Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Great Giveaway Opportunity and Stress Tips for Parents!

An education and research organization, the Institute of HeartMath, is sharing free tips to help parents, kids, teachers and caregivers reduce stress. On Friday they will also be giving away great prizes to participants on their Facebook page as part of a trivia and giveaway series.

The tips and giveaways are part of the Institute of HeartMath’s Change a Child’s Tomorrow Education Campaign. The campaign is raising awareness about HeartMath’s Heart-Based Education Sponsorship Fund providing HeartMath training programs, tools and technologies to help students and teachers succeed into today’s classrooms.

HeartMath is widely known for its nearly two decades of research into reducing stress, emotion self-regulation and the physiology of learning. They have plenty of free resources for parents and nearly 100,000 students currently use HeartMath tools in classrooms across the country, and many more at underfunded schools will soon be able to join them thanks to this campaign.

You can go to to participate for a chance to win their TestEdge CD Rom, which is an interactive learning program for grades 9-12+ that helps students overcome test anxiety, stress, and at the same time gain effective problem solving, focusing and listening skills. HeartMath is also giving away two other prizes for a randomly selected participant in their trivia and giveaways.

In light of HeartMath’s campaign and aim to provide parents and teachers with valuable tools, the Institute of HeartMath is offering these four tips to help reduce stress and improving behavior in classroom and homes. The tips come from parents and educators who have benefitted from HeartMath’s programs and techniques.

1. Appreciation Box -- Parents and teachers, whenever you want to stop children from picking on each other or misbehaving, try this exercise: First, ask the children to stop what they are doing and to sit down and remain quiet. Then have them concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply through the area of their hearts. Once they have calmed down, have each child focus on the feeling of appreciation for someone or something for a few moments, and then have all of them write whatever it is they appreciated on notes or small pieces of paper. Place this in a specially designated box, and read the notes at the end of the week. Children look forward to reading these notes, and the exercise helps them build healthier mental attitudes.

2. Soothing Sounds -- Whenever children start to become rowdy, try playing soothing music. You could choose a gentle classical piece or perhaps sounds of nature such as the ocean or a rain forest. You can also dim the lights a little to create an atmosphere that is more conducive to quiet time.

3. Schedule Unwind Time -- Parents and teachers, schedule unwind time for yourselves. It is important to set aside these short personal breaks regularly to help you maintain balance amid all of the activities during your days. Practice the Appreciation Break exercise during your unwind time: Breathe deeply for one or two minutes through the area of the heart -- 4 to 5 seconds in and 4 to 5 seconds out. As you breathe, imagine you are holding the feeling of appreciation for someone or something in the area of your heart. This can be for a family member, friend who helped you out, or even a memorable vacation. The important thing is to hold a sincere feeling, rather than merely focusing on a mental image. A change of scenery can aid in this process. You will be surprised at how this simple exercise can help you refocus and feel more balanced and energized.

4. Self-Regulation Tools -- Teachers and parents have found that HeartMath’s free emotion self-regulation techniques for children of all ages are quite beneficial. There are a variety of these techniques that can help children de-stress, improve focus and behavior in the classroom or home and strengthen communication and relationship skills. These techniques provide simple, easy-to-follow steps that children can easily learn. HeartMath techniques for various age groups are available at

You can learn more about the Institute of HeartMath and its education programs and research at, or follow the institute on Twitter and YouTube. Make sure to participate in their giveaways and join their HeartMath My Kids! Facebook page, which is an excellent resource for anyone focusing on the development and success of children.


  1. What a nice cause. Stress and related factors are often overlooked, yet play an important role in the learning process. Glad to see these tips!

  2. Anonymous2:28 AM

    Love the suggested ideas here, especially the appreciation box -- I'll give that a try and thier Facebook page. Thanks for another great post.


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