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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Cropsey

CALM is the Balm!

“The special object of a child’s affection is the adult… Through his actions an adult shows a child how men behave.”1

-Maria Montessori

Sadly, many of the adults that our children are interacting with are experiencing alarming levels of stress, anger and worry.  According to a 2018 Gallup Poll, approximately 55% of Americans said they had experienced stress during “a lot of the day”, compared with 35% internationally. 2  

Stress inhibits optimal brain functioning.  In fact stress is known to render adults and children alike, unable to:

Think clearly

Access working memory

Process information

Focus attention

Regulate inappropriate impulses and behavior

While the stressors themselves most often lie outside of our bodies and control, the ultimate antidote may lie within… just 12-14 inches away - the distance between the human brain and the HEART.  

Informed by research at the Institute of Heart Math (“IHM”), Breadcrumbs has found that when parents, teachers and children regularly practice simple heart-centered breathing and reflection practices, the environments in both the home and classroom are changed!  

“...however little love seems to be at work in their lives they are under its influence and search for it unconsciously.”3

-Maria Montessori

By consciously shifting attention from the head to the area around the heart, consciously slowing the breath, and consciously focusing upon a positive emotion, we can create a measurable, optimal state of heart-brain communication, which IHM describes as a state of “coherence”.  This coherent state of calm and heightened appreciation, is rich with insight, creativity and potential, or “heart-intelligence.” The key to developing strong social-emotional skills is learning to perceive and react to the world from this state of balanced awareness.

More to follow...

Montessori, M. (1966) The Secret of Childhood, The Random House Publishing Group, New York, NY, p.104.

The New York Times, April 25, 2019, Americans are Amongst the Most Stressed People in the World.

Montessori, M. (1995) The Absorbent Mind, Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY, p.288. 


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