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Keep Calm, Observe Emotions, Stay Positive, Explore Options, Seek Help


Calm Down - Something sets you off, and before long, you feel stuck in an endless loop of intrusive thoughts, pondering every possible thing that could go wrong. Your body tenses, your breathing quickens, and you can hear your heartbeat pounding in your ears.


One of the best things you can do when you start to feel that familiar panicky feeling is to breathe deeply.


Observe Emotions - What do you think caused you to feel certain emotions? Identify triggers. When you’re experiencing an anxious episode, you may not realise what’s going on until you’re really in the thick of it. Recognising anxiety for what it is may help you calm down quicker.

“Name that this is anxiety — not reality — and that it will pass.”


Once you've identified a negative thought, take a moment to challenge its validity. Ask yourself whether there's concrete evidence supporting the thought or if it's based on assumptions or past experiences that may not be relevant anymore. 


Positive Thinking - 

What we say to ourselves affects the way we feel.

How can we frame our thoughts from a negative perspective to a positive perspective? 


The way we talk to ourselves shapes our emotions, actions, and ultimately, our lives. By mastering the art of positive framing, we can transform our inner dialogues from sources of self-doubt to wellsprings of self-assurance. While it may take time and effort to change entrenched negative thought patterns, the rewards in terms of mental and emotional well-being are immeasurable. With practice, patience, and persistence, we can rewrite our mental scripts and foster a lasting positive perspective that guides us through life's challenges.


Explore Options -

Explore various methods that you can use to move away from the negative emotional state.


When reframing, choose positively empowering language. Use words that reflect optimism, growth, and self-compassion. Avoid absolutes like "always" and "never," which can contribute to negative thinking patterns. 


After challenging the negative thought, seek out a positive perspective. Look for alternative ways to interpret the situation that are more constructive and uplifting. For example, if your negative thought is, "I'm not good enough for this job," reframe it as, "I have the skills and experience needed for this job, and I can learn and grow in the role."


Seek Support -

Everyone has a threshold for managing their emotions. At times, we can never do it alone. It is not wrong to seek help too. Engage with people, books, podcasts, and other resources that promote positivity and personal growth. Surrounding yourself with uplifting content can reinforce your efforts to reframe negative thoughts.


Remember that mastering the skill of positive framing is a gradual process. It's about training your mind to shift its default mode from negativity to positivity. Over time, with dedication and practice, you can create a more optimistic and resilient mindset that empowers you to navigate life's challenges with confidence.

COPES Scernarios

By following the COPES framework, you can navigate challenging situations more effectively and make informed decisions to improve your well-being and address issues constructively.

Scenario 1

Stressful situation at work where you've received negative feedback from your supervisor

Calm Down:

Take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves and prevent an immediate emotional reaction. Find a quiet space if possible.

Observe Emotions:

Reflect on what you're feeling. Acknowledge your emotions, whether it's frustration, disappointment, or anger. This step helps you understand your emotional state.

Stay Positive:

Shift your mindset to a more positive one. Instead of dwelling on the negative feedback, focus on your past achievements and strengths. Remind yourself that this feedback is an opportunity for growth.

Explore Options:

Consider different approaches to handle the situation. Think about how you can address the feedback constructively. You might want to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss it further or seek additional training to improve in the areas mentioned.

Seek Help:

If you're struggling to cope with your emotions or the feedback, don't hesitate to seek help. Talk to a trusted colleague, mentor, or a professional therapist to gain perspective and guidance on how to move forward.

Scenario 2

Receiving a lower grade than expected on an important exam

Calm Down:

Take a moment to breathe and relax. It's natural to feel disappointed or stressed when you get a lower grade, but panicking won't help. Give yourself a moment to let the initial emotions settle.

Observe Emotions:

Reflect on how you feel about the grade. Are you upset, frustrated, or anxious? Recognize and accept your emotions as a normal reaction to the situation.

Stay Positive:

Instead of dwelling on the grade itself, focus on the positives. Think about the effort you put into studying and any improvements you made compared to previous exams. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you bounce back.

Explore Options:

Consider your options for improvement. Review your exam to understand where you made mistakes and what you can learn from them. Think about seeking help from a tutor, studying differently, or approaching the material in a new way.

Seek Help:

If you're struggling to understand the material or need guidance on how to improve, don't hesitate to seek help from your teacher, a tutor, or classmates. They can provide valuable insights and support to help you succeed.

Scenario 3

When you're experiencing bullying

Calm Down:

When you encounter bullying, it can be emotionally overwhelming. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that your emotions are valid. Find a safe space if possible to collect your thoughts.

Observe Emotions:

Reflect on how the bullying makes you feel. You may be experiencing fear, anger, sadness, or a combination of emotions. Acknowledge these feelings without judgment.

Stay Positive:

Maintain your self-esteem and self-worth. Remember that bullying says more about the bully than it does about you. Surround yourself with supportive friends and loved ones who remind you of your value.

Explore Options:

Consider your options for addressing the bullying. This could involve talking to a trusted adult, teacher, or counselor about the situation. Document any instances of bullying as evidence if needed. Explore strategies to protect yourself emotionally and physically.

Seek Help:

Don't hesitate to seek help and support. Reach out to a trusted adult, such as a parent, teacher, or school counselor, and inform them about the bullying. They can provide guidance on how to address the situation and ensure your safety.

Scenario 4

Experienced betrayal in a personal relationship

Calm Down:

Take some time to breathe and calm your initial emotional response. Betrayal often triggers feelings of hurt, anger, and confusion. Find a quiet space to process your emotions.

Observe Emotions:

Reflect on your emotions and allow yourself to acknowledge them. You might feel a deep sense of disappointment, sadness, or even shock. Recognizing your feelings is the first step in dealing with them effectively.

Stay Positive:

While it can be challenging, try to maintain a positive perspective. Remember that betrayal is a reflection of the other person's actions, not your worth. Focus on self-care and activities that bring you joy to help boost your mood.

Explore Options:

Consider your options for addressing the betrayal. You can choose to confront the person and have an open conversation about what happened. Alternatively, you may decide that distancing yourself from the person is the best course of action to protect your well-being.

Seek Help:

If the betrayal has had a significant impact on your emotional well-being and you're struggling to cope, don't hesitate to seek professional help, such as counseling or therapy. Talking to a trained therapist can provide you with guidance and support during this difficult time.

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