The PBIS World Book

Teach Relaxation Techniques

Why should I do it:

  • Students can get overwhelmed easily
  • Many students want to be successful but haven’t yet developed all the skills, which can lead to anxiety/frustration
  • Everyone needs a break every once in a while
  • Provides students a way to manage their own feelings and emotions
  • Increases instructional time when students can calm themselves and utilize coping skills, like relaxation
  • Improves student focus and attention
  • Helps refocus and refresh students
  • Has positive physiological benefits, like improved blood flow, oxygen levels, and endorphin levels, as well as decreased cortisol or “stress hormone” levels

When should I do it:

  • When you see a student becoming frustrated (banging things, groaning, crying, refusing to do work)
  • When a student is involved in a mild confrontation with another student
  • When student has a lot of work to do
  • When a student appears, tense, uptight, anxious
  • When a student is having a “bad day”
  • When a student appears uncomfortable
  • When a student has become unfocused and off task

How do I do it:

  • Take time to speak with the individual student alone or teach the entire class the relaxation techniques they will use in class
  • Assure student that everyone gets stressed/frustrated/worried/ overwhelmed
  • Teach the student to know when they are stressed, frustrated, worried, overwhelmed, etc (some common answers are: clench fists, breathe heavily, cry, sweat)
  • Teach student when they feel stressed, frustrated, upset, etc, to ask to go relax
  • Practice the first time with the student or class
  • Establish where, when, and how students will initiate and carry out a break to relax (establish where in or out of the room students will do it, if there will be one or more choices of relaxation techniques to choose from, how they ask to take a relaxation break, how long they are, how may and which students may do them, etc)
  • Practical relaxation techniques for students:
    • Deep Breathing
    • Count to 10
    • Write in a journal
    • Draw
    • Color
    • Scribble
    • Read
    • Visualization
    • Listen to music or nature sounds
    • Take a break

Resources & Support for technique: