A WEEK BY WEEK SNEAKY PEAK
Week 1: Our 3 Brains!
Your brain is the most powerful and complex supercomputer ever built. It’s the one thing that makes you, you! Your brain is mission control for the rest of your body. It sits in the driver’s seat and steers you through life. Welcome back to the 3 main parts of your brain!
Week 2: Our Brain as a House
What makes us choose our actions so wisely in certain moments and so poorly in others? We imagine our brains as a house, with the downstairs brain responsible for our emotions and survival and the upstairs controlling our thinking and logic. We explore what happens when we block the stairway and prevent the three brains working together as one.
Week 3: Use It or Lose It – Our Thinking Brain
We need to exercise our upstairs brain, like a muscle. When it gets used it becomes stronger and performs better. When it gets ignored it loses some of its power and ability to function. We delve into different aspects of our thinking brain and examine the areas that we need to develop and keep strong.
Week 4: Left & Right
Our left brains love order and the letter L – It is logical, literal, linguistic, lists and laws. Our right brain is visual and intuitive. The left focuses on the text and the right, the context. We explore creativity and logic and how to combine the two. We remind ourselves of the River of Well-Being and integrating the 2 halves to keep balance.
Week 5: Name to Tame – Emotional Brain
We understand how the right side of our brain processes our emotions and how our left side makes sense of these feelings, putting them into thoughts and words. This enables us to make good decisions in high-emotion situations. We learn, through storytelling, how to put our feelings into words, helping us to interpret how we feel.
Week 6: “I Feel” vs “I Am”
When we are young, we can sometimes get confused in the difference between ‘feel’ and ‘am’. When we experience strong emotions, such as frustration or loneliness, one may be tempted to define our self, based on this temporary experience. Instead of saying ‘I feel lonely’ or ‘I feel sad’ you say ‘I am lonely’ or ‘I am sad’. The danger is that the ‘state’ becomes the ‘trait’ that you define yourself by. We create tools to recognise negative thinking.
Week 7: The power of Focused Attention
When we have a new experience or concentrate on something – on how we feel, or a goal we’d like to achieve – it activates ‘neural firing’. The more that we focus on something or practice at something the stronger the ‘firing and wiring’ of the brain neurons become and the better we are at something. Practice makes us stronger. So, what happens when we spend time focusing on thinking that we are sad, angry, or anxious? We explore the strategy: SIFT – Sensations, Images, Feelings & Thoughts.
Week 8: Our Social Brain – When “Me becomes We”
As well as learning about how we need to integrate our left and right brain and our upstairs and downstairs we also need to understand the extent to which we are connected to our families, friends, classmates and other people in the community. The emotional states of others from joy to sadness and fear, directly affect our own state of mind. That means that every discussion, argument, or hug we share with someone else literally alters our brain and that of the other person. We study how Mirror Neurones work.
Week 9: Receptive vs Reactive
The kinds of relationships we experience when young, through family and friends, will lay the groundwork for how we relate to others for the rest of our lives. Therefore, we have to create within us an ‘open, receptive’ state, instead of a ‘closed, reactive’ one. When our nervous system is ‘reactive’ it is in ‘fight or flight’ response state, we become guarded, unable to join with someone else. When we are receptive, we become open to experiencing whatever another person wants to express. We practice ways to say “No!” and “Yes!”
Week 10: Making Sense of our Brains
Putting all our learning together, and celebrating Me, Myself and I and Others