state of mind and a number of teachers of mindfulness are using the 10 Wise Ways to help students learn contemplation and relaxation.  In this month’s newsletter I would like to talk about this application.  

The link between stress and chronic disease continues to be documented, and the serious outcomes of these findings spurred pediatrician Nadine Burke, M.D., to evaluate children’s levels of stress as part of their medical history. Her pediatric clinic in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco offers not only medical care, but also courses on mindfulness and other relaxation techniques.   Her efforts were recognized as groundbreaking in a recent article published in the Washington Post.

Dr. Burke, a graduate of the University of California at Davis who did her residency at Stanford, said she had never heard about research  linking childhood trauma to an increased risk of contracting seven of the ten leading causes of death in the United States.  “When I did, I wanted to shout about it from the rooftops.”

BrainWise instructors know this feeling.  They also work with children and families who face stress  as an obstacle to their health and well-being, and it is often a challenge to “shout about it” and get programs like BrainWise into their classrooms and clinics.  A number of instructors who teach mindfulness have integrated BrainWise into their programs, and praise how the 10 Wise Ways make it easier for students to understand contemplation and how learning BrainWise enhances their outcomes.

Master Teacher Dell Brooks working with his students at Colorado High School Charter

Master Teacher Dell Brooks working with his students at Colorado High School Charter

Dell Brooks, a Colorado high school teacher who teaches contemplative thought, said that BrainWise concepts and language help his students understand abstract concepts of mindfulness.  His students come from difficult situations, and giving them tools to address adversity has helped them graduate and succeed in their lives.  He and other instructors say that when they run into students, even years later, they hear stories about how BrainWise has helped the students and how they continue to use its thinking skills.

Indian teachers in training

Indian teachers in training

Dr. Marga Theophil has introduced BrainWise into the Mindfulness Practice workshops she conducts for teachers in India.  She is pleased with  how it has been received,  and says that program graduates are emailing her with descriptions of how the 10 Wise Ways have helped their students gain control of their emotions.  One instructor said that the “completion of this task makes the studies part follow easily.”

Oprah Winfrey is a longtime advocate for mindfulness, and her network (OWN) has aired a number of programs on the subject.  Her interviews with John Kabat-Zinn led to links to two videos that are  great resource for teaching ways to Exit Your Emotions Elevator.  The videos are produced by Wavecrest Films.

The first, “Just Breathe”, is a three-minute video that features elementary school children.  The second video, “Release”, shows middle school students talking about anxiety and how mindful meditation and breathing can help ease their mind from stress and anger.

The difficulties our students and clients face are always stressful, and as Dr. Harris shared, the result can be life-threatening.  It is exciting to know that you are teaching ways that help lift this weight.

« Older entries