Mind Jars

Today in our mindfulness classes I showed the kids a Mind Jar.  This mindfulness tool is basically a homemade snow globe, using glitter glue and water.

Shake the Mind Jar.  Imagine the swirling glitter as the swirling thoughts in your mind.

The Mind Jar

Then watch the glitter slowly settle as you calm down and focus.

The Thoughts Settle

When the glitter settles at the bottom of the jar, the water is clear, like the clarity in our minds.  Now we are calm and can focus again.

The Mind is Clear

Mindfulness techniques can be used to help you calm down and focus: try mindful breathing, mindful listening, or simply mindfully looking at the glitter settling to the bottom of the jar.

The swirling thoughts can also represent the way our brain can feel when the amygdala has been triggered by stress or anger (take a look at the post, Your Brain on Mindfulness).  Watching the glitter settle can help us create the space needed for our rational mind (e.g., the prefrontal cortex) to start working better again.

To make a Mind Jar – add 2 cups of hot water to about 2 tablespoons glitter glue in a pint-sized mason jar.  Add an extra tablespoon or two of regular fine glitter.  Shake until the glue is dissolved and there are no glitter clumps.  Add food coloring if desired or leave it clear.  I used a pint sized mason jar but peanut butter, jam jars or other containers work well too.  You can also play around with the proportion of glitter glue to water if you’d like the glitter to settle more or less slowly.  Alternatively, you can make a small mind jar using a spice jar.

I have seen the mind jar described on a number of sites on the web and made my recipe using some of these ideas:

http://www.herewearetogether.com/2011/06/27/another-mind-jar/

http://brainchildblog.com/family-tip-friday-settle-your-glitter/

 

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