Photo of a child holding her hand toward her heart with her eyes closed, practicing SEL. Text reads, “Touch Your Heart. July 25, 2021.”

Touch Your Heart​

There is great power when we physically connect with our hearts. Our hearts are strong. Our hearts feel and process our emotions. What if we learn to stop trying so hard to process our emotions in the "right way" and simply feel our hearts beating in our chest, trusting that they know how to take care of us.

We know how important touch is to overall health and well-being, this has been researched and documented. The Greater Goods Science Center published a recent article that explains how touch signals a sense of security and is soothing in the brain and activates the vagus nerve, which is connected with our ability to have a compassionate response.

When I am teaching children, we practice touching our hearts at least 2 times during every class, relishing in the amazing beat of our hearts in our bodies. The benefits of this simple practice are profound, especially as we think about resilience.

Benefits of heart connection:

  • This physical connection cultivates compassion, for ourselves and others
  • We relish in the emotion of awe, which builds resilience from the inside out
  • We feel gratitude for something we all share
  • W connect in a moment of mindfulness, which soothes the nervous system
  • We are reminded of our common humanity in that we all have hearts and  in this way, we are all the same

This week is super simple, find times throughout your day to bring your hands to your heart and feel it beating. 



This week's practice:

  1. Find at least TWO times throughout your day to bring your hands to your heart. 
  2. Be present with this connection for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Remind yourself that WE ALL HAVE HEARTS, in this way we are all the same. 

Suggested times: 

  • First thing in the morning before you get out of bed
  • After a walk or exercise, when it is working hard
  • If you experience a big emotion (nervousness, excitement, sadness, fear, anger)
  • As you lay in bed at night, drifting off to sleep 

Tips for finding presence:

  • Close your eyes
  • Feel your heart beating
  • Bring a sense of awe and gratitude to this amazing part of you

In the classroom: 

  • Take 1 minute every day to have the kids be quiet and bring their hands to their hearts.
  • Find a consistent time, so it becomes part of your daily routine. 
  • Remind the students that this is something that we all share, as humans. 

Note: For Pre-K and K students, it can help to move gently a bit before doing this, to activate a stronger beat that they can easily feel. 

At home: 

  • Model connection with your own heart with your children, especially in the heat of big emotion.
  • Invite your children to feel their hearts when they have big emotions, bringing a sense of connection and compassion to themselves, and allowing their hearts to guide them through with less effort. 

Note: For young children, it can help to move gently a bit before doing this, to activate a stronger beat that they can easily feel.

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