Mindfulness Reduces Emotional Reactivity
One of the key benefits to mindfulness is that it reduces emotional reactivity and creates a calmer mental and emotional environment. This particular technique helps individuals to recognize and regulate their emotions more effectively. Learning emotional regulation skills is essential to avoiding social anxiety disorders, which researchers are finding have an onset age as early as 10, 11 and 12 years old. Conditions such as depression, substance abuse and other anxiety disorders can be avoided by learning to recognize and regulate negative emotions and prevent downward spirals.
Have you ever felt sad, anxious, worried, afraid? We all have. Children also experience these negative feelings, and often they don’t know how to deal with them.
Today I’m going to teach you a simple mindfulness technique that can change these negative feelings into positive ones, so that children are empowered to feel what they want to feel. And that they know that they can change negative feelings into positive ones simply by using their mind.
This technique is extremely effective with children because it talks about changing their own personal TV channel with simply the click of their remote.
What are some of your favourite TV shows?
I like Wizards of Waverly Place because it’s different, it’s funny and it has to do with magic.
I also enjoy iCarly because it's funny and it’s all about friendship which me and her are, and I like the idea of a web-show.
So there are certain feelings that your favourite show brings, right? Joy, enthusiasm, it's fun, you feel happy watching them, right?
Now I want you to think about some shows you don’t like.
OK, I don’t enjoy The News. Why? It’s for not me. It’s for older people who want to know about stuff. It’s kind of boring.
I don’t like Handy Manny because it’s too young for me, it’s kind of boring. I find it a little depressing.
Alright. so just by thinking of those shows you feel different. When you think of your favourite show, it makes you feel good. And when you think of a show you don’t like, it kind of makes you feel bad.
You can do the same thing with your own emotions. You can change your personal channels. You can feel happy or sad, grumpy or enthusiastic, worried or calm, sleepy or full of life and vigour. Exactly. And you can do that simply by changing what you are thinking about. So I’m going to show you a technique called Changing Channels.
What I want you to do is to imagine a feeling of being sad. Alright. Now by connecting your thumb to your forefinger kind of click as if you are clicking your own personal remote control and image something happy that you’ve done, or that you’ve enjoyed, or that you want to do. Whoo-hoo…High five! Do you see how your entire body changes just by thinking about something? Yeah.
You can choose what you want to feel. If you are experiencing something that you don’t enjoy, you can change it. I want you to practice that clicking. That’s your personal remote control. You can change your channels and always make yourself feel the way that you want to feel.