Release How to release these feelings

Now you need to work out how to release your feelings appropriately. There are three main ways to release feelings: biochemical (direct or indirect), verbal (direct or indirect), and physical (direct or indirect) release. Remember, it doesn't matter what you use, as long as it works!


You should not consider pharmaceutical drugs of any kind unless it's an emergency.

Direct: Bach Rescue Remedy, St John's Wort (check with your doctor); Indirect: Comfort food, dark chocolate (70+ percent), aromatherapy, chamomile tea.


The simplest way to release your emotional pain is to inform the bully how you feel about the bullying. If this is unsafe, then inform someone else about the bullying to get support. Either way, you obtain immediate feedback. This shows you whether they care or not about your feelings, and it shows that you take responsibility for your feelings, and leaves the door open to resolution. It gives a clear message without blaming and shaming. This is very easy for some people but difficult for others, and may depend on your family and culture. You need to practise the 'I' word with an adult.

Direct: To bully: 'I'm upset when you make fun bully to stop.'

'I'm happy you include me in your group.' Indirect: To your parent: 'I'm angry about the of those kids.'

of my family.'

'I'm angry that you take my rulers and pencils.' To a student: 'I'm sad that you can't tell the mean kid who teases me.'

'I'm frightened that I'll be laughed at in front

To your teacher/counsellor: 'I'd like you to stop those kids bullying me.' 'Please speak to X about not pushing me in the yard.'

Safety instructions

Be aware that some kids don't mean to hurt, while others do want to hurt you. If you confront nasty bullies - e.g.'I don't like you being mean to me' or 'I'm very angry at you for spreading rumours behind my back' - they will be happy. They want you to be upset, then they can bully you again, laugh in your face or say mean things like, 'Piss off'. So only confront unkind bullies who aren't always mean.

Kids activity

Bonus verbal tricks

• Find somewhere safe to yell: your bedroom, the car, into a cushion, in the shower.

• Sound out the words you feel very slowly, emphasising and stressing each letter at a time, e.g. SCARED, say: SSS...CCC...AAA...RRR...EEE...DDD. Try words such as: ANGRY, SHOCKED, MISERABLE, DEPRESSED, FURIOUS, EMBARRASSED. This is a simple way to release feelings.

• Swear in other languages and create nonsense swear words - you can't get into trouble if no-one understands you.

Many children don't like talking about their feelings, especially boys. However, the biochemical hormones causing your pain need to be released even though it's difficult, otherwise the bully (and his gang) knows you are vulnerable. If you were feeling bad and went for a very long walk, a bike ride or climbed the stairs of a 50-storey building, you might feel physically tired, but you'd be less angry, tense or upset than before. Perhaps you've seen a really funny movie and laughed until your sides hurt - any painful feelings you had beforehand would have vanished.

When you do something physical, you breathe in a lot ofoxygen. This sets up a biochemical chain reaction in your body and neutralises your painful feelings.

It's impossible to feel as bad as you did


• Check your comfort score. Everyone knows what it's like to feel hungry, thirsty or needing the toilet. If you're feeling peckish, you might snack, but if you're very hungry you need a real meal. If you're in the mood for something sweet, one chocolate might do, but if you're feeling blue, you might binge on a whole packet of biscuits. Some people snack every few hours while others only eat at meal times. Thus, if you are a little sad or annoyed, e.g. 3/10, it won't affect your behaviour very much. But if you are feeling a 4/10 or more, it affects your behaviour and makes a bully happy. You need to release these painful feelings as soon as possible to feel comfortable inside. Then you can take action to block a bully and enjoy life.

• How often? Plan how often you need to release your pain. If you're not very sad, bad or mad, you can release it three times a day, such as at morning, lunchtime and after school. If your pain is above 7/10 every day, then release it five times a day. If your score is very high, e.g. 9/10, release every two hours to prevent emotional build-up. Once you feel safe or less discomfort, e.g. 3/10, you can just release at the weekend.

before. Your caveman ancestors released feelings through physical activity all the time. So did kids before electronic 'blah blah' was invented. There are many simple activities or exercises that release painful feelings. Anything is good as long as it works. Adults need to encourage and supervise you.

Indirect. Do a visualisation exercise, play basketball, stack wood, wash the car.

Direct: Hit a cushion, kick a ball, throw darts, lift weights.

