Sometimes feelings can be overwhelming.  It is helpful to give children a box of tools to use in those moments when they would like to re-focus and shift their thoughts in order to feel better. 

Sweep it Out is a tool that can be used to shift your thoughts to a more productive place.  It is important to recognize that strong emotions are messages that the body sends in order for us to learn more about ourselves.  However,  it is beneficial to learn tools, such as Sweep it Out, to shift negative energy, transforming it into a higher level of awareness.

It is possible to feel better by letting go of thoughts that are “feeding” anger or contractive emotions and by shifting  focus to more productive thoughts that make you feel better when you think them.   Repetition is a key ingredient that helps you to stick to your intention to sweep out thoughts that aren’t feeling good.   Sweep it Out allows children to let go of thoughts that are not currently serving and to embrace thoughts that are conducive to a more positive experience in the moment.

Sweep It Out
1.  Select a thought that you wish to sweep out of your mind.    For example, “I stink at volleyball”.
2.  Imagine that you can think that thought into the palm of your hand  (that it is leaving your brain, exiting your body, and lands on the palm of your hand).
3.  Imagine that a burst of air and a magic broom comes along and sweeps this thought out of your hand and far, far away from you.  You might have to imagine bringing back that burst of air and broom several times to sweep it away before it really seems that it is gone.  Keep sweeping it until you can no longer feel it inside your mind and it seems to have flown far away.  You will know it is going away when you start to feel better.
4.  Imagine a shower of golden light comes in and takes the space of the old thought.  This is the spring cleaning of your brain, preparing space for new information, new thoughts that feel good.
5.  Now you get to replace the thought with a thought that feels better.  For example, “I try my best at volleyball practice every day.  Everyday I am getting better at volleyball.  I find just the tools or help I need in order to improve my volleyball skills.”
6.  Keep repeating these thoughts over and over and notice how you are feeling. Make a little song out of the new thought, imagine it in cartoon words, or dance it  across a stage.   When you begin to feel better, you know that you have successfully swept it out!

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Filed under All Relaxation Activities, Emotional Regulation, Guided Imagery