Social & Emotional Learning &
Mindfulness

Never has it been more important…

Brain Bridge is the first enrichment program to integrate Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness!

Stress is common among parents and students even under normal circumstances, but now the upheaval caused by the coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly magnified these typical struggles. With schools across the U.S. currently shut down due to social distancing mandates and most classes now being conducted remotely, it is more important than ever for youth and parents to effectively deal with stress.

Academics tend to create high anxiety for both parents and students of all learning abilities.   At Brain Bridge, we observe first hand how the survival part of the brain kicks in with fight, flight or fear in both students and their parents. While it is helpful for the amygdala to kick in when we face an immediate threat, it can also influence our thinking, follow unproductive patterns and cause our focus to narrow.

Youth and adults of all ages can benefit from mindfulness, the simple practice of bringing a gentle, accepting attitude to the present moment.

Integrating SEL & Mindfulness

Together, SEL and mindfulness can help youth and adults navigate academics, work and their relationships. It can make a difference for individuals who wish to successfully navigate a group project or deal with interpersonal conflict. It can also help individuals maintain lasting relationships and promote collaborative learning and cooperation.

As youth and adults  learn mindfulness, they become more in tune with themselves. They have a greater understanding of their feelings and experiences, which can promote empathy. Strengthening empathy can help solidify the key prosocial attitudes and behavior that are central to SEL and helpful for thriving in a classroom environment.

When an individual learns SEL with mindfulness, it fortifies their learning experiences, because each strengthens their social and emotional well-being. When an individual’s well-being is nurtured, they gain essential skills that enable them to ask for help and work with others successfully. Mindfulness and SEL enables individuals to feel comfortable, to feel in control of their social environment, and to have a more enjoyable and positive life and learning experiences. [2]

 [2]  Mindful Schools – Integrating Mindfulness and SEL Programs; The Berkeley Greater Good Science Foundation – How SEL and Mindfulness Can Work Together; UCSD Center for Mindfulness, Special Emotional Learning and Mindfulness-based Practices in Education, by Linda Lanieri.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of one’s present-moment experience with compassion and openness as a basis for wise action. [3]

THE BRAIN SCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS

There is growing research showing that training  your brain to be mindful actually remodels the physical structure of your brain. We have decades of hands-on experience helping youth, their parents and other adults navigate the anxiety that arises from not having a full grasp on how they learn or process information. The goal of mindfulness is to wake up the inner workings of our mental, emotional and physical processes.

Below is one of our favorite videos by UK UpRising, based in the UK, where these tools and practices have become mainstream in education and every day life.  They do a wonderful job explaining “The Brain Science Behind Mindfulness” in simple terms:

Mindfulness Coaching & Classes

Brain Bridge now offers fun classes and accessible opportunities designed for youth and adults who are seeking practical skills and tools to reduce their stress and create a calmer, more connected life. Individual coaching or group classes are  designed to teach you the fundamentals of mindfulness through a series of videos, readings, reflections, and guided mindfulness practices. Our Mindfulness Coach, offers current scientific research on mindfulness and the brain, emotion regulation, and compassion.  Individuals will learn:

  • Techniques and opportunities to practice cultivating mindfulness with various tools including meditation;  
  • Easy-to-adapt methods to integrate mindfulness to their daily life;
  • Neuroscience on mindfulness and how it affects the brain;
  • Strategies for meeting and navigating intense emotions;
  • The role that mindfulness plays in communication, connection, and interaction;
  • Practices that cultivate positive states of mind like gratitude, kindness, joy, and compassion.

Mindfulness Classes

Our mindfulness curriculum is based on the latest neuroscience and brain research.  It is offered individually or in group settings. Each lesson includes age-appropriate discussion, activities, and opportunities to practice mindfulness.  

Newcomers and those with experience in mindfulness practices are invited to try our offerings.   Click Here to Try it Out!

What is Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

More than two decades of research shows that SEL leads to:

Increased Academic Achievement:  According to a 2011 meta-analysis of 213 studies involving more than 270,000 students, those who participated in evidence-based SEL programs showed an 11% point gain in academic achievement.

Improved Behavior:  Studies show decreased dropout rates, school and classroom behavior issues, drug use, teen pregnancy, mental health problems, and criminal behavior.

Strong Return on Investment: A review of six SEL interventions in evidence-based SEL programs showed that for every dollar invested there was an economic return of 11 dollars.
Source: The Collaborative for Social Emotional Learning www.casel.org

Five SEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.

Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.

Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.

Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.