In my last post I discussed the fight-or-flight response and what happens in your brain and body during the response. These responses are pretty universal, whether you are talking about teachers, children, or the guy next door. Sometimes, no matter who you are, anger and frustration can cause you to slip out of the driver’s seat when it comes to your actions or reactions and end up in the trunk of the car, where you have no control. Te key to staying in the driver’s seat is to utilize stress management tools. These tools are easy to use and can even be taught to children so that they can use them during their own stressful moments. The key to learning how to use stress management tools effectively is to practice using them during calm moments, especially when teaching them to children. Since we have little or no logic or reasoning skills when we are in a fight-or-flight response, trying to teach a child how to manage their stress while they are in the middle of a meltdown will probably produce nothing but more screaming.
In the next few posts I will be discussing several different stress management techniques that I have found useful in the classroom. These techniques range from ones that are incredibly simple to ones that are full of fun and connection.