Strategies For Managing Feelings |Resource | Jigsaw Schools Hub |
Strategies for managing feelings

Identifying some helpful strategies for managing difficult feelings is an important part of good mental health.

Learning intentions

  • Discover and try out new techniques for managing difficult feelings
  • Discuss the difference between these techniques
  • Recognise that different strategies will work for different people
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Junior level

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ACE technique


The ACE technique is a tool for grounding when caught up with difficult thoughts or feelings.

‘A’ refers to accept how you are feeling
‘C’ refers to come back into your body
‘E’ refers to engage fully with what you are doing.


4 x 4 breathing technique

4×4 breathing is a technique that supports us to slow our breathing. This encourages our heart rate to drop telling our body and brain it’s OK to relax. We then start to feel more calm.

Ask the class to follow the animation, encouraging them to breathe deeply from the belly.

Class discussion

After trying both techniques as a class, invite students to compare and contrast between the ‘ACE’ technique and 4×4 breathing.

Below are some questions to begin the discussion:

  • What did you like/dislike about the ‘ACE’ technique?
  • What did you like/dislike about 4×4 breathing?
  • Did you notice any difference in how you felt, emotionally or physically, after each exercise?
  • Which technique would you be more likely to use in a stressful situation?
  • Do you know of any other techniques that can be helpful for managing difficult feelings?
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