“The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.”– Rick Hanson
What is this Lesson about?
"Teflon and Velcro" refer to the brain's negativity bias- an evolutionary throwback that means our brains are hardwired to remember negative experiences and quickly forget positive experiences. Students will be provided examples of how this once was meant to keep us alive (e.g. as a cave-caveman it was important to remember where a lion once tried to attack you, etc.) but is now more just a source of anxiety, irritability and sadness.
Research has determined that it takes 5 positive interactions to make up for 1 negative interaction in a relationship. The same is true for self-talk. This means we need a conscious, active process fortaking in the positive- something like mindfulness- in order to make up for our brains negative hard wiring.
What will students learn during this lesson?
Students will hear the information listed above and discuss how we often use negative self-talk throughout our days. Examples might include "I can't do this!" or "This is too hard!".
Students will then turn towards a partner and will be given a post-it and a negative thought to work on.
Students will write positive self-talk on their post-its in response to the negative thought given to them and their partner.
Students will then read these positive statements out loud to the group.
A demonstration regarding the 5 to 1 rule will occur. This demonstration will show how the magnet negative statement, sticks to the white board brain much more firmly than the positive post-it notes they just came up with.
We will discuss how important it is to take the time to stop, breathe and think positive responses about ourselves in response to our negative self-talk.
Finally, the positive post-its will be collected and added to a Positivity Box.
The Positivity Box will be placed in each classroom and will be a tool students may use when beginning to be filled with negative thoughts or emotions. Students are encouraged to read 5 statements to help them feel more positive. Students are also encouraged to add positive thoughts to the box as a way of contributing to one another's emotional well-being.