“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”– Martin Luther King
What is this lesson about?
Similar to the work students did with gratitude, this lesson will focus on an attention to compassion and kindness and how this type of purposeful work can increase a sense of connection to others, increase satisfaction and optimism and reduce anxious feelings. Brain scan research has found that effects of this type of "loving-kindness" mindfulness work can increase activation in the emotional centers of the brain and allow us to better process and regulate our emotions.
What will students learn during this lesson?
Students will be reminded of our gratitude work and how saying "thank you" and feeling grateful can actually increase our happiness.
Students will be taught that sending kind thoughts to others also can improve how we feel.
Students will be taught the difference between kindness and compassion. Kindness means being friendly or nice to someone. Compassion means that we notice how someone is feeling, we think about how they are feeling, and how we can help them.
What will students do during this lesson?
After watching a short video, students will be guided through a mindfulness activity.
Students will begin with our mindful body pose.
Students will take three belly breaths to start and will be asked to silently choose a number between 1 and 10 that describes their current level of happiness.
Students will then be instructed to picture someone they love who really makes them smile.
Holding on to the image of that person in their minds, students will then take a deep breath in and imagine filling up their hearts with happiness and positivity.
They will imagine now that with each quiet, deep breath in and out, that they will be sending happiness and positive thoughts to the person they are visualizing.
In their minds, they will be instructed to repeat the script below silently in their minds.
The script is: "May you be happy...May you be healthy...May you be peaceful".
After practicing mindfulness for another minute; students will again be instructed to self-rate their own feelings of happiness from 1 to 10.