Mindfulness Without Borders (MWB) is a registered charitable organization working to bring best practices in social-emotional intelligence to communities around the world. Since our establishment in 2007, we’ve been dedicated to the idea that reaching across borders, learning from others and incorporating a diverse array of perspectives lays the foundation for a culture of peace. Our evidence-based educational programming empowers individuals by facilitating cross-cultural dialogues, cultivating intelligence of the heart and promoting an awareness of the world and the various communities with whom we share it. The ReThink curriculum was developed by an eclectic team of educators working in the field of Social and Emotional Intelligence, Mindfulness, Youth Development and Leadership. Using MWB’s educational programming as a foundation, ReThink aims to help educators, parents, and professionals working with young adults to effectively integrate social and emotional intelligence into their communities. Through the synthesis of contemporary learning theories and cutting-edge scientific understanding, it is our hope that the ReThink curriculum will promote both long-term developmental benefits as well as improved academic performance.
Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) encompasses a specific set of competencies enabling individuals to recognize their emotions, self-regulate, demonstrate caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions and constructively handle challenging social situations. Often referred to as “the missing piece” in education, SEL is vital to whole child development and at the core of our curricula. Strengthening these essential skills has the power to better prepare young people to transition into adult life, as effective communicators, with better attitudes of themselves and others, and with an increased ability to manage stress and depression. Furthermore, these competencies provide young adults to enter and contribute to a more competitive workforce as effective decision-makers, capable of leading them to success in later life.
So often in life we are asked to pay attention, however we’re rarely taught how. It ends up that it’s not only one of the most important skills we need in life, it’s something that we already do! That’s right – nothing to learn other than remembering to use the breath as a way to anchor our attention to the moment. More than just the acquisition of a mental skill; focused attention practices are important tools that can help individuals key in and recognize habitual (often maladaptive) emotional and physiological reactions to everyday experiences. Recent studies have shown that the development of a routine breathing practice has the potential to reshape brain circuitry and create new neural pathways. Overtime, a regular breathing practice changes how the body and brain respond to stress on a molecular level by strengthening connections in the prefrontal cortex and reducing reactivity in the limbic system. These cognitive adaptations facilitate a better ability to self-reflect and self-regulate – key functions that play a critical role in education and life success.