Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all connected. This means that how we interpret an event can impact what we feel and how we choose to respond.
Here is a simple formula:
· EVENT: Something happens
· THOUGHTS: I tell myself something
· FEELINGS: I feel something
· BEHAVIOURS: I do something
When we change one of these things, it can changes the others. By learning how to notice the way we perceive a situation, we can turn our thoughts into something more realistic, useful, or positive.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we learn a strategy to help manage our thoughts.
As a class, group or family,
· Talk about how thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are connected. Use these resources from SMHO to guide your conversation:
o VIDEO: “Skills for students: How your thoughts, emotions and behaviours work together” (https://youtu.be/wl6yMVGQl34) o POSTER: “Thoughts, Actions, Emotions” https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/8-Thoughts-Emotions-Actions.png
· Discuss how replacing our negative thoughts with more realistic, neutral, or positive thoughts can change how we feel and behave. Try some examples:
o Unhelpful thought: I’m the only one who makes mistakes. Realistic/helpful thought: No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.
o Unhelpful thought: I forgot to respond to my friend’s text. I’m the worst. Realistic/helpful thought: It’s OK to forget. My friend knows I care.
· Sometimes we need help to calm our brains so that we can think clearly about a situation. Talk about how using a breathing strategy, such as “Breathe and Tap”, can help us regulate ourselves.
o Slowly tap each finger one at a time to your thumb as you take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try both hands at once or tap from your thumb to your pinky and back up to your thumb.
· Next, put it into action. Together, think of a situation when it would have been helpful to challenge a negative thought. Ask these questions: Is the thought true/accurate? Is the thought helpful? As mentioned in the video, if the answer is no to either question, consider how to
challenge and reframe the thought to something neutral or positive. How could that change the outcome?
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer
Is there a situation that I could challenge my thoughts?
Would challenging my thoughts help to change my feelings, behaviours, or future thoughts?
Connecting to our faith:
“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (John 17:11)
Even though Jesus is not with us in his human body, we are still connected to him and to each other. We are called to answer to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and be the people that God wants us to be.
· CHILDREN’S BOOK: “Just a Thought” by Jason Gruh
· CHILDREN’S BOOK: “My Magic Breath” by Nick Ortner, Alison Taylor, and Michelle Polizzi
· EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Realistic Thinking And Feeling Activity (elementary) https://smho-smso.ca/fw/identification-and-management-of-emotions/understanding/realistic-thinking-and-feeling/