• Quick fixes: You'll need some quick techniques for feeling better during the school day, e.g. take ten deep breaths, do a brief visualisation (of happy holiday times, for instance) or cuddle your teddy bear. These techniques have to work in class, in the school grounds and on your way to and from school.

• Collect a variety: You need a variety of techniques to use, depending on your mood and what's happening at the time. Some are useful everywhere, including school, while others take time and are more suitable at home and on weekends, e.g. a bike ride, reading, hobbies. You can invent your own techniques and ask other people for suggestions. In this book there are lots of ideas - choose what feels right for you. Although some appear basic and simple, they work for very traumatised people and may help you.

Release your anger

• Exercise, walk, jog, run, swim, skip, hit, throw, stretch, do push-ups, punch, kick.

• Blow up balloons, play with marbles, tear up newspaper.

• Squeeze hard plasticine, clay or stuffed toys, crack walnuts open with your hands.

• Throw chunks of ice or corks; throw a wrapped bar of chocolate and then eat the pieces.

• Go somewhere quiet and cool down.

• Use a punching bag (fill with sand, or stuff a hessian bag with wet newspaper and let it dry).

• Write bad things down and burn the paper in a safe place (with parental help).

• Listen to loud music, play a musical instrument loudly, sing or whistle.

• Do some energetic dancing, e.g. Spanish, Irish or tap dancing.

• Get a plain calico doll that you can throw, draw on, stamp on, stab, burn - just pretend it's the bully!

• Learn martial arts, e.g. karate, Tai Kwon Do or judo.

• Add your own favourite techniques...

Deal with your stress and anxiety

• Do instant deep breathing.

• Relax physically and mentally with yoga or Tai Chi.

• Give and receive a massage (if alone, massage your feet and hands).

• Have a bubble bath or use essential oils.

• Hold crystals, a stress ball, a teddy bear, jewellery, prayer beads.

• Remember times when you felt really happy.

• Go shopping: buy a little treat, e.g. a small bag of mixed sweets.

• Exercise: gym, aerobics, run up and down lots of stairs.

• Find a new hobby - knitting or doing a jigsaw releases tension.

• Do some pet therapy: play with a pet, keep goldfish.

• Be with friends: have fun, read joke books, cartoons, watch funny videos, play games.

• Delegate your worries: use worry dolls at night.

• Visualise, e.g. journey in your mind to a special calming place.

• Add your own favourite techniques...

Deal with your sadness

• Release tears: peel an onion, eat hot chilli peppers or horseradish.

• Listen to sad music, watch a sad movie, read/write sad poems.

• Do more pet therapy - watch birds, fish; visit the zoo or a pet shop.

• Meditate somewhere serene: a church, synagogue, mosque, cemetery.

• Do nature therapy: burn a candle or incense; watch a fire, a fountain, the sea.

• Do hug therapy: spend time with caring people.

• Go somewhere peaceful - near running water, a garden, the beach.

• Do an instinctive exercise: wrap your arms around yourself and rock slowly, backwards and forwards.

• Enjoy comfort food or drink (in moderation), e.g. chocolate, chicken soup, chips, tea.

• Add your own favourite techniques.

Feeling happy and positive

• Make a 'feelgood' list: enjoyable clothes, games, perfume, cuddly toy, good magazines, sweets, cubby house, hobbies, jewellery.

• Do something different, e.g. try different chocolate, change your hairstyle, redecorate your bedroom, go to school another way.

• Spend time doing enjoyable activities, e.g. sport, dancing, games, Internet chat.

• Find things that make you smile and laugh.

• Say or do something nice for someone else and check their reaction, e.g. smile at five people.

• Spend time with friends or family who are cheerful, fun and caring.

• If no-one is free, then phone someone from class you don't know very well and chat about schoolwork

• Count up to five nice things people have said to you recently.

• Say nice things to yourself, e.g. 'I love me', 'I'm the best', or do something physically caring, e.g. give yourself a hug or a kiss.

• Fantasise about wonderful things happening to you very soon.

• Add your own favourite techniques...

Key points

■ Bullying makes targets feel very bad, sad and mad.

■ These negative feelings influence your behaviours.

■ Release painful feelings to stop bullying.

What to do

• You need to identify, quantify and release your feelings.

• Release feelings biochemically, verbally and physically.

• Develop a variety of techniques.

• Maintain a comfortable emotional state by releasing as often as appropriate.

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