Dr. Warren’s Mindfulness Activity Cards were created based on the current research on emotional intelligence and social emotional learning, and they can be used in classrooms or therapeutic sessions to help develop emotional intelligence, resilience, and community. In addition, they can be used to teach authentic dialogue and develop self esteem. They are ideal for individual sessions, round table discussions, and circle groups.
Mindfulness-based approaches to learning are attracting more attention by teachers and administrators. These methods help students, as well as their teachers, learn how to manage and minimize stress, enhance memory and learning, improve classroom climates, focus attention, and even develop supportive communities. Mindfulness-based practices empower students to self-regulate, develop emotional intelligence, and gain a sense of control over both their minds and bodies.
Students today are faced with innumerable distractions including electronic devices, competitive classroom environments, ever-increasing administrative expectations, and both real and virtual violence. Additionally, many youngsters interact with others through their electronic devices, and they are not learning to read important social cues. As a result, their emotional intelligence suffers.
Neuroscience also supports a holistic approach to cognitive, social, and emotional development. Recent research shows that the prefrontal cortex, which manages higher-level cognition, also plays an important role in processing and regulating emotion. Thus, learning involves both a cognitive and affective framework.
So what does mindfulness have to do with emotional intelligence?
Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence as the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and those of other people. It involves the following three skills: emotional awareness, emotional application, and emotional management. Some believe that mindfulness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. By exercising our attention through mindfulness, we can actually teach the brain to become more emotionally astute. As an added benefit, people with high levels of emotional intelligence usually display high levels of resilience, experience more trusting relationships, and they are better able to manage their social interactions, attitude and temperament.