Ruler Announcements

Will Facebook’s New Reactions Reduce Written Comments?

Will Facebook’s New Reactions Reduce Written Comments?

San Jose Mercury News ~ February 26th, 2016 | I have mixed feelings about Facebook's new Reactions product. On one hand, I applaud the company for offering users a wider range of emotional responses they can easily make to other people's posts but I worry that it might cause some to make fewer comments the old-fashioned way, by typing their original thoughts. Until Wednesday, the only way you could acknowledge a person's post with a single click was to "like" it. That's fine for responding to something positive, but not if the person just posted that his dog died or that she got laid off from her job. With the new Reactions, you can now hover over the Like button and also choose Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry. Full Article 

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How to Help Your Child Develop Executive Function and Self-Regulation Skills

How to Help Your Child Develop Executive Function and Self-Regulation Skills

Noodle.com ~ February 24th, 2016 |  The refrains from the traditional games that many of us played as children — and that many children play today — are not just the sounds of children having fun. They are also the sounds of children learning! The skills children practice when playing these games are not only important on the playground, but also in social and educational settings. Why? At the heart of each of these games is a crucial skill: executive functioning. Executive functioning has three components: Attentional flexibility: the ability to pay attention to instructions, ignore distractions, and switch focus from one task or person to another (e.g., listening expressly for the words “Simon Says”) Working memory: the ability to keep information in your mind long enough to follow through with instructions (e.g., remembering to stay still if tagged “duck” and to run if tagged “goose”) Inhibitory control: the ability to stop and respond in a way that might feel less natural, but is more appropriate (e.g., refraining from disregarding the wishes of the “mother” when those differ from what is requested) Full Article Here 

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The Faas Foundation Announces Partnership With Yale Center For Emotional Intelligence To Study Role Of Emotions In The Workplace

PR Newswire ~ February 22nd, 2016 | Andrew Faas, founder of The Faas Foundation, announced a joint initiative with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to create the Emotion Revolution in the Workplace. In order to build positive work climates, this groundbreaking initiative between business and academia will investigate the role emotions play in the work environment, including: How employees feel about their work Why they feel the way they do The impact emotions have on individual and organizational performance, overall health, and well-being How to effectively build positive workplace climates "We are excited that The Faas Foundation has decided to partner with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to bring emotional intelligence into the workplace. Last year, we successfully launched the Emotion Revolution in school settings with the Born this Way Foundation, founded by Lady Gaga and her mom, Cynthia Germanotta. Now with support from the Faas Foundation we can launch the Emotion Revolution in the Workplace in order to promote psychologically safe and healthy workplaces for all employees," said Dr.Marc Brackett, Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Full Article 

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Wellbeing RULER 2.0

Project Contentment: Cultivating Sustainable Wellbeing in RULER Schools For over a decade, RULER has been a leader in Emotional Intelligence approaches and curricula in schools. The aim of the RULER approach is to radically transform the educational system in order to cultivate safer, healthier, more productive learning environments for kids across all walks of life. RULER has been tested using peer-reviewed scientific methods at Yale University and beyond to show that the program reduces bullying, classroom conflict, testing anxiety, drug use, dropout rates, and many other factors related to school stressors. The leap to create Wellbeing RULER comes with a recent wave of research in the field of positive psychology over the last decade on contentment, mindfulness, self-awareness, and optimal human flourishing. Schoolwide approaches in these four areas have separately demonstrated positive shifts in student wellbeing, but they have yet to be bridged with the field of emotional intelligence. Our team believes that building this bridge for the first time ever creates a massive opportunity to implement new wellbeing-inspired curricula into the already powerful RULER approach. The goal of Wellbeing RULER is to create a leading approach to social and emotional learning that directly bridges emotional intelligence and wellbeing in schools nationwide. The Contentment team believes in cultivating a world where success in school is measured by our students’ ability cultivate wellness internally, not by their standardized test scores or levels of busyness. Rationale The Wellbeing RULER approach is guided by four principles: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in the classroom improves school performance, classroom climate, and academic success in schools. Cultivating Mindfulness, Emotional Balance, and Psychological Wellbeing in the classroom reduces stress levels, increases student capacity to introspect and reflect, and reduces the rates of physical and psychological disease. Emotional Intelligence depends on self-awareness and the capacity to reflect. Wellbeing and Emotional Intelligence are the most powerful combination available to us for cultivating flourishing, self-aware, and socially-responsible children. Four Pillars of Wellbeing After deeply researching the philosophical, spiritual, and scientific literature, four key areas have surfaced that are directly related to human wellness. We will unify these approaches into a single set of activities that offer the tools needed to generate wellbeing internally. Mindfulness – Over 3,000 studies have been published over the past few decades on the physical, mental, and social benefits of mindfulness techniques. So far, scientists have documented hundreds of observable, reliable health outcomes that mindfulness offers even for a practice as short as 20 minutes a day. Some examples include immune system boosts, increased physical energy, reductions in addiction and trauma impact, and boosts in prosocial behaviors. Enquiry – We want to empower kids to internally cultivate positivity, self-awareness, love, and self-understanding. Enquiry is a form of radical curiosity where kids are trained to treat all emotional sensations as interesting and worthy of investigation. Using the enquiry approach, kids are empowered to understand what triggers them emotionally, why, and what they can do to change the stories to the triggers. We ask a series of simple questions to cultivate radical curiosity toward emotional experiences: What am I feeling right now? (It’s such an interesting feeling!) Where am I feeling it in my body and my mind? (I’m curious about how my body is responding.) When do I tend to feel this way? (I’m interested in finding patterns for this sensation.) Why did I create this story for this situation? (I wonder why I have this kind of response.) How can I change my relationship to this story? (I’m curious if there’s another way to perceive this situation.) Who am I? (Who is the ‘I’ when we talk 

