Thursday, 2 May 2013

Stress Busting Workshop - How One Hour Helped with Exam Stress in a Junior School

As tempted as I was to break open the bubbly and celebrate the end of my alcohol free month, I refrained so I had a clear head for the start of my May resolution challenge.

'Do Something I've Never Done Before.'

On paper this challenge was going to be fairly straight forward.  I have a VERY long bucket list and all I needed to do was to choose my favourite four, but the Universe had other ideas and suddenly my well laid plans were up in the air.

I can't complain though as the challenge which presented itself to me was:-
  1. Definitely something I've never done before
  2. An opportunity I couldn't pass up
When I originally wrote my challenge list I selfishly included things I knew I would enjoy (it is my list after all) even if I knew they would push me in some way.  So which of my favourite things could I include in my challenge? 

  • I enjoy spending time with my kids and find all children hold that spark of magic and a wonderful imagination, maybe I crave that simple life and therefore long to revert back to my own youth?
  • My passion is writing, but as anyone who knows me will tell you, I can talk for England.
  • I love my job and I am devoted to helping my clients be the best they can be by running personal development workshops on a range of self-help techniques.
So when an opportunity arose to talk about my job in a bid to help an entire junior school year group I jumped at the chance.

This is how I ended up running my first Stress Busting Workshop for year 6 at my local Junior

As my own daughter is struggling to cope with the anxiety of sitting her SATs I felt a responsibility to these children who, aged just 10 and 11, are coping with an ever changing world, a mix of emotions and anxieties and raging hormones which they are struggling to understand.

Out of all the self-help techniques I offer my clients I decided to use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) with the children and based my entire talk on 'Tapping' to release their fears, anger and worries prior to their tests.  With a move to Secondary school also on the horizon we covered their feelings towards this.

So what on Earth is Tapping?

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a simple energy therapy which enables you to free yourself from emotional negativity.  Our body operates in harmony with our energy system and when this energy is distrupted we experience blocks.  Any imbalance in the body's energy system can have profound effects on our personal psychology.  A distressing memory causes a negative emotion and this in turn can manifest as a physical illness.

It's founder, Gary Craig, recognised that tapping on the end points of the body's energy meridians was effective in relieving these blocks and releasing negative emotions and memories which may have plagued us for years.

Deep rooted issues are always best handled with the support of a qualified EFT practitioner, you can find a local therapist through the AAMET website.

Children take to this therapy very quickly and I therefore knew that my presentation would need to be quick and fun so I didn't lose my audience.  I included a variety of exercises and tied this in with relevant key stage curriculum links to enhance their learning.  I introduced my bear, Ray who was happy to have stickers attached to him to show the tapping points.

It was a huge success and the children were amazing.  They got involved with the practical side of the workshop and volunteered where necessary.  When I asked them to suggest emotions we could work on they provided me with a variety of feelings including being stressed, bored, nervous, scared and even excited.  They were a credit to their school and a pleasure to work with.

Running through the presentation prior to their arrival, in a bid to ensure I didn't let the children down, I had rehearsed and rehearsed the slides so much that the practise tapping I did on myself totally chilled me out and I was able to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

What an incredible way to start my May challenge. 

I do love to plan and organise and I am an avid list maker but the one lesson I have learnt during my resolution challenge is to be wide open to opportunities as some of them could just change your life.

What opportunities have presented themselves to you, where they a surprise?  How did you feel and did it change you in any way?

I would love to hear your stories.  Please remember when posting a comment to choose a 'Comment As' from the drop down box so the whole world can see what awesome things you have to say. 

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