Create a worry machine

Published Categorized as anxiety, emotional literacy, Worry

I created this worry machine a while ago for World Book Day, setting children the task of creating one for themselves. The idea is to draw a worry machine with several places where coping strategies can be put into the machine so that the worry gets ‘processed’ and the metaphorical, ‘calm juice’ comes out of the other end from where the worry was put in.

The coping strategies I offered children for them to select from included the following:

Are there any questions you can

ask about the situation that’s

bothering you as often having

more information helps?

   Talk to someone who listens

well, about your worry.

   Picture the worry getting

tiny and disappearing into

the distance.

Sit quietly and focus on

breathing and imagine

a calming green mist

swirling around you.

Listen to some music

you like.

   Think of a friend who

probably  would not

have this worry and imagine

being them.

Think of another time you

worried and it all turned

out just fine!

Allow ten minutes of

worrying and then

tell yourself STOP.

Write down your worries

and then screw them up.

Go for a fast walk or

do lots of star jumps if

you can’t get outside.

Take three deep breaths

every time the worry

pops into your head.

Search inside your body

and notice where you

are feeling the worry.

Ask yourself if there’s anything

you can actually do to

help sort out what

you are worrying about.

Remember you can’t always

know what will happen

in the future but that is fine.

Think of a time in the future

when you won’t be worrying

about this worry.

…just in case any of you want to have a go.

Of course we should never assume children have not worked out their own self-soothing strategies, so they should be given the opportunity to include any of their own ideas too,