We’re going to continue with stress reduction. Instead of focusing on our bodies, though, today we’re going to discuss how talking can relieve stress.
We’re going to imagine two different scenarios. While you’re doing your imagining, you could look down at your desk or you can close your eyes, or fold your hands and rest them in your lap and let your gaze drift there.
Imagine that you had a disagreement with someone. Not a big huge ugly fight! Just a disagreement. And imagine that you had the courage at that moment to talk about it with this other person. The other person listened, and then you had a conversation, and when it was over, you both felt better.
Take a deep breath and relax your body. Let yourself feel how it helped to talk about it instead of holding it in. Feel how it is when people clear things up.
Now we’re going to do the opposite. Imagine that something happens with someone and you don’t feel like you can bring it up. You decide not to tell them you’re upset. Really let yourself imagine this, and now, scan your body to see how it feels different than a few moments ago. Where do you hold the stress of being unhappy about something but not feeling like you can bring it up?
Take a moment and breathe into that place to help it relax. Inhale deeply, and each time you exhale, let yourself relax.
Okay, let’s go back again and remember the first example, and re-imagine your conversation with someone, and it ends well. Breathe in deeply again and as you exhale, really relax.
[Give this “going back” about 20 seconds.]
We always have to use our judgement. There are times when it may not be safe to bring up a problem. The other person might be so mad or upset that you know it won’t turn out well.
It might be that it has to do with someone that you don’t know so you can’t gauge whether it is worth bringing up or how they’ll react.
Let’s talk for a moment about how you can tell whether it is going to help to bring it up, or even whether it is safe to do so. How might you decide whether it is safe to approach the person with this?
[Allow discussion until your 5 minute time is up.]
Today notice times when something bothers you and see if you can reflect on it a bit in the moment and see whether there is a conversation you could have, or whether you have stress you could release.
The goal for Monday of next week is to create a visual of student responses. One way of doing this activity involves students writing brief comments on post-its and attaching them to a flip chart or a specified area of a whiteboard. Read ahead and prepare accordingly.