Tuesday during the fifth grade Team Time, Behavior Interventionist Melissa Harrison spoke to the kids about Overcoming Anxiety.
The session had a simple yet deep approach. Together they discussed what it means to overcome, and what anxiety is. They talked about the history of the energy known as anxiety, and thinking of it as a signal that something is important. They talked about moments when we feel it, and where in our bodies we feel it.
Then they talked about the nature of, and examples of, tools. They talked about shifting our thinking – away from something we are (anxious), and toward making anxiety a tool we can use toward a goal. Together they thanked anxiety. They practiced breathing into the spot where we feel anxiety, and using our breath to let it pass through our bodies and out. They practiced poses that help make anxiety a tool, and they experienced the mind-altering power of simply smiling. Finally, they worked on helping someone else who is experiencing anxiety.
Mrs. Harrison’s program was helpful and insightful, and the kids were brilliantly in touch with these feelings, descriptions and strategies. Ask a 5th grader what he or she understands about anxiety, and how they will use the information they discussed. They could probably give us all some good advice! School guidance counselor Julie Benson brought Melissa Harrison in with funding from the Boxford PTO.