Talk/ “I feel ….”
This week’s focus skill is talking by identifying and expressing feelings. Especially when the stress level is high, there can be a tendency to communicate feelings through behaviour. For example, you might feel frustrated with work and communicate that frustration through work refusal, disrespectful language, or possibly unsafe or aggressive behaviour. Rather than rely on behaviour to communicate your feelings you can share feelings by talking about them. You may have to ask for help or take a break from what you are doing and come back.
Suggestions for using this skill:
● Use I feel statements e.g.: I feel stressed, I feel tired, I feel excited, I feel proud, etc. Not all emotions are negative, if we practice I feel statements with positive emotions, it can be easier to use I feel statements when your feelings are harder to communicate.
● Notice how your feeling, use your body scan and 5 point scale to help you.
● All feelings are OK however, all behaviours are not OK. For example, feeling frustrated about your work is OK, refusing to do it is not OK. Feeling mad that you lost the game is OK, throwing the video game controller is not OK. Identify and practice replacement behaviours for these situations.
● Think about the movies you watch or the books you read, how are your favourite characters showing their feelings? Is it helpful or harmful?
● Take notice of your friends, how are they showing their feelings? Can you ask them how they are feeling? Practice talking about feelings with someone you trust.
● Communicating takes practice so keep in contact with your friends and family. Think about the way you talk to each other, is it supportive or destructive? It’s important we all feel supported in times of stress.
● If you are feeling like the conversations you are having online are not helpful and make you feel sad, upset, unsafe or bullied talk to a trusted adult.
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.