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Psychologist Nigel Latta wants mindfulness to be taught at every school in New Zealand, and says that this would make a huge difference to the mental health of the country.

The call comes as Latta & # 39; s new TVNZ series The Curious Mind starts this weekend, and also in the week that TVNZ broadcaster Greg Boyed suddenly died in Switzerland after fighting against depression.

Seven Sharp reported that students from Auckland's Point View School practice mindfulness every morning and that the subject at primary school is considered as important as mathematics.

"If I could adopt a law and if there was something I could do to change New Zealand forever, it would be to learn attention for every child in every school in this country," Mr Latta said. reporter Carolyn Robinson.

"That would be the only thing I would do: I would put mindfulness-based training at every school in New Zealand and the difference it would make would be huge."

Mindfulness is the process of bringing attention to experiences that occur in the present moment, which can be developed by practicing meditation and other training.

Mr. Latta said that fear and negative thoughts make the lives of people struggling with this "a terribly bad place to be, and the thing is that it does not have to be".

He describes the human brain as a collection of departments, each with its own agenda. And sometimes it is lying to us.

"But if every time it happens you go," no, I'm not, it's my brain that does that, and that's a deceitful thought, and it's not real.

So instead I am going to think about the fact that I can really do these things and that people like me and I have had these good experiences & # 39; – and you do that yourself, you literally do another path. And it gets easier, "he explained.

Nigel Latta said he did a meditation course when he was 24, "long before it was trendy or cool."

Point View School children start earlier.

One of the students said: "It helps health."

Another said: "I feel special and relaxed, as if in a cloud of fluff."

The director of the school, Robin Kirkham, said that mindfulness gives children the tools to think before they act.

"I spent a lot of time in lectures in my career and I often said to the children:" You are much too impulsive, why did you just do that? You have to think about it before you act! & # 39;

"We say it all the time, but they do not give the tools, and that's what mindfulness does."

The Curious Mind will start on TVNZ 1 at 8.30 pm on Sunday.


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