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Martin Luther King: An Emotionally Intelligent Leader

Martin Luther King: An Emotionally Intelligent Leader

On January 18th, we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was an iconic leader who used his passion to strategize an end to racial and economic inequality. And, whether he was aware of doing so or not, he used emotionally intelligent techniques to persuade and inspire people of all colors to join him. As psychologists and educators affiliated with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, we analyzed his "I Have A Dream" speech to see just how Dr. King used the tools of emotional intelligence to lay out the grievances of social injustice and rouse the nation to action. We noticed that he used the language of strong emotions, including phrases like "We will not be satisfied until..." He chose high-energy, unpleasant feeling words likefierce, desolate, vicious, unspeakable, battered, despair, withering, and crippled. These kinds of feeling words activate and put the listener on notice. It is a basic human need to be seen and understood, and Dr. King's empathy let his listeners "feel felt." He acknowledged their suffering by saying, for example, "Some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulation." And he named their experiences, acknowledging that they'd been jailed, discriminated against, blocked from the pursuit of happiness. He connected with his audience by naming the values they shared and their vision of the future. He felt, and transmitted, compassion. Halfway through this most famous speech, the "I Have A Dream" address during the 1963 March On Washington, he abandoned his prepared remarks when Mahalia Jackson, off to the side, said, "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" What he said next combined emotional intelligence and soaring rhetoric -- his talk gathered into a crescendo and went down in history. And the words we most remember were off the cuff. That is how skilled he was at working with his own, and the audience's, emotions. Dr. King took care to guide his audience through the strong negative emotions that injustice brings. He laid out emotional regulation strategies for his followers, saying, "Let us not wallow in the valley of self-despair" nor "degenerate into physical violence." Instead, he said, "...[let us] conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline" and meet "physical force with soul force." He helped his followers to reframe their perceptions, telling them that suffering is redemptive. And he led them away from vindictiveness, pointing out that the destinies of blacks and whites are linked. And ultimately he didn't leave his listeners mired in anger fueled by the stories he told them of injustice and inequality. He moved them to a positive emotional state by sharing his vision of equality, using high-energy, positive words that empower the listener: hope, justice, joyous, honor, exalted, righteous, pride, free, happiness. Such words help motivate people to act. In that impassioned spirit, his audience right by his side, Dr. King could then begin effectively to lay out specific goals of the civil rights movement. He called for desegregation and an end to police brutality. He called for voting rights and economic equality. "I have a dream," Dr. King told the nation in 1963. Thanks in part to his masterful emotional intelligence, we listened. Decades later, we still hear it and heed. Originally published by The Huffington Post - January 17th, 2014  Robin Stern  Diana Divecha 

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Be Your Own Best Mentor in 2016

Be Your Own Best Mentor in 2016

In the world of education, January is self-mentoring month. We don’t know when this was created, but it sure gives us an opportunity to combat those winter doldrums and post-holiday blues by refocusing us inward. Whatever your holiday season was like: family-filled, active and away, a vacation, a ‘nowhere to go’ staycation, or reflective, solitary time spent counting the minutes until 2015 was over, it is now all behind you. Welcome to 2016 and a clean slate! Many of us wonder why we have a sense of let down or feel adrift after so much time away from our typical routines. It is natural to fall into a kind of blue period after all the excitement, stress, and whirlwind of time with friends and family has ceased. Perhaps, visitors have returned home or you have gone home and are feeling the tug of separation anew. Or, it might be the sadness that your days of relaxation and self-indulgence are over. For some, it is merely the realization that another year has come and gone and that there are still many miles to go before you reach that much-coveted goal. As the New Year begins, take time to self-mentor by gifting yourself with an opportunity to pause and reset. Here are a few things we suggest: Start with gratitude – after all, you made it to another season, which is no small matter! So, appreciate yourself: all you’ve accomplished in the last 365 days, and everything and everyone around you. Clean your psychological “attic” - reflect on which habits, activities, intentions you want to bring with you into the New Year and which ones to leave behind. Ask yourself, “Can I live without this?” or “What benefit does this offer?” Allow questions such as these to be your guides to what you keep, discard, or perhaps leave aside for consideration at another time. Consider adding something new and restorative to your daily routine. Maybe it is journaling for a few minutes: each morning about your vision for the day ahead or each evening about what went well and what you would like to work on. Perhaps, you simply allow yourself several minutes of silent “thinking time” each day by closing your door. Think of a goal you would like to achieve just for yourself in the new year. Make sure it’s specific, realistic, and attainable. Think about the strategies you will use to get there as well as possible barriers and how you may overcome them. Infuse new energy or inspiration into your relationships – be spontaneous, step outside of the routine of sameness, surprise your friends, call colleagues you would like to know better, suggest a creative activity with a family member. Be mindful of your physical self: eat healthfully, sleep well, and remain active. Plan time with loved ones or a special event for yourself. Gift yourself with something in the future to look forward to that will bring you joy. Add physical reminders of this gift to the days leading up to it. Cherish your “Aha!” moments. Celebrate when you have a sudden realization about a problem and can see the situation through a new and clearer lens. Take a “brain break” when you are feeling overwhelmed and give yourself an opportunity to recharge by turning off your cell, watching a movie, having a massage, or simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Keep the gratitude going and your appreciation flowing. Be thankful that you have the energy and insight to be a positive self-mentor. Most importantly, how will you be a supportive mentor to 

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