Emily Stone, LICSW, social worker and Senior Clinical Strategist at Mightier
We all try to keep our cool when a challenge comes up.
Whether it is in a stressful work meeting, talking to a friend who has a different opinion than yours, or your child screaming in line at the grocery store- we have all been in scenarios where it has been in our best interest to stay calm.
Keeping our cool certainly comes with many benefits like keeping our relationships strong, showing professionalism at work, and leading by example for our kids. While the ability to stay calm helps us get through our day, sometimes keeping your cool is really hard to do, and that’s okay.
One of my favorite parts of being a social worker is allowing people to lose their cool in a session. If you or your child has ever been in therapy, you know that therapy is a space where you can talk about anything. People often contain their emotions throughout the week and therapy is the only space where they can let go and just be.
Have you ever bottled up a feeling and waited for a time to talk about it with someone you trust? Oftentimes, when you finally get the chance to talk about what is going on, it feels like a big sigh of relief. Finding the time to do this, however, can be really difficult.
This is especially true for kids. The pressure to keep it cool can be exhausting and can lead to suppressing big feelings that need to come out. Restraining these feelings is often what leads to more intense emotions later down the line and can lead to things like fights, arguments, or shutting down.
Everyone needs time and a space to express their feelings and lose their cool in a productive and safe way.
It’s a great way to increase emotional capacity. Slowly releasing big feelings throughout the day prevents a massive build-up and explosion of emotions later.
Kids express and learn through play. Some helpful ways for kids to release big emotions can be activities like:
- Arts and crafts (particularly painting or clay)
- Playing a sport
- Imaginative/ pretend play
- Jumping on a trampoline or playing with a jump rope
- Talking to a trusted friend or family member
- Playing with Legos or K’nex
- Race or play tag with someone