Coping with pressures

20 minutes

Create a safe and positive learning environment by agreeing ground rules for the session.

Download the session Coping with Pressures

In this session we will learn:

  • to understand that pressures can impact on our thoughts and feelings
  • to understand that we have a choice as to how we react to feelings



Use this session as a starter for ‘Let it out’, ‘Aggression’, ‘Managing stress’ or ‘Being assertive’.



  1. Hold up the bottle and ask the class to say things that could have happened to someone in the class recently that annoyed them. For each thing that is called out, shake the bottle. After around ten items ask who is willing to open the bottle now? What would happen?
  2. Explain: This is the same as our feelings when we allow them to build up and up inside – it can lead to something dramatic happening. If this was our behaviour what might it be? Ask students for examples, such as punching someone, screaming, slamming a door, self-harming. What about in the long term if we allow it to build up?
  3. Individually ask students to fill in a bottle sheet and consider what their bubbles are (they do not need to share this) and think about the thoughts and pressures that cause them to have difficult feelings?
  4. Now consider if these get too much, how would they know, what might happen to them – or possibly has in the past? To prevent our bottles exploding we need to relieve this pressure somehow. We can look at our problems and pressures differently.
  5. We can use a coping strategy to help us manage our feelings and we can choose a safe way to relieve our stress – stress busters! Every student now has to think of a stress buster to share with the class. Display or record these for reference.



How do I know if I am near exploding point?

What can I do to relieve the pressures?



This session links to: Positive thinking | Talking helps

Make sure young people know what support is available and how to access this support.