Life will always present things that we feel uncomfortable about… tests, assignments, tryouts, speeches, presentations, and more. Sometimes when we are in these situations, we experience intension emotions. We feel nervous, worried, overwhelmed, scared. We start to overthink, or shut down, or struggle to keep our focus. When we are having a hard time, it can help to pause and remind ourselves that this is temporary and we have tools to help ourselves cope with these feelings.
Visualization activities can be a way to respond to these uncomfortable feelings. As we do a visualization exercise, we slow our breathing and ground our thoughts. We shift our focus away from our intense emotions. This can help us settle ourselves and feel calmer in the moment.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we try a visualization exercise to help us respond to our feelings.
As a class, group, or family: · Watch SMHO’s Forest Visualization video (https://youtu.be/s0PO2xo7I9g) (2:43) and follow the instructions. This video guides us through a forest visualization exercise.
· If you would prefer something other than a video, try a link from the “Further Learning” section.
· After the visualization exercise, take a minute to offer some coping statements of encouragement such as: “These feelings won’t last forever” and “I can cope with this” “When I need to respond to my feelings, I will try _______” “Lots of people feel worried before a test”. Write down some for yourself and invite everyone to share their ideas with the group.
· NOTE: Visualization exercises, like any other skill, take practise. It is common to have trouble with focus and attention at first. With practise, this becomes easier.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How do I feel after doing the forest visualization?
When might a visualization activity help in my life?
Connecting to our faith:
Guided imagery and visualization activities can help us develop an awareness of self and awareness of God in our breath. As we remain in stillness and in silence, we can reflect on God’s unwavering love and support. He is always with us and always caring for us, no matter where we are or what the circumstance.
Let us pray: Thank you, Father, I have faith in you to help me calm the waves of worry. Help me like Jesus did in the Bible when the disciples were in a storm. Amen (Matthew 8: 23-27, Mark 4: 35-41, Luke 8:22-25)
· EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Visualization Strategies lesson plan https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/7c694ab7-cf5f-4f4c-967a-5e1100aba11b
· EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Guided Imagery activities https://smho-smso.ca/fw/stress-management-and-coping/guided-imagery/
· CAREGIVER RESOURCE: Exam and Test Stress https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Student-mh-lit-expansion-pack-1-test-and-exam-stress-parent-caregiver-handout.pdf
· EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Student Mental Health in Action Test and Exam Stress: Strategies to Perform at Your Best Lesson Plan https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Student-mh-lit-expansion-pack-1-test-and-exam-stress-lesson-plan.pdf
· EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Student Test and Exam Stress: Important Role of Educators https://smho-smso.ca/blog/student-test-and-exam-stress-the-important-role-of-educators/ · STUDENT RESOURCE: Test Your Best: Tips For Managing Test and Exam Stress https://smho-smso.ca/blog/test-your-best-tips-for-managing-test-and-exam-stress/
· STUDENT RESOURCE: Student Mental Health in Action Test and Exam Stress: Strategies to Perform at Your Best Student Journal https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Student-mh-lit-expansion-pack-1-test-and-exam-stress-student-journal.pdf