The heart rate is a large part of the physiological affect we experience, both when regulated or experiencing reactions of stress. Having awareness of our own heart rate in any of these platforms and having a practice to alter that rate can affect our experience of safety on the body level.

How can we best control our heart rates? Through breathwork!

Breathwork refers to many forms of conscious alteration of breathing, such as connecting in-breath with outbreath, or intentionally changing the pace or deepness of breath. Breathwork is something that children of all ages can learn and practice. For younger children, it is fun to use props like pinwheels and bubbles to support breathwork activities. Adolescents will enjoy learning that they can practice breathing activities without any props and without anyone knowing they are practicing!

Click below to learn more and watch Starr Senior Trainer Erin Reed demonstrate several exercises for breathwork at any age.

Learn more breathwork activities and other regulating exercises for all ages in Starr's Mind Body Skills: Activities for Emotional RegulationDownload a free sample below.

Learn more with these offerings from Starr Commonwealth

The Most Important Factor in Your School Day is YOU

Lessons are aligned, supplies are ready and schedules are set, but of all the preparations you make each day, the most important factor in your school environment is YOU. Your attitude, energy level and ability to connect, notice and give feedback to students is what matters most, especially for children who have experienced trauma.

Mirror neurons are believed to be one of the major neuroscience discoveries of recent years. Mirror neurons are brain cells that “fire” both when a person is in action and when a person observes someone else engaged in the same action. What does this mean for us as educators? It means that students will mirror our actions, attitudes and feelings.

The frame of mind and body you bring to school will set the tone for the day. Checking your own brain/body state often will also help you avoid getting stuck in a conflict cycle that leads to damaged relationships and disruption of learning. Modeling positive emotions and self-regulation will create a climate where everyone feels safe and ready to learn.

Mirror neurons are the brain cells that make emotions contagious. Checking your own mind/body state often will help those around you remain calm and promote a feeling of safety that allows learning to take place.

For more ideas on how mirror neurons affect our interactions with kids and how to help our students, check out our Mind Body Skills workbook and the Mind Body Skills online course.