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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Focus: Post #7--Cognitive Control

Cognitive Control
The bottom brain can overload the top brain—anxious fears can bubble up and overwhelm this part of the brain. And, a top brain darting from one thing to another can quickly overwhelm itself. Mindfulness or “cognitive control” can help us calm down the inner monkey-mind. Meditation is particularly effective at tamping down the wandering mind. In schools, a technique called “breathing buddies” is often used to calm down children. Teachers ask them to lie down, put a stuffed animal on their abdomens, and breathe in and out, watching the animal rise and fall. Also, they use “Stop Light”: When you feel overwhelmed, think Red Light—STOP; then, Yellow Light—What are my options? Then Green Light—Pick my best option and move forward. Such exercises can move prefrontal focus from negative (right) side to positive (left) side of the brain.

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