Each day, we experience a range of emotions – some last a few seconds, others linger. All emotions are real and valid. They give us important information about ourselves and the situations in our life.
Depending on the person and situation, the intensity of our emotions can be mild, intense, or anywhere in between. This can be helpful sometimes and unhelpful at other times. For example, anger can be good when it encourages us to stand up for a something we believe in but it can be bad if we say or do hurtful things to others. Sometimes, our emotions can feel uncomfortable or overwhelming. In these moments, we can feel like a kettle, ready to boil at any moment. This can affect how we think and behave.
Learning to gauge the intensity of our emotions can help us to notice when our feelings might affect our judgement or behaviour. With practice, we can pause and regulate ourselves, keeping our responses in check.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we try a strategy to check our emotional temperature.
As a class, group, or family:
· Discuss how it is normal to have a range of feelings, especially during times of change and transition. Everyone feels things. All emotions are OK – big and small.
· It is important that we learn how to gauge the intensity of our emotions. Read below for a strategy or try “What’s My Temperature” (https://smho-smso.ca/fw/identification-and-management-of-emotions/gauging/whats-my-temperature/) from SMHO.
· Talk about how a thermometer could be used to measure how an emotion
makes us feel. Give an example of how to use the thermometer (i.e., I feel mellow, I am a 2 on the thermometer; I feel frustrated so I’m a 7 on the thermometer; I am excited, I am 8 on the thermometer, etc.).
· Ask others to suggest an emotion and where it would be on the emotional thermometer.
· Once we identify our temperature, we can use healthy strategies to regulate ourselves, bringing us back to a comfortable temperature. Talk about strategies that might help us when our temperature is rising.
o ASK: what are some physical ways to let out our emotions? Consider: breathe, stretch, go outside, have a snack, cry, laugh, take a walk, have a shower or bath, exercise, do chores, clean, garden, organize something, etc.
o ASK: what are some creative ways to let out our emotions? Consider: write draw, colour, paint, craft, sing, dance, play an instrument, listen to music, etc.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How could checking your emotional temperature be helpful in your life?
Is there a situation or experience that makes your temperature rise?
Connecting to our faith:
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Psalm 103:8)
We are created in the image of God. We are connected, living in community, and recognize that every action and/or inaction affects ourselves, others, and the environment. Understanding why and how we experience various emotions is honouring the connection between mind, body and spirit. When we practise ways to self-regulate, we become more fully alive.
· CHILDREN’S BOOK: “What Color Is Your Day?” by Camryn Wells and Eleanor Loseby · EDUCATOR RESOURCE: (elementary) https://smho-smso.ca/fw/identification-and-management-of-emotions/gauging/ (secondary) https://smho-smso.ca/fwsecondary/identification-and-management-of-emotions/gauging/ · CAREGIVER RESOURCE: “Easy and Fun Mental Health Activities for Home” (4th activity) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EDMH-ParentActivities-FINAL-EN.pdf · TEEN ARTICLE: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/understand-emotions.html
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