Emotional Regulation: Five Breath Success

“Mrs. Gillen!” exclaimed a fifth grade boy, running up to me as I arrived at school one day this past week. “I have to tell you what happened!”

This student has struggled with attention difficulties yet just recently moved from the behavior classroom to regular education for a major part of the day. Indeed, he’s worked hard on managing his intense feelings – what he calls his “ring of fire.” He describes it as a place he must learn to move through in order to be successful.

“What happened?” I asked.

“I was at my baseball game on Saturday. We were playing in the field behind our school. I was up to bat and the bases were loaded with two out. I had two strikes and it was my last chance to score for our team – and you know what I did?!” He had a huge smile on his face.

“No,” I said, “What did you do?”

“Well,” he continued, “I looked over at the red door to your room, and I thought about the things you tell us. Then I took FIVE DEEP BREATHS. That’s it – just FIVE DEEP BREATHS! And guess what? I slammed the ball and got three players in! That’s all it took – just FIVE DEEP BREATHS.” He stood tall, his chest puffed out a bit. He was absolutely beaming.

I smiled and said, “Thanks for telling me that story. That made my day.”

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