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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Cropsey

“I Place My Hands on My Heart”

“The child… is born of love, and love is his natural origin.”1
-Maria Montessori

One of the Breadcrumbs Curriculum’s most profound and powerful social-emotional tools is the simple practice of placing your hands on your heart.  This natural, loving gesture causes your focus to shift from your head to the area around your heart, triggering the body’s “relaxation response.” Simultaneously, a collection of neurons, known as the “tiny brain of the heart,” send a message from your heart to your brain that you are safe. The brain in turn responds by producing a cascade of positive chemicals, among them; oxytocin— the love hormone, flooding the body with positive feelings.  

According to research at the Institute of HeartMath:   

“Shifting focus from head to heart improves nervous system balance, heightens cardiovascular efficiency, and enhances communication between heart and brain, bringing more coherence to the mind and emotions.”2

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, and placing your hands on your heart is the first important step!


Montessori, Maria (1995). The Absorbent Mind, Henry Holt & Company, New York, NY, pp. 30-31.

Childre, Doc (1999).  The HeartMath Solution, HarperCollins, NY, NY, p. 69.


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