There’s a scene midway through the compelling Season 3 premiere of “Stillwater” in which a main character named Addy becomes so overwhelmed by stress that she escapes to a more serene setting, folds her body into the lotus position, closes her eyes and simply breathes.

She’s meditating. Right there at the dramatic high point of an acclaimed children’s show from Apple TV+.

“I think it’s amazing to see it on screen,” said Mallika Chopra, the author and entrepreneur who specializes in teaching meditation, mindfulness and self-reflection to younger audiences. “Our children, at such a young age now, are facing a lot of anxiety. We need to start teaching children early about tools that allow them self-regulate, to be in touch with their bodies and to deal with what are big issues for them.”

Mallika was 9 years old when she first learned to meditate. Her brother, Gotham, learned even earlier, at age 6. Such is life in a household where your father happens to be Deepak Chopra, the wellness guru and alternative medicine advocate.

Mallika grew up to become CEO of Chopra Global, a modern-day health company described as being “at the intersection of science and spirituality.” She now teaches balanced living to countless people, a list that has expanded to the budding generation of children and their parents watching “Stillwater” on Apple TV+. Chopra is the official mindfulness consultant for the animated series, which opened Season 3 on May 19.

In a recent interview with “Spotlight,” she discussed her role in the show and the importance of equipping children with strategies that support resilience and self-reflection.

“What I love about ‘Stillwater’ and being part of this project is that storytelling is such an effective and potent tool for kids to kind of live through an experience,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for them to contemplate and discover more about themselves. It was a natural fit for me.”

Show creator Rob Hoegee and the rest of the “Stillwater” staff have a deft touch when it comes to writing entertaining and emotionally illuminating episodes, as evidenced by their 2021 Peabody Award for Child and Youth Programming.

The show’s Zen-like center is a beloved panda named Stillwater, who was created by author Jon J. Muth. The series follows the exploits of neighborhood kids seemingly routine real-life challenges. There are no “Scooby-Doo”-style capers here, no car chases, no coyotes dodging ACME products.

Instead, the series’ dramatic tension stems from the often-undetectable underlying stresses that can become monstrous if left unchecked.

“Each episode hits on certain topics. Things like acceptance. Like, what if you give a gift and someone doesn’t like it?” Chopra said. “These are things that kids deal with all the time.

“Or not being invited to a sleepover. Or trying to meet your new neighbor for the first time and thinking, ‘Will they like me or will they not?’ There are episodes about how to deal with failure, how to cope with disappointment.

“If we keep giving kids tools and insights early on in this entertaining way, I think we’re helping with the larger problem of mental health that we’re facing in this society.”

Whenever the show writers are honing their scripts, Chopra serves as a sounding board. The closing credits list her as the “Awareness and Intention Expert,” which is a fancy way she helps with the spiritual stuff. Chopra provides feedback on the way mindfulness is portrayed and offers notes about whether the dialogue sounds authentic and age-appropriate. Back in Season 1, for example, she recorded some of her actual meditations and mind exercises as inspiration for the writing staff.

But she’s also quick to point out that the thoughtful and empathetic staff hardly needs much assistance. “Stillwater” runs deep.

“What I’ve realized, by watching the show and reading these scripts, is that the writers are very knowledgeable about mindfulness, Zen Buddhism and all of these topics independently,” Chopra said.

Her consulting job is one she treasures, in no small part because shows like “Stillwater” are more vital than ever in the children’s entertainment landscape. Chopra has seen the way the pandemic and other complications of modern life – social media, academic pressure, economic disparity – have created a national mental health crisis among kids. National depression rates among children grow more troubling by the year.

“I’ll be honest, it feels very overwhelming to me,” Chopra said. “And as someone who believes strongly in sharing tools and educating, I just think about how can I contribute to the best of my ability, and that’s what I’ve tried to do in my books, and why I feel so grateful to be part of a show like this.

“I do think that the earlier we can share tools with kids, the better. And that’s one of the reasons I like this show. As parents and adults, we can’t actually tell our children what to do. But we have to lead by example. So I think it’s really important for adults to also think about how they deal with stress and anxiety so we can be role models for our children.”

Apple TV+, too, can clearly see the powerful role children’s programming can play in preparing kids for the mounting challenges of modern life. On March 1, 2022, the subscription streaming service unveiled a kids’ Changemakers Initiative that, as the press release at the time described, “brings world-renowned education leaders together with the world’s most creative storytellers to create inspiring and enriching original series for kids.”

Apple TV+ pledged that the initiative would encourage imagination, self-confidence and critical thinking through its original series, including “Stillwater,” “Hello, Jack: The Kindness Show,” “Get Rolling With Otis,” “Doug Unplugs,” and “Pretzel and the Puppies.”

That Changemakers Initiative is how Chopra wound up here. The creators of “Stillwater” partnered with Chopra to imagine and deliver a series that teaches children how to slow down in order to make thoughtful, empathetic decisions. An Apple TV+ official release notes that since the show’s debut, “the series has been globally praised and recognized with awards for its positive impact on kids’ families around the world.”

The Season 3 premiere opened with a young boy named Karl struggling with the concept of waiting. (Yes, the line “Are we there yet” is uttered multiple times.) Karl reaches his wit’s end while waiting for Stillwater to arrive by train, so he gets help from older kids who have learned a few handy coping skills. Addy and Michael teach the boy how to use the power of imagination – fanciful stories and made-up games – as a way of defusing those feelings of agitation and irritation.

In the second story of the episode, Addy struggles with saying “no” and winds up with a crushing cupcake-related workload just hours before a charity bake sale. Stillwater helps guide Addy through a better way of setting boundaries for her own well-being, and she circles back with her friends to gracefully bow out from over-commitment.

Chopra said the power of “Stillwater” resides in such relatable real-life lessons. She has delivered similar messaging as an author, including her “Just Be” trilogy of how-to books aimed at children – “Just Breathe,” “Just Feel” and “Just Be You.”

And when it comes to anyone considering tuning into the magnificently thoughtful series called “Stillwater” on Apple TV+, she can add one more: Just Watch.

“It’s not just the characters, it’s the visuals and the music and the use of sounds,” Chopra said. “There’s an episode where it’s raining, and you feel like you can almost smell the damp leaves. And it’s a very visceral experience, which is very much part of mindfulness exercises – of appreciating and experiencing.

“I am so grateful and humbled and honored to be part of this show.”

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens. For more information, visit the Apple TV+ site to see the full list of supported devices.