Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Restoring Habits of Mind

Positive Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind are our patterns of thinking that shape our actions and experiences over time, and in a range of situations.

Positive habits of mind contribute to our own best interests, while respecting the rights of other. Sadly unhelpful habits of mind make life more difficult for us and for those around us.

Good or bad they operate automatically and require little effort so that we may not even be aware that we have unhelpful habits in the way we see and respond to others and situations that we encounter.

In a sense our habits of mind are our personal systems for dealing with our selves in the world. As such they are likely to contain our real values.

Positive habits of mind are not simple rules or skills but often require considerable insight, astute judgement, resilience, courage, practice and tenacity….leading to ongoing success and well-being.

Habits of Mind and Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices support the development of positive habits of mind.

Restorative circles and restorative questions often also reveal unhelpful habits. For example, it is common for participants in circles or restorative meetings to gain profound insights leading to new ways of thinking about themselves and each other.

Restorative commitments and on-going support enable 'offenders' to practice new habits of mind. This is one reason why follow-up is important

There are lots of good things can flow from developing improved habits of mind:
  • Confidence
  • Persistence
  • Organisation
  • Getting Along (improved relationships)
  • Resilience 
  • ...
Lots of ways of acting and responding

By improving our habits of mind, Restorative Practices can improve the following social and emotional abilities that are essential for our success and well-being:
  • Accepting Myself and Other
  • Taking Risks
  • Being Independent
  • Giving Effort
  • Working Tough
  • Setting Goals
  • Optimism
  • Happiness
  • Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
  • Focusing on solutions (rather than problems)
  • Managing impulsivity
  • Gathering data through all senses
  • Listening with understanding and empathy
  • Creating, imagining and innovation
  • Thinking flexibly
  • Responding with wonderment and awe
  • Thinking about thinking (metacognition)
  • Taking responsible risks
  • Striving for accuracy
  • Finding humour
  • Questioning and posing problems
  • Thinking independently
  • Applying past knowledge
  • Remaining open to continuous learning
  • ...
Note: Consider how many of the above are impacted by drug addiction, mental illness and unresolved guilt.

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