- Do you agree that these habits will make your brain happier?
- How many of these habits are you currently following?
- What other things can you do to be happier?
- Have you ever been depressed or do you know anyone who is or has been depressed? What was/is it like?
- What are the reasons for depression?
- How can depression be treated?
- Where you come from, is there a stigma (prejudice or discrimination) towards people who suffer from depression or other mental illness? Why is this so? Is it justified?
“Emotions are actually feelings in the body.”
Here’s how it works: Starting at the top of your head, check in with every part of your body and notice how it feels. Are your cheeks hot? Are your fists clenched? You might be experiencing anger. Or, is your heart pounding? Are your palms sweating? You might be experiencing anxiety.
This might seem like kindergarten stuff — everyone over the age of five knows what anger and anxiety feel like. But the point here is to catch the negative feeling while it’s still simmering, before it spirals out of control.
At SIY, we practiced the body scan for 15 minutes, though you can easily do a 10-second version. Either way, use it as an opportunity to notice what’s going on in your body and get curious about it. What might you be feeling and why? Simply labeling the emotion, and accepting it, can decrease its intensity.
- Do you often feel anxious? Why? What are some ways to calm yourself down?
- Do you think this tip will work for you? Why (not)?
Mueller and Oppenheimer cited that note-taking can be categorized two ways: generative and nongenerative. Generative note-taking pertains to “summarizing, paraphrasing, concept mapping,” while nongenerative note-taking involves copying something verbatim.
And there are two hypotheses to why note-taking is beneficial in the first place. The first idea is called the encoding hypothesis, which says that when a person is taking notes, “the processing that occurs” will improve “learning and retention.” The second, called the external-storage hypothesis, is that you learn by being able to look back at your notes, or even the notes of other people.
Because people can type faster than they write, using a laptop will make people more likely to try to transcribe everything they’re hearing. So on the one hand, Mueller and Oppenheimer were faced with the question of whether the benefits of being able to look at your more complete, transcribed notes on a laptop outweigh the drawbacks of not processing that information. On the other hand, when writing longhand, you process the information better but have less to look back at.
But the students taking notes by hand still performed better. “This is suggestive evidence that longhand notes may have superior external storage as well as superior encoding functions,” Mueller and Oppenheimer write.
- What’s your note-taking style? Do you feel that it’s beneficial to you? Have you tried other ways?
- What are some other effective ways to take notes?
- What other ways do you know to calm yourself?
- When are some situations where you might need this breathing technique?
When you label a child as “clever”, you are not helping them. For smart kids can all too easily think that effort is something that only those who are less clever have to put in to achieve results.
Instead, we need to be specific with our praise and focus on how the outcome was achieved:
“I really noticed how much effort you put into selecting interesting vocabulary in your opening paragraph. Well done!”
Or we might want more explicitly to connect the effort and the result in the child’s mind by asking:
“Tell me how you organised your practice so that you managed to play that piece so beautifully.”
Praise which helps children see that success is a function of effort or practice or certain learning strategies develops a “growth mindset”. With this mindset, children believe their intelligence can increase through hard work and they value learning over performance.
Why does that matter? Young people with this mindset outperform their peers in tests and examinations, as well as develop vital capabilities like persistence. In short, they become better learners.
- Is it important to praise someone?
- Do you agree that praise for effort is more important than praise for success? What if someone put in effort, but they didn’t do a good job?
- What kind of praise do you like to receive?