Middle School students have been learning about their brain this week and the important changes happening at this point in their life.They learned that their brains are in a pruning stage where they begin to hone in on their passions to prepare them for adulthood. Thus, what they focus on creates neural pathway that can be strengthened with continued practice. This goes for studying, and academic pursuits, as well as attitudes and thoughts that may occur about someone or something. They participated in an ancient mindfulness practice that’s been proven to boost the brain’s capacity for compassion.
We also met in grade level groups to discuss the power of our words and how words can change our brain. I co-led a group discussion with MS student leaders and every student contributed to an Advisory poster to bring back to their class with kind, positive words. We practiced different ways we can use kind words, show gratitude, and give compliments to one another. Whereas negative, mean words send alarm signals to the brain, kind, complimentary words spark the release of healthy hormones called endorphins, which create a warm feeling around the heart. As School Counselor, I was heartened by their sharing and maturity and look forward to continuing these conversations with them.