If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about and practiced calming techniques. In class students practiced enhancing calmness using quiet breathing techniques.
Getting Ready for the Conversation
Learning to manage emotions is an important skill to master as youth grow. We are all faced with stress from time to time and learning to be calm in the face of stress is part of healthy living.
Conversation Starters and Practice at Home
The first item is for follow-up after participating in class activities.
Describe the activity from class. Do you think this was helpful? Why or why not?
What are some situations that are so stressful that you need to calm down? Why are these situations a problem?
What is a good calming technique for you? Why?
Are there things we could do to make our home more calming? Why or why not?
School to Home Resources on Being Calm
- Student and leader chairs
1. Explain that in this session, students will try a simple guided visualization exercise for helping our minds communicate a “Be Calm” signal to our bodies. This is a skill that can come in handy for many different situations. To illustrate this, use the popcorn strategy of going around to each person in the room to have students share examples of times during their day when they need to calm down.
2. Have students sit in their chairs or on the floor in their own space, not too close to anyone else, leaving at least a hand-span of space between the people around them. As a leader, you can sit in a chair and demonstrate, or you can quietly move around the room as you narrate the exercise.
3. Lead students through an exercise to help their bodies be calm. Use the following narrative: (Note: In the narrative, ellipsis, or the three dots, denote moments of silence, giving time to implement the narration.)
- Sit quietly and get comfortable your chair. Close your eyes and listen to the rhythm of your breathing. Now, let’s release all the muscles in our bodies and let them relax… Relax your feet… your legs, the palms of your hands, your shoulders and neck… your face. Breathe very slowly…
- Let’s move very slowly. Try to feel each and every muscle and bone in your body. Start with your hands… Visualize your right hand from the tip of your pinky through all your fingers… all the way up to your elbow… from there to your right shoulder. Everywhere you go, continue to breathe deeply, and visualize your body parts letting go… relaxing… becoming softer… warmer… heavier… Move around to your left shoulder and down to your left arm. From there to your wrist, your hand… and fingers. Move back up to your shoulders, and slowly go up your neck… Continue relaxing into each part of your body… move up to your head. Move around your head to your scalp… to your forehead… your eyebrows and eyes… ears… lips and mouth… to your chin and back again to your neck and shoulders. Go back through the cavity of your chest… notice your heartbeat…Move to your solar plexus, to your stomach… notice what you feel there.
- Notice how your whole body is relaxing… feeling warm… good… Now move down your right leg… to the knee… ankle… and heel, ball of your foot, and toes. Now move to your left leg. Down to the knee, ankle, heel, ball of your foot, to the end of your toes… Now your whole body is feeling relaxed and calm. Stay with that feeling for a moment or two and enjoy it. Remember that you can come back here whenever you wish… Now, move out slowly and quietly… begin to let your eyes flutter… move your fingers and toes and slowly, very slowly, come back here, to the classroom, to your chair.
4. When they are finished, ask students how this exercise helped send the message “Be Calm” to their minds and bodies. Ask when they might use this exercise.
Ask: How do we send messages to our minds and bodies to “Be Calm”?