Understanding Feelings
Relaxation Skills
Managing Thoughts
Social Problem Solving
Managing Intense Emotions

What are 5 main human emotions?

joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust


Why is it important to use relaxation skills? When could you use them?


Relaxation skills are especially important to use when we’re feeling very anxious or angry. When we feel these emotions in our bodies, it can
be uncomfortable. Relaxation skills are designed to help reduce that discomfort.


How are our thoughts, feelings and behaviors connected? Please give an example.

What we think can affect how we feel and then can lead us to behave in certain ways. The results of that behavior can lead to new thoughts. It's a cycle!


Thought - I'm so bad at math"

Feeling - Hopeless, "I'm an idiot"

Behavior - Didn't study for my test or ask for help, pretended not to care, failed my test


What are social problems?


Social problems are difficulties that we have with other people — often our friends or peers — and sometimes with our families, teachers or people in our communities.


How can emotions be helpful?

Emotions are helpful because they are often a signal for what to do. For example, feeling scared signals us to run, hide and stay away from danger; anger signals us to scream, yell and take control; and love signals us to hug and say nice things, which helps build relationships.




Feelings can live in our bodies. Where in your body might you feel the emotion *fear*?

Heart beating, hands shaking, sweating, short breaths, tightness in chest


Demonstrate "belly breathing"


You want to fill your belly up like a balloon and then let all the air out as if you are blowing bubbles. Breathe in slowly through your nose for four seconds, then breathe out through your mouth for five seconds.


You're home alone and you hear a loud noise in the living room. You think that someone must be breaking in, get really scared and end up crying in bed until your sister gets home 1 hour later. What would be a more helpful and realistic thought and how would that thought effect your feelings and behaviors?


thought: "something probably just fell"

feeling: curious

behavior: something probably just fell


There are 4 components of a problem: 

1. The facts 2. What happened 3. What other people think and do 4. What I think and do

What do YOU have control over? 



Solving problems with other people is hard. You can’t control what other people think and do. But the good news is, you can control what you think and do.


Big emotions can cause us to have urges to act! If you're really angry, what are some urges you might have?

want to hit, yell, scream, run, etc . . . 


If you're feeling hot with a  tight chest and fists clenched, what emotion might you be feeling?



What is the squeeze/release relaxation technique? 

hint: squeezing lemons

Starting with your hands and working down through the various muscle groups (hands, arms, neck/shoulders, stomach, quads, calves, feet), tense, hold and then relax their muscles. 


Name 3 of the 7 thinking traps

Worst Possible Outcome: Your caregiver is sick, and you think, “They’re going to have to go to the hospital, and then they might die.”

Taking Things Personally: You think, “It’s all my fault we lost the basketball game.”              

Labeling: After making one mistake, you think, “I’m so stupid.” Ignoring the Positive: You think, “I totally messed up that whole presentation.”

Fortune-Telling: You think, “I’m never going to make the team.”

Black-and-White Thinking: You think, “This is the worst day ever.”                       

Mind Reading: You think, “My teacher didn’t call on me. She must hate me.”


How can empathy help you problem solve?

You can see where the other person is coming from, feel more compassion towards them


What do you think it means to "ride the wave" of big emotions? How might this be helpful?

The key is to ride out big emotions like a wave rather than giving in to a big urge to react to the emotion. No feeling lasts forever, and when we ride the wave and take the time for the intensity of the emotion to go down, we have more control over how we choose to act, as opposed to acting impulsively.


Name 3 feelings that are under the category of "joy" 

excited, happy, calm, secure, hopeful, confident, optimistic, powerful, satisfied, content, pleased, proud, overjoyed . . .



Find a comfortable seat in your chair or cross-legged on the floor. Close your eyes or find
a soft gaze in front of you. Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose, filling your belly like a balloon. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Continue to breathe deeply as you imagine a place in your mind that brings you a sense of calm and stillness. This could be a familiar place, like your grandma’s living room, or an imaginary place like your own private beach. Use your senses to notice what you see, feel, hear, smell and taste in your safe place. Continue to enjoy your calm, safe place as you breathe deeply for as long as you’d like and, when you feel at peace, bring your mind back to your body and slowly open your eyes.

What is this relaxation technique called? Why is it helpful?    

Guided imagery helps us pause, get in touch with our 5 senses and visit a relaxing place in our minds


What thinking trap does this represent: 


I walk into class and my teacher has an angry look on her face and doesn’t say hi to me. I think, “Wow, she must hate me.” 



taking things personally, mind reading, black and white thinking, fortune telling . . .




What are some ways solving social problems can be beneficial?

calmness, less tension, increased empathy, healthier relationships, better communication skills 


What are some healthy ways to "ride the wave"/distract you from a big emotion?

Play music, watch something funny, color, write in a journal, Create a different image in your head, Take a break and go for a walk, Practice mindfulness, meditate, Think of one thing at a time, Do something for someone else



We can rate the amount of emotion we feel using a thermometer, with 0 being not feeling anything at all and 10 being the strongest emotion you’ve ever felt. What EMOTION would you feel in this situation how would you RATE it from 1 - 10?

You lost your phone during lunch                                                       


fear, anger, sadness

3 - 6


Name a situation when it might be helpful to practice a relaxation technique


before a test

your family members are fighting

someone you love is sick

you have a ton of homework to do

you think your friend is mad at youu

and more . . .


How could you reframe this thought to be more positive or neutral?


I have a presentation to give in front of the class today. I’m going to mess it up and everyone is going to laugh at me.



My presentation will probably go fine

Even if I don't do well, I will be OK

My classmates will support me no matter what

I'll prepare a little extra so I feel ready

Everyone messes up sometimes

I worked really hard so I know I will do well!


What are some ways of solving social problems?

make the problem smaller, compromise, apologize, take a break, after an adult to help mediate


What are some ways to manage/deal with big emotions?

Count to 10 (or more) to slow down and cool off.

Stop and Think: Visualize a stop sign to remind you to slow down, like hitting the pause button on a video game.

Use Milder Words: Using milder words to describe how you feel lessens your anger and can help you feel better. Example: “I have the worst mom in the world!” vs. “I’m mad that my mom grounded me.”

Take a Break from the Feeling: Pay attention to the things you enjoy instead of focusing on what is causing the intense emotion.

Do Belly Breaths: Inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. Try to breathe from your belly and not from your chest. Breathe slowly and deeply.               

Move Your Body: Channel your action urges into exercise. Do jumping jacks, pretend to jump rope, run around, have a dance party, etc. Exercise until your body feels calm.            

Be Gentle with Yourself: Do something soothing for yourself, like playing with slime, hugging a stuffed animal or warm blanket, stretching your body, or listening to relaxing music.

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