However, taking a step back and looking at their stress, anxiety and energy management strategy all is quickly revealed – they don’t have one.
Their stress, anxiety and energy management strategies are ad hoc approaches at random deep breathes when they remember, ‘time out’ corners, wishful thinking and luck thrown in for good measure.
This does not make for a successful optimal learning environment where both teachers and students can feel emotionally relaxed and safe to learn and make mistakes.
It’s easy to manage the stress, anxiety and energy levels of a class when you know how – but you must take the time to educate yourself on the strategies required. That’s why today, I share with you 7 of my top stress management strategies that will help you and your students to feel more relaxed and productive in your classrooms.
Stress Management Strategy #1:
If you haven’t taken the time to create your classroom mood – or looked to see how tired or unmotivated you or your students feel as soon as they walk into the classroom, you may have thousands of possible ways to re-energise your classroom and change how the students ‘feel’ each time they enter the room.
Re-energise your learning environment by connecting with how you and your students are feeling at the moment and decide how you wish them to feel when they enter the classroom. Then create the atmosphere by playing music that makes them feel this feeling, when they enter and exit the classroom. Ie. Play relaxing music to feel more calm, upbeat music to feel excited and alert.
Most of the time, all we need is a gentle reminder of these simple techniques that can instantly pick us up or calm and relax ourselves and students in just a few minutes.
Stress Management Strategy #2:
To reduce the scattered energy with ease, one of the best strategies is to diffuse calming aromatherapy oils when you want to change the ‘mood’ of the class – especially when many are struggling with a new topic. A calming oil in the background can trigger their body and minds to relax before they even recognize they had become emotional about their learning.
Anxiety or being too emotional towards learning can create a strong mental barrier for learning – regardless how many times we explain the content in different ways. Therefore to calm the emotions in our classrooms is the key to easy & productive learning.
Offer opportunities for individual students to choose the calming aroma for the day and you will immediately increase their awareness of the classroom mood that ‘they’ are consciously creating each day. Make it fun and experiment with different aromas to create different classroom moods. Ie. Lavender for calming, peppermint for reducing tension yet bringing more mental alertness and focus.
Stress Management Strategy #3:
The unfortunate reality is that many of us teachers and students do not relax and have a good night’s sleep anymore. How are you keeping your body and mind relaxed on a regular basis and how can we expect our students to be relaxed and calm in the classrooms when they can feel their teacher stressed, tired and lacking energy for the day?
This is where you must lead by example, as you role model regular healthy techniques to keep relaxed and calm in the classroom – they will know these skills for life.
Actions are always more powerful than theories and rules. When yoga postures are consistently weaved through the day to manage stress levels and change the focus in the classrooms, learning through their bodies and emotional awareness becomes part of their lives.
To relax the mind and empty their worry thoughts – try ‘child pose’ or ‘downward facing dog’ whenever you need during the class. Or to increase focus and concentration – do ‘tree’ or ‘warrior’ pose.
Stress Management Strategy #4:
Yoga Breathing Techniques
Many of us adults, and children alike, are not aware of how shallow our breathing is most of the time, as we tend to breathe from our chest and tense our shoulders.
When we do not breathe in deeply enough on a regular basis, we can feel easily tense, anxious, angry or frustrated when our brain and muscles suffer from inadequate oxygen supply to function properly physically, mentally and emotionally.
Place your hands at your belly and to breathe deeply, as you inhale draw air into the lungs in a way which will expand the stomach and not the chest. It is best to perform these breaths as long, slow intakes of air – allowing the body to absorb all of the inhaled oxygen while simultaneously relaxing the breather. This method calms the nervous system, our thoughts and combined with conscious thoughts to relax the neck, jaw and dropping the shoulders down from the ears – presto ‘instant calm’ in a few breathes!
Stress Management Strategy #5:
Acknowledge their Current Emotional State
I love teaching emotional intelligence to kids, its where they empower themselves by understanding their own emotions and make conscious choices about their thoughts and subsequently how they feel about themselves and how they relate to others. A skill that changes lives and stays with them to cope with any challenge in life.
Which is why we developed our ‘5 Step Emotional Intelligence program’ to help guide students to relax and have emotional freedom. Equip them with tools to shift out of anxious, stressed or even depressed states of being.
So one technique we use a lot to ground our students’ thoughts and worries is to lie in ‘happy crocodile’ pose, express how were a currently feeling with their facial expressions, and let their teacher acknowledge and connect with how they feel. It gives the students an opportunity to express how they feel and to be heard, respecting that everyone is an equal in the classroom – before we move forward as a team to learn new topics.
Stress Management Strategy #6:
You would have watched our Yogafun teachers use our guided meditation CD’s many times during my Yogafun programs to transform any student of any mental or emotional state into a blissful and relaxed state in a matter of minutes. It is easily one of the most powerful strategies to implement in conjunction with the expertise of our yoga therapy trained teachers. Use a guided meditation every day after lunch to settle their active minds and bodies.
To get your free guided meditation for your classroom, simply go to www.conniemah.com/free-cd to get your copy today.
Stress Management Strategy #7:
Stress Management Plan
A Stress Management plan is a series of specially designed activities embedded in the everyday routine of the classroom day that make evident that the teachers and students are in full control of the stress levels and productivity in the classroom learning environment.
Its aim is to first educate how to relax their minds, keep their bodies healthy and then be more emotionally and socially aware to manage their own thoughts and feelings.
Stress management plans are one of the most effective strategies to reduce bullying, anxiety and stress in schools that would typically help students who are academically driven, sports achievers and/or students with ADHD, Autism or Aspergers.
Every school, without fail must have a stress management plan working in the background on a daily basis to develop resilience, confidence and strong self care/management skills for their teachers and students, not only for the short term but the longer term.
“There Are Always Easy & Simple Ways to Create Calm & Focus in your Classrooms”
I guarantee you right now that there are techniques that will instantly help your students to settle and focus easily – you just haven’t found which techniques work for you and your class, to relax their body and minds to increase productivity in your classroom yet.
With powerful strategies to create an instantly calm and focused class in just a few minutes and stress management techniques that will keep your classrooms relaxed and productive – the ‘Yogafun Basics’ Foundation Training workshop can help.
Until next time,
Founder & Director of Yogafun