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  • nstraza

Supporting Emotional Regulation in Class

Updated: Apr 5

I'm an ADHD kid.

I was the kid always being told to sit down, be quiet, sit still, hold on, wait up, slow down, hurry up... well.. you get the point.

Regulation was not something I learned.

Compliance was non-negotiable.

I was well into my adult years before I realized that my ability to "make myself do something" was nearly impossible and that having a threat, looming deadline or fear of getting in trouble (something external) was the only way I changed or motivated myself. I had not learned skills of self-regulation.

Fast forward a bunch of years, a bunch of counselling, some faith, some radical changes, some hardship and some yoga and I began to discover my own power to choose. To have influence over what occupied my mental real estate, over my physical state and over my reactions. I am far from "all there" but I have learned through many small steps how to embrace personal responsibility, regulation and awareness.

That is why I have created Mind & Body Intentions, and expression of tools from my own journey that I wish I had been given as a child.

1) Mindset Matters: It doesn't happen overnight, but our mind if left to it's own devices, unmanaged and unquestioned will lead to very poor mental health!

Healthy mindset includes gratitude, healthy visualization, awareness of our own self talk, intentional self-coaching and tons of practice.

Placing our thoughts in a healthy place on purpose builds muscle memory. Practice in the trivial, builds muscle memory in the trial. Mind management skills help support good mental health. Period.

2) Word Matter: Our brain is always listening to our words and working

to make our commentary a reality. We need to choose our words on purpose.

Science has shown that even something as simple as saying our own name out loud and coaching ourselves to a better place or encouraging ourselves has profound impact that simply saying the words without our name doesn't have.

Learning to self-compassion in the way we speak to and about ourselves is difficult but crucial in the building of our own narrative.

3) Movement Matters: The evidence is mounting around how important moving and exercise is to our physical and mental health. Strategies like stretches, tapping, neurovascular holds and cardio are all ways to help us regulate the physiology that often dictates our reactions. Our body never forgets, but our body can also re-learn.

When we practice these three individually we build small steps towards regulation, when we add mindset, mantra and movement together there is synergistic power that helps us embody regulation not just participate in it. THIS is the power of Mind & Body Intentions. We set our mind and our mouth and our body towards an intention and we practice. We try different combinations of techniques until we find ones that work for us.

This brand new resource offers teachers and parents a simple way to practice over 80 regulation strategies in mindset, mantra and movement. These strategies when coupled with meaningful connection and friendship in the classroom have ability to strengthen regulation skills and give kids the power the feel they don't have. I hope you find this learning as transformative as I have.

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