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2 March 2022

How elephants can help control our emotions

When it comes to dealing with big emotions, a big animal might help. Blackfriars…

When it comes to dealing with big emotions, a big animal might help.

Blackfriars Student Counsellor Dianne Bucciarelli and Psychologist Carlo Tropiano last week visited Claire Holland’s Year 4 class, sharing techniques to help the boys deal with “big feelings”.

The boys practised “elephant breathing”, to calm their bodies and clear their minds. They also learnt the “Take 5 Breathing” technique (see pictures below).

“You feel better when you get along with or you communicate with the people around you, particularly your friends,” Mr Tropiano said.

“But if you’re on your own and might be feeling a little bit nervous … there are some other things you can try on your own, to calm yourself down.

“When we’re feeling nervous, or anxious, your breathing is really, really important.”

Ms Bucciarelli said controlling your breathing was “an easy thing to do so a big problem becomes a smaller problem”.

Mr Tropiano said the boys needed to discover what worked for them to help control their emotions.

“I might go for a walk, exercise,” he said.

“Sometimes you might be in class and sometimes you get angry and you might just need to take five minutes to yourself. Walk away, step away, take some time to think and just be on your own, in your own thoughts.”

Blackfriars’ counselling service can assist student with a range of issues, including mood disturbances, friendship troubles, family conflict, relationships, substance abuse, grief and loss and study support.

For more information, see the Wellbeing Handbook, or book a counselling appointment via the “Counselling Referral” tab on SEQTA (under “Parent”).