Rip It Up
For this one you will actually need a piece of paper and something to write with. For the piece of paper it does need to be a scrap piece of paper, anything that you can dispose of.
All right so this strategy is kind of an oldie but goodie. Actually, I used to use this, I realized I did it like a long time ago, probably like high school. And I hadn't done it as an adult. Then when I did it again as an adult, I realized how incredibly powerful it really is. I realized it's because of our thinking traps. We let our minds tell us how we're supposed to feel. We do that all of the time. We get trapped with the shoulds a lot, right? I should feel this way or I shouldn't feel that way. Instead of actually acknowledging how we do feel. And the problem with this is that it doesn't help us feel better. And most of the time it actually makes us feel a lot worse, especially when it comes to stress and anxiety.
But if we give ourselves a second, or just a few minutes, to acknowledge how we actually feel - like I feel really stressed out or I feel really frustrated with this - and we let ourselves feel it, even for just a bit, we actually feel significantly better. But instead we let our minds take over and we brush over it or we bottle it up. And especially when it comes to stress and anxiety that does nothing good for our mental health.
So today we're gonna let ourselves feel it. We're going to acknowledge it. But we're not going to dwell on it. And I want to take just a second to distinguish that difference of acknowledging versus dwelling. Okay so acknowledging it - we let ourselves acknowledge that feeling of stress, anger, frustration, sadness (those things that we tend to kind of categorize as kind of those negative emotions) so that we can move forward. So that we can feel better again. That's the healthy way of acknowledging those feelings.
Letting ourselves feel it because it is okay to not be okay. That's important. We want to feel it so that we can move forward.
The dwelling on it is when we get stuck. When you get stuck in the negativity.It's when you lie constantly complain about it, or you get stuck in that place where you can't see beyond it. And that's where we don't want to be. That's where it gets to be really unhealthy. hat's where it can lead to if you do just keep brushing over it or you keep bottling up. That's what we don't want to have happen, right? So that's why it is really important that we acknowledge it.
So this is like a baby step of acknowledging it. What we're going to do here today. With that piece of paper and your pen or pencil, I just want you to spend a minute or two (or the nice thing about a video right is however much time you want to spend on it) writing down some of those things that are weighing you down right now. Whatever feeling is bringing you stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, sadness. Don't worry about how you're writing it. Nobody else is going to see it. Maybe it's bullets, words, random things, it could be a person or people, situations, events, or just trigger words. Whatever it might be for you at this time, this moment, right now.
Take that time for you to acknowledge how you are feeling right now and just get it all out on that piece of paper. Acknowledge it, let yourself feel it. Take as much time as you need with that. Once you are done with it, this is the really cathartic part of it is you're going to physically either crumble it up or rip it up. I'm a big fan of the ripping it up for a couple of reasons. One, kind of the teacher part of me really likes to like get rid of the evidence, right? You don't want anybody to see what you just wrote. But the actual mental health part of it is that it feels really good to actually rip it up.
Tear up that negative emotion, that negativity, that event, the situation, whatever it is that's bringing you down. Tear it up. Get rid of it. Don't let it weigh you down anymore. Tear it up and then throw it away to physically move on. Now I know when you are going through some big stuff - which you very well could be - this one act is not gonna just ike make that weight completely disappear.
So keep talking to friends, family, professionals in your life to help you deal with it and to help you continue to move on. But I hope in this moment, right now, it helps get the weight a little lighter for you. And for some of the just everyday stresses that we feel, hopefully this helps remove some of that weight for you at least for right now.
It's a great act to do with students as well if they're feeling particular stress before big events, big tests, things going on in their lives too. Whenever they're having worries it can help just make you breathe a little bit easier, make you realize that you can do this! Because you've got this! You're not alone! Have a great day!