will be times when you feel low, negative, angry, frustrated
or just unsure of yourself. Here are a few strategies, tools
and techniques to help you feel better, happier and empowered
The Sky Smile
Lift your head up and look at the ceiling or sky and smile
(a big open smile showing your teeth as if you were making
the noise... ‘Eeeeeee’. Hold this for at least
20 seconds, and whilst doing this, think of a happy thought
(It is an instant mood-lifter. You can not physically feel
low when you try this. If you are in any doubt, try the opposite…
look down into your lap and put on a sad face, think sad thoughts…
see how you feel and then try the Sky Smile again. You will
notice a huge difference.
The Lavender Effect
Put 2-3 drops of lavender oil onto a napkin and inhale the
aroma. Lavender is good for helping you to relax and feel
calm. Whilst you are taking in the smell of the lavender,
breathe deeply… in through your nose and out through
your mouth. Think to yourself… ‘Breathe in positive…
breathe out negative’
Repeat positive affirmation to yourself
I deserve the very best and accept the best now
I love and approve of myself exactly as I am
Every day, every way I’m getting better
I can do anything I put my mind to!
I am doing the best I possibly can
It’s great to be me!
exercise is good for returning your body back to a natural
state of calm when you are feeling angry or frustrated.
Close to your face, hold your hands out in front of you
(backs of hands facing each other) and push forward as if
you were doing the breast-stroke action until your arms
are out-stretched (still with backs of hands facing each
hands over so your palms are facing and intertwine your
fingers, clasping your hands together.
Stretch out towards the left feeling the pull under your
right shoulder, then stretch out towards the right, feeling
the pull under your left shoulder.
you do this, try to yawn… (at first this will seem
false… but in time and with regular practice, you
will be able to yawn easily… and this will help to
relax and calm you).
Turn palms inwards still facing each other as if you were
going back towards your face and tuck them up underneath
your hands and arms tightly for the count of 5 (feeling
the tension in the squeeze)
then release the squeeze (feeling the relaxation) letting
your hands fall gently down into your lap, whilst blowing
out negative feelings through your mouth.
– Do this every day for 14 days and see what happens
when you start to stretch out to the left and right.
in through your nose, from deep in your stomach… this
will lift your diaphragm, taking in plenty of oxygen to fuel
your brain. Hold this for the count of 5 and then blow out
through your mouth… as you do this exercise tell yourself
‘I am breathing in positive air and blowing out the
negative feelings from my body’.
you are doing this with others, try synchronising everyone’s
breathing for a really calming state.
as if…’ Strategy
it is easy to pretend to do or be something. If you like Performing
Arts then this strategy will be easy. Think of the last time
you went into Drama and were given a role to act out. This
‘Act as if…’ strategy is good when you want
to have a try at being more confident than you really are.
‘act as if…’ you did know the answer
‘act as if…’ you were confident
‘act as if…’ you were good at sports
‘act as if…’ you were popular and had
loads of friends
you keep trying this strategy, eventually you will get better
at whatever it is you are trying to do or be. The more you
practice something, the better at it you become… and
this is where confidence comes from – from doing something
over and over.
are only afraid of what we don’t yet know.
messages are a clear way of getting your message across without
using blame. This helps you and the other person to come to
an understanding of how each feels.
can do this by remembering some important points:
1. Make sure you are being heard. E.g. ‘I’d
like to talk with you’.
2. Look directly at the listener.
3. Speak in a clear voice.
4. Use ‘I’ statements.
• Describe the situation: “When you…”
• State how you feel: “I feel …”
• Say what you want: “I’d like it if…”
5. Check for understanding
6. Thank the listener.
Can I talk to you for a moment. When you … (talk about
me behind my back it makes me) … (feel uncomfortable
and I feel I can’t trust you). I would like it if
… (you wouldn’t do that. Thank you).
When people accuse me of cheating at a game (The BEHAVIOUR)
get out of hand (The EFFECT)
makes me feel angry because I feel picked on and not trusted
would you to give me the benefit of the doubt (The SOLUTION)
We can call these ‘I Messages’, as we are speaking
for ourselves and not blaming others. An example of the difference
between an ineffective ‘You Message’ and an effective
‘I Message would be:
‘You never come round for me when you say you will.
You always let me down!’
‘When you don’t come round for me when you’ve
said you will, I feel really let down. I’d like it
if I could count on you in future’.
if you treat the other person with respect and do not use
blame, they are more likely to respond positively to your
requests. No-one likes to be blamed.
Plan for Problem Solving
Identify the source of your anxiety
‘What is it that is making me feel the way I do at
Generate choices about what you can do to make things better
‘What can I practically do to sort this problem out?’
This will help you to feel in control again.
Take immediate action
‘What can I do about this NOW?’
People tend to feel better when they’ve done something
about a problem – they are less likely to feel like
Appraise the effectiveness of your actions
‘Has this worked for me? Have I reacted better than
what I usually would?
at stage 4 it hasn’t worked – go back to stage
2 and try again until it does.
To be used when angry, (especially when both persons are angry
at each other). One person should say the words, ‘Time
Out’ and then agree a time to come back together and
talk about what is upsetting the person. This gives both parties
time apart from each other to let the angry emotion pass and
then when you reconvene you are able to talk reasonably without
anger. If you get back together and are still angry, do ‘Time
Out’ again until there is no anger.
‘Invasion of space – Step back’
To be used when in a heated argument and the space between
two people becomes too close. Person needs to step back (arms
length space so you can wave your arms in front of you without
touching the other person) to create an acceptable boundary
space between each other, thus not making the other person
If someone is shouting at you and not giving you a chance
to respond or have your say… Using a calm, clear, gentle
voice, say, ‘I can see you are angry, Can I speak?’
By not shouting back and using the lower voice, you invite
the person to calm as they will not feel threatened by your
calm voice and they should stop shouting at you.
If they continue to shout, you could say… ‘I can
see you are very angry right now. I have things I need to
tell you but we will do this later’. There may be occasions
when they are so angry that they continue to shout even after
you have used this strategy. It is important to remember that
anger can be very powerful and not take on their emotion.
Leave the room, walk away, reiterating that you will talk
with them later when they can talk with rather than shout