Mindful Awareness is about being fully present. When we are being mindfully aware we are alert and aware of what is happening around us. This is an optimal state to be in when we are learning. It sounds simple but most of us benefit from some training in this area in order to be able to practise it regularly when we wish to.
In this second MindUp lesson children compare mindful and unmindful behavior. Mindful behavior is when we are reflective and attentive. Unmindful behavior is reflexive and unaware. The children also identify the parts of the brain responsible for controlling these types of behaviors. When sensory input enters the brain if first reaches the amygdala which determines whether this input is threatening or pleasurable. They amygdala is not capable of making the distinction of perceived or actual threats. If it perceives a threat then it triggers reactive behavior. If it perceives it as pleasurable then it sends the information on to the prefrontal cortex where it can be analyzed and a reflective behavior can be chosen.
Below is a quick summary of these ideas.