Almost every teacher I know, myself included, encounters chaos at times: misbehaving students, not enough time to do everything, and far too many papers to grade. What’s more, we may get bogged down with meetings, disgruntled parents, evaluations, and new curriculum.
Sometimes that chaotic and stressful feels like being stuck in quicksand. I’ve never actually been in quicksand, but I bet you know what I mean. And the worst thing about quicksand is that the more you struggle, the faster you sink. And many teacher friends are mightily struggling and sinking fast. How do we go from chaos to calm?
We won’t survive by struggling. Scientifically speaking, through consciously loosening our grip on our negative, habitual thoughts and thought patterns, we move our brain into an alpha state associated with a more peaceful and calm existence.
Being able to loosen our own hold onto negative thought patterns requires two hidden strategies; 1) move without struggle and 2) laying back. Here’s my secret for you if you find yourself with that sinking feeling.
Move Without Struggle
A key survival tool for quicksand is to move, but not struggle. If you can create space around your legs through back and forth movement, the grip is released. By focusing on the space—the space around objects and the space inside your body—you can shift perspective, and your focus, from struggle to acceptance.
Your brain can move into an alpha state, creating a calmer and more relaxed feeling. Find some space.
Lying horizontal on quicksand allows you to float on the surface by distributing your weight. It’s a key survival tool if you’re desperate. Lying horizontal will transform your stuck pattern, forcing you to become present and let go of the struggle. If you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed during your plan time or lunch, lie down on your classroom floor and let go of the struggle. It may sound strange, but it works to create calm.
Try these two powerful techniques and you’ll become an expert in quicksand survival and inspire others. Soon you’ll motivate others how to be savvy and smart. Focus on the positive and avoid getting stuck. You can always ask for a lifeline or download “Four Happy Teacher Habits.” You’ll make your life in the classroom beautiful.