Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators Book Study

Online Book Study to Help You Remember Your "WHY"

This month's facts about stress:
Did you know that researchers estimate that 10% of teachers suffer from depression, which is higher than the suspected national average of 6.7%?
Teachers with depression struggle to develop a healthy classroom climate, spend less time engaging with children, and are less attentive to their relationships.
*If this book study makes you realize that you need further discussion, please use your summer to reach out and help yourself. We want you to be your happiest, healthiest self!

(This will count for 1 Trade Out Day in 2019)

*Remember that you will need to bring your journal/folder to your summative conference as evidence in order to receive credit for the Trade Out Day. Keep notes/activities in your journal.


Understanding emotions - accepting them and having strategies to respond to them _ is essential to cultivate resilience. With an understanding of emotions, you can accept their existence, recognize where you can influence a situation, and let go of what is outside your control.

This month we have many videos to choose from! Get ready to YouTube and chill (and learn)!

Take a moment to consider these questions:
  • How comfortable are you thinking about and talking about emotions?
  • How might your professional and personal life be different if you had greater knowledge and understanding of emotions?
  • How might your life be different if you had more tools to respond to your emotions when they arise?

WATCH it: Inside Out (the Pixar movie)

If you haven't seen this movie, or have a hard time remembering it, enjoy an afternoon in front of the television! It depicts emotions as characters that reside within us.

Movie Time! Watch "Inside Out" and then reflect on these questions:

Which ideas surprised you in this movie? Did you have any aha! moments?
Which ideas resonated with you?
What connections can you make to the suggestion that in order to feel true happiness we must also feel sadness?
How might this film help you think about and understand your own emotions?
How might this film help you think about and understand how your emotional landscape was formed by your childhood experiences?
What other thoughts or feelings does this movie raise in you?

Emotions are a Series of Events

An emotions is a reaction you have to an event. Let's look at the six-part cycle of an emotion.

1. Prompting an event. This is the stuff that happens outside you, in your environment, such as an unexpected fire drill, a cancelled meeting, a crying child, and so on. Prompting events can also happen within you; they can be thoughts, memories, or even other emotions.
2. Interpretation. Your mind makes sense of what happened. The event is filtered through your evaluation, understanding, beliefs, and assumptions, and you explaining it to yourself in a particular way.
3. Physical response. The event and your interpretation result in a physical response in your body.
4. Urge to act. Almost simultaneously to the physical response, you feel an urge to do something. You may or may not act on this impulse, but its useful to notice what you feel compelled to do in those first moments.
5. Action. Then there's what you actually do. You may or may not feel as though you're in control of your behavior at this point.
6. Aftereffects. Finally, the emotion affects other emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, and your body. The aftereffects can be a prompting event that sets off another emotion cycle. Sometimes the original emotion needs more processing; other times, a secondary emotion is triggered.

By recognizing the cycle of emotional experiences, you'll learn one of the most empowering lessons about emotions, which is that they are temporary.
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Watch & Reflect on: MEMORY

Memories drive both the plot of "Inside Out" and most of the inner workings of Riley's brain. How does the brain store memories for later retrieval? Are there different types of memories? Watch the video below to learn more about these questions.

The Definition of Emotional Intelligence

The most important thing to know about emotional intelligence is this: it is a set of learned abilities.

Self-awareness: The ability to recognize your own feeling, know when you're having an emotion, and name it. This awareness allows you to recognize the impact of your emotions and your strengths and limits.

Self-management: The ability to make conscious decisions about how to respond to emotions. This includes self-control, transparency, and adaptability.

Social awareness: The ability to recognize and understand the feelings that others experience. This includes empathy (sensing others' emotions, understanding their perspective, and taking active interest in their concerns) and service (recognizing the needs of others and meeting them).

Social management:
The ability to form healthy relationships, manage conflicts with others, collaborate, and motivate and inspire others. The ability to cultivate trust with others is an expression of social management.

These competencies build on each other. You can't manage your emotions if you aren't aware that you're having them, and you will struggle in relationships with others if you are not aware of your emotions and don't have tools to respond to them.
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Watch & Reflect on: SADNESS

If Joy is the captain of this movie, Sadness is the navigator. "Inside Out" stresses the importance of sadness. It's not something we can just push away or avoid - it's critical for our emotional and social health. Watch the science behind this idea to reflect further.

Recognizing Cognitive Distortions

Distortions or inaccurate thoughts can reinforce negative thinking and uncomfortable emotions. These distorted thoughts might be one of the greatest threats to our resilience. Heightening our awareness of which kinds of thinking errors we fall into and what sends us into these ways of thinking can help us move out of them. These are some kinds of cognitive distortions:
Black-and-white thinking: Thinking about things as right or wrong, all-or-nothing, great or horrible.
Overgeneralizing: Interpreting events in terms of "always" or "never".
Catastrophic: Thinking everything is going to go wrong.
Mental filtering: Drawing conclusions based on on selected fact, situation, or event.
Personalizing: Taking responsibility or blame for something bad that you had no control over.
Mind reading: Interpreting someone else's behaviors (facial expressions or nonverbal communication) with no input other than your own thoughts, and not checking your assumptions.
Disqualifying the positive: You ignore or explain away any positive fact or experience.
Magnifying or minimizing: Giving something more credit or importance than it deserves or doing the opposite and giving it less credit or less importance than it actually calls for.

Watch & Reflect On : The Brain

Our brains are complicated and busy. Learn more about the various functions of our brain in the video below.

RAIN: Dealing with Uncomfortable Emotions

Unfortunately, being aware of your emotions does not mean that you will only have happy, positive ones! RAIN is a four step process is based on mindfulness practices that you can use in any situation in which you experience a strong emotion that causes confusion and stress.

R - Recognize what's going on. Recognizing means consciously acknowledging the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are affecting you. Name your emotions.

A - Allow the experience to be there, just as it is. Allowing means letting the thoughts, emotions, feelings, or sensations you have recognized to simply be there. Allowing creates space to make wise decisions.

I - Investigate with kindness. Investigating with kindness means calling on your curiosity and directing your attention to your present experience. You will need to incorporate some self-compassion practices here to get the most from this process. Try simply placing your hand on your heart or cheek as you investigate

N - Nonidentify with whatever is going on. You are not limiting emotions, thoughts, sensations, or stories. Nonidentification is the step in which you loosen your sense of who you think you. Emotions come and go like the weather; who you are remains steady underneath.

Watch & Reflect On: Sleep and Memory

Why do we need to sleep? In "Inside Out", when Riley falls asleep, her memories head to long term storage. Learn more in the video below .
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Final Reflections:

When have you used cognitive distortions?
When can you imagine yourself using RAIN?
How comfortable are you identifying your emotions and remembering that they are temporary?
How will these skills help you in the classroom or your current job?
What are your takeaways from this month's topic of emotions, the movie, and the short videos?