Monday, 16 March 2015

5 easy steps to handle big emotions

We all experience emotions. Sometimes we experience happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, excitement and joy. However, it is not always easy to control these emotions and handle them how we want to. Children, and even adults, need to be taught and modelled strategies to help understand and handle emotions; especially BIG emotions.

This is where the '5 Easy Steps to Handle Big Emotions' comes into play. Attached is an image of the poster displayed in our classrooms as a visual reminder of the steps we can take to stay cool, calm and collected.

The first step is 'Remind myself that it is never ok to hurt anyone'. This step includes both physical actions and words because both do equal damage. In high emotion situations we can forget this step and we need to always be mindful that our actions are a true reflection of who we are and what we believe is right.

The second step is 'Take 3 deep breaths or count slowly to 10'. This step gives us time to stop, think and reflect. When we are frustrated or overwhelmed we can suddenly act without thinking so this stop is vital. We can recognise our warning signs during this step like tenseness, heart rate and tight hands. Breathing and counting allow us to compose ourselves.

The third step is 'Use my words to say how I feel and what I wish to happen'. This step key to handling feelings as it helps to understand that the big emotion we are having is important and we are open to problem-solving. We may not always get our way but talking calmly can lead to a peaceful solution that is better than conflict.

The fourth step is 'Ask for help to solve the problem'. Talking openly to adults who we feel safe around really assists our problem-solving. An adult can help decide whether we need to work it out or walk away from a big feeling situation. An adult is always happy to help and most importantly listen.

The final step is 'Take time to calm down and relax'. Sometimes after all the above steps we just need some space. Having time to ourselves to process our emotions and the solutions is vital to the handling strategies. We may not always get the solution we want but that is ok and by having this time to think helps us reflect. So, give it a go and follow these steps when you are feeling overwhelmed, upset or frustrated. They may help you avoid a situation or outcome that didn't need to happen.

Mindfulness is the key!

Miss Charlotte Allen
Year 4 Teacher

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