Many expectant mothers worry about the physical pain that accompanies labor and childbirth. New research suggests that including mindfulness skills in childbirth education can help first-time mothers cope with their fears.
The Kindness Curriculum helps students focus on their minds and bodies, while also adding elements of kindness and empathy. Created by Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it incorporates elements of mindfulness, allowing students to be more in tune with their surroundings and their bodies.
Negative feelings activate a region of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved in processing fear and anxiety and other emotions. Dr. Richard J. Davidson, a neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has shown that people in whom the amygdala recovers slowly from a threat are at greater risk for a variety of health problems than those in whom it recovers quickly.
When UW–Madison neuroscientist Richard Davidson arrived on campus in 1984, he set up a modest lab in the Brogden Psychology Building with a handful of employees devoted to discovering how emotions and the mind worked. Since then, Davidson and his team have not only expanded our understanding of the mind, but they’ve also expanded in size to more than 40 full-time employees and hundreds of students and collaborators under the auspices of the Center for Healthy Minds (CHM).
Such growth has led the budding organization to become its own administrative unit under the College of Letters & Science and to relocate this week from the Waisman Center to the newly renovated Kennedy Dairy Building at 625 W. Washington Ave.
Sesame Street will be emphasizing kindness this season, with the help of the UW–Madison Center for Healthy Minds.
Driven by an increasing number of news stories on anger, fear, bullying and violence, as well as an overall sense of negativity permeating social discourse, the season focuses on social emotional skills vital to kids’ well-being and life success.