The Goal: To release the tension surrounding a stressful situation and approach it with a clearer mind — without worrying about having a filter, explaining, or saying things “the right way.”

Short SEL

Indigo Indicators: Internal: Managing Stress, Resiliency
CASEL Competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management
Ramp Behavior Standard: B-SS 9 Demonstrates social maturity and behaviors appropriate to the situation and environment


  • Notebook paper
  • Something to write with

It’s a natural part of life to face situations that aren’t entirely comfortable for you. In fact, each of these circumstances is a chance to find new strengths within you!

Step 1: Think of any situation in your life that is less than ideal and causing you stress. It does not have to be a high stress situation.

Step 2: Write down all of the things about this situation that makes it feel complicated for you. Imagine yourself releasing the tension into the paper. Write and keep the pen moving, even if you’re not making perfect sense, until there is a natural pause.

Step 3: When you feel that you are “done,” (no more than 10 minutes), rip up your papers into tiny pieces. Imagine all of your stress poured out onto the page. Letting out all thoughts on the paper, symbolically, moves the stress onto the paper. The point of this is to try to express the tension you feel from your experience of the situation in order to allow you to approach it free of the original stress of the matter. Rip up your papers and throw away the pieces to release the stress.

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