5 Point Scale
Here at Highlands Youth Services we work with a Circle of Courage mindset. The Circle of Courage is based on the 4 basic human needs we all have, which are a sense of Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity. Over the next 5 weeks we will be discussing topics to help us build resilience when our circles are broken in one of more of these areas.
This week we will be talking about the 5 point scale – this is an awareness tool we can use to check in with ourselves and help us recognise our ability to function and think clearly. It would be an understatement to say we have all suffered a little bit of stress this year! When we are faced with ever changing stressful situations we don’t always stop to recognise how we are really feeling. This scale can be used to help you stop and take a moment to recognise feelings and how current circumstances are affecting you physically and emotionally.
Our first step is to complete a body scan. While we are learning how to stop and recognise our feelings we can use the guide below and complete the steps.
1. Start with your head. Place your hands on your head. Notice your thoughts. Are your thoughts calm and relaxed or are they fast and swirling?
2. Place your hands on your heart. Is it beating fast or slow?
3. Place your hands on your stomach. Is your breathing fast or slow? Is it shallow (short breaths) or deep (long breaths)?
4. Put your hands in your lap. Check in with your body. Are your muscles tight and tense or calm and relaxed?
5. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Try a slow deep breath and see if you can get the hand on your stomach to move in and out. Try it one more time.
6. Think to yourself I am OK.
There are no right or wrong answers with a body scan, it is simply checking in with our body. Our bodies are a good indication on how we are feeling and will help us to recognise our number on the 5 point scale.
Tips for using the scale:
● Check in with your body throughout the day to see what number you are at on the scale.
● It is OK to be a 1 or a 5 as long as we are being safe. The number and our feelings will change throughout the day. When we acknowledge the number we are at, we will be better able to take care of ourselves.
● Any feeling can be related to any number on the scale. For example, a 5 could indicate feeling mad, silly, or excited. The number 5 represents the intensity of the feeling.
● Identify strategies that can be used at home when feeling high on the scale. Do you need a hug or time alone? Do you need a break and a calming activity? Brainstorm strategies that may be helpful at each number on the scale.
Our emotions are up and down throughout the day on our 5 point scale so make sure you take time for self-care. Over the next 5 weeks we will be talking about preventative strategies to use when feeling at a 1 or 2 but many others will include coping skills to when we are feeling at a more heightened state.
Note: Circle of Courage is from Brendtro, L.K., Brokenleg, M., and Van Brockern, S. (2002). Reclaiming Youth At Risk: Our Hope for the Future. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Information for this post is from Starr Commonwealth program Courageous children: Daily skills to build resilience.
If you would like further information or would like to connect with Highlands Youth Services, please click the contact us section of our website.