According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 31% of high school students have depression.
They also report one in every four students say they have been bullied in school. It’s clear that children from a young age need to learn more about managing emotions.
One nonprofit organization is on a mission to help kids learn about how to manage their emotions in a healthy way. HeartMath Institute has created a new online interactive program, called HeartSmarts Adventure, to teach kids all about emotional well being and heart-healthy living. Through the “100,000 Coherent Kids Initiative,” they are giving away 100,000 copies of the program.
“We have spent two years creating this program that will teach kids what they need to know to be able to identify emotions and manage them in a healthy way,” explains Jeff Goelitz, the education specialist and senior master trainer at HeartMath Institute. “By reaching children at a young age we can begin to teach them about healthy living principles that will benefit them for the rest of their life.”
The HeartSmarts Adventure has been designed for children ages 4 to 6. The program is completely online and offers 63 activities to get kids engaged and active, as they learn about such things as heart health and emotional well-being. Children will engage in a variety of lessons that include videos, physical exercise, coloring art, music, interviews with children, and other enjoyable learning activities.
In a world where life challenges have become increasingly more complex, the organization hopes that the HeartSmarts Adventure can be a fun educational experience to provide younger children with essential skills to build a healthy mental and emotional foundation and grow into happy and resilient individuals. The program focuses on such things as:
- Mental and emotional health as well as physical health, through six units that include a variety of colorful and fun exercises.
- Children learn how to talk about what they’re thinking and feeling, which is so important for their mental health.
- They learn the importance of care, kindness, and compassion towards others which promotes tolerance and acceptance.
- They learn the importance of physical health – being active, choosing good foods and getting proper sleep which initiates good habits early in life.
“It’s important that children from a young age learn about how they can help take care of their heart health, as well as their emotional well-being,” added Goelitz. “This program has been designed to give them that foundation. They can use the lessons to stay healthy for many years to come. It’s never too early to start teaching about heart health.”
The program is based on over two decades of peer-reviewed published research by the HeartMath Institute. It is designed to nurture the key elements associated with resilient and balanced individuals. The most important of these skills being the ability to manage emotions. Learning to self-regulate one’s emotions is a key factor in making sound choices as children mature.
Emotional health plays an important role in overall health. The HeartSmarts Adventure helps teach children about emotions, so they can identify feelings and positive ways to address them. These skills help children learn to manage their emotions and become more resilient.
The HeartSmarts Adventure program is fully online, and children can go through the lessons at their own pace. It’s designed to be a blended program, combining teacher or parent-led instruction. For more information about the program, or to obtain a free copy to download, visit the site here.
About HeartMath Institute
HeartMath Institute (HMI), www.heartmath.org, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and education organization headquartered in Central California. For more than two decades, HMI has researched and developed reliable, scientifically-based tools and programs through its research and education divisions that bridge the connection between heart and mind and deepen people’s heart connection with themselves and others.
The HeartMath methodologies offer hope of new and effective solutions for the many daunting problems that face society by restoring mental, emotional and physical balance and maximizing every individual’s potential. For more information, visit the site: www.heartmath.org.