Heart-Mind Well-Being

Heart-Mind Well-Being refers to creating a balance between educating the mind and educating the heart. The focus of most formal education systems is on teaching cognitive skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic. While there is a great focus in our society on academic achievement, a growing body of research demonstrates the positive impacts of social and emotional learning. In fact, research shows that heart and mind learning are highly interconnected, and that improving children's social and emotional skills directly benefits their ability to learn and apply cognitive skills. 



  • Children who develop social and emotional skills have better attitudes about themselves and others, and better social interactions.
  • Children with strong social and emotional skills are less aggressive, can handle difficult emotions, and they have lower levels of emotional distress.
  • Students who receive Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction improve an average 11 percentile points on standardized achievement tests compared to students who do not receive such instruction.
  • We can successfully create conditions in schools, communities and families that build the capacity of children to recognize their emotions, to understand and empathize with others, and to make constructive choices.
  • We can foster positive human qualities such as compassion, empathy and confidence, and we can help children manage difficult emotions such as fear, hatred, anger, and anxiety.


Heart-Mind well-being consists of five positive human qualities, which are anchored in evidence-based research related to the social and emotional development of children.
GETS ALONG WITH OTHERS - the ability to form positive and healthy relationships with peers and adults.
COMPASSIONATE AND KIND - the ability to be aware of other people's emotions and a desire to help when a person is in need.
SOLVES PROBLEMS PEACEFULLY - the ability to behave in a peaceful and respectful way in a variety of situations and relationships.
SECURE AND CALM - the ability to take part in daily activities and approach new situations without being overwhelmed with worries, sadness or anxiety.
ALERT AND ENGAGED - the ability to stay calm, focused and alert; to demonstrate self-control and to slow down and think before acting.


The Dalai Lama Center promotes Heart-Mind well-being through our ongoing programs, community workshops and the annual Heart-Mind Conference. To find out more, visit our programs and conference pages.