There are many stressors which trigger negative emotions in students, which cause anxiety in them about their capabilities to cope with peer issues and study demands. Unfortunately, often they only speak up about not coping when they are about to implode and are on the verge of giving up. Having a number of positive coping strategies to reduce these anxious feelings is essential for their wellbeing.
Introducing students to new coping pathways provides them with opportunities to adopt growth mindsets to create their own strategies. Adolescents on the whole are not comfortable with immediately asking for help from adults, therefore, it is important for us to take the initiative and raise the issue, by explaining that positive coping strategies are little positive actions which relieve pressure and they can vary from student to student. Colouring in and other repetitive mindfulness activities, reduce emotional intensity very quickly, restoring their normal functioning level.
Positive coping strategies fall into the following main categories:
Exercise – anything that lifts the heart rate
Positive self-talk – personal assertive I can, and I will statement, which work for the individual
Personal support – a trusted adult; their champion who will stick with them
Meditation – mindfully focusing on their breathing and their thoughts
Kindness – deliberate acts of kindness result in the release of Oxytocin and Dopamine both hormones that are help reduce stress and anxiety
Diet – eating well and drinking plenty of water has an overall benefit for mental health
Sleep – maintaining a regular pattern of sufficient sleep is vital for maximal brain function especially when recalling and applying knowledge to unfamiliar situations
Deputy Principal (Students)