Children and school staff in Learnful Schools watched this video to learn about dealing with unpleasant feelings.

Watch the video, then read the comments and insights they made below!

Here’s what children (and adults) in Learnful Schools were honest enough to share about what they do with unpleasant feelings that visit them:

  • Scream/Shout
  • Bite a pillow
  • Slam hand
  • Jump up and down
  • Listen to sad music
  • Sleep
  • We turn round and find someone else to shout at because nothing is going right for us.
  • We blame others and say that they played the game wrong or cheated.
  • Quite a few of us get cross (including me) or we say that we didn’t want to play anyway.
  • We talked about the fact that it can take some of us a long time to calm down and we end up sulking.
  • Take ourself away from others
  • Blame other people
  • Throw things
  • Run around
  • Talk to our parents
  • Hurt myself (only a little by scratching arm or pulling hair)
  • Sit in darkness
  • Write down what is upsetting me and throw it away
  • Draw
  • Play games to calm down
  • Do something I like (gymnastics)
  • Break things
  • Cry/sob
  • Punch/hit
  • Take revenge
  • Push people
  • Throw a tantrum
  • Fight
  • Pull angry faces

What a list, hey?

How many of those do you do? And, how many of your pupils do these too?

A few of these behaviours are clearly pre-cursors to more serious mental health issues that an increasing number of individuals are experiencing:

– Self-harm
– Bullying
– Depression
– Withdrawal


Display the words:

and also the opposite:

…and sort which of the actions listed above match which word(s).

Hopefully, this will generate some healthy discussions and you can share any questions, comments and insights with me by emailing

For the teachers reading this, this links to your Mental Health PSHE statements of:
KS1: H13. how feelings can affect people’s bodies and how they behave
KS2: H20. strategies to respond to feelings, including intense or conflicting feelings; how to manage and respond to feelings appropriately and proportionately in different situations

Now, what we all want is to feel as happy we can as much of the time.

This does not mean we NEVER experience unpleasant feelings. We will.

So what we can do is find as many healthyhelpfulsafe and appropriate actions as possible to help us when we’re being visited by an unpleasant feeling.

Luckily, some helpful and very wise children in Learnful Schools have been kind enough to share some strategies that they have learnt to use:

  • Deep Breathing or Square Breathing
  • Taking ourselves out of the situation
  • Be alone to think about the situation
  • Talk to friends/family
  • Play with our pets
  • Read a book – escape the real world into our ‘book world’
  • Write in a diary
  • Draw/Think about all the things that went well (mostly sport related)
  • Sport related – supporting one another (team) praising the things that we did well and how we can improve next time.
  • Think about things that make them happy
  • Punch the air
  • Have a time out from the classroom to calm down
  • Walk it off
  • Talk through our emotions

Told you they were wise and helpful didn’t I!

Do you have anything else you would add to this list?

Learnful Schools also recommends stomping, journalling and shaking/moving the body.

The important thing to do if we want to transform and empower young people is to provide regular varied and creative practices of these positive, helpful, healthy and safe actions. A few minutes, each day is all it takes.

Learnful Schools provides these daily practices and emotional awareness activities for primary schools. It makes it easy for staff by providing them with CPD each day too, they are learning on the job! It’s simple and easy to use direct in class with minimal or no preparation for staff. It follows PSHE links for Mental Health and also provides practices that cover many curriculum areas (science, art , literacy, sport, music etc).

For more info about Learnful Schools visit, book a virtual chat or send us an email to

You can share any comments, questions or observations by connecting and following me at:
Twitter: @LearnfulwithJo
Facebook: @learnfulwithjobradley
Instagram: @learnfulwithjo
Linked In: Jo Bradley

😊 Jo

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