3 Tips to Lower Heart Rate, Improve Focus, and Self-Regulation


Today’s blog is short and potent. Pay attention to these three things, and you’ll change the environment in your classroom, home and any other setting. While the focus here is for PreK - Grade 8 learners, I have used all three with all ages, including adults!


The music we play, or don’t play, has a scientific and emotional impact on any learning space, and thus with any learner. Here is what I suggest:

Find music that is relaxing, yet energetic. A good choice is usually early classical music. One example is an album I produced back in 2004, titled, The Tree and the Wind. The selections are at specific tempo’s and frequencies that have been connected to lowered heart rates and elevated levels of focus.

Also keep in mind the five instruments which produce the higher frequencies which have been to improve brain function (with exposure to the music over an extended period of time).

  • Piano

  • Violin

  • Flute

  • Acoustic Guitar

  • Human Voice (melodic singing in tune)

I have written blogs in the past which go into more detail, like this one!


Breathing is such a simple thing, but most of us breath in a very shallow manner, and guest what, our students mimic everything we do when they are young, so here are some key pointers.

  • Breathe in through your nose

  • Breathe in out your mouth

  • Breathe out for twice the amount of time you breathe in

  • Engage your students will physical movement which relates to the breathing in and out

Here is another blog I wrote that goes into a lot of depth. Enjoy!


When we can help our students understand that they have choices related to how they use their energy, good things happen. When we do this is a playful and loving manner, GREAT things happen. It all comes down to some very simple, yet profound, fundamentals. You always have two choice related to your energy:

Use your energy or hold your energy

Notice I didn’t say stop your energy, freeze your energy, or put a bubble in your mouth. We want our students to recognize:

Using our energy is how we create and connect

Holding our energy is how we reflect and redesign

Once someone begins to discover these choices, self-regulation becomes a normal byproduct.

How exactly do you do this? Here is an earlier blog that goes into lots of detail. Know that I’ve used this approach for decades. It comes from a world class artist and educator colleague and friend of mine, Rick Wamer of Embody Learning. It’s a game changer!

Have a great summer!