Recently my teen was in the kitchen, making careless mistakes, dragging his feet, reacting, etc. So, I asked, “Hey bud, what’s up?” He grumbled that he was fine. He continued spilling stuff, forgetting the stove was on, wasn’t responding to reminders, so I asked him, “How are you feeling?” He went into a long explanation of the circumstance. I asked again about how he feels about it. He continued with describing others, blaming them, projecting…and I asked him again to describe how this is making him feel.
It was challenging for him to find the words to express his feelings. He was getting distracted with the expansion of the situation instead of focusing on the seed. I sat with him to make a chart of feelings, one side was the feeling and the other the result/manifestation of this feeling. It was easier for him to see the second column, that of the result, and needed support to go back and find the feeling he was in that led to the manifestation. We did this several times together for both positive and negative feelings. He is a visual learner, so it helped him see the cause and effect. He could see that if he wanted a certain outcome, he would have to create and sustain specific feelings. If he wanted to change his behaviour, he would have to accept the negative feelings he was in to transform them into positive.
Here is an example:
This is something that can be done from a very young age with illustrations that show them acting from a place of negativity and positivity. It is especially important during these times when most are struggling to find healthy physical and emotional outlets. For parents and teachers, make a chart yourself and work on it for a few weeks before introducing it to your children/students.
Enjoy and let me know how this tool works for you.