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Helping Children Cope with Emotions

Sibling rivalry, homework, extra-curricular activities, playgroups, peer pressure, bullying, social media and a world that feels unsafe. These are some of the stressors our children face more than any previous generation. Children are expected to behave but unaddressed emotions can cause many to “act out” in unhealthy ways.  In fact, adolescent depression and suicide is at an all time high. So, how can we help our children cope with their emotions in a healthy way? How can we teach them to self-regulate and gain control over their lives?  One way is through using Jin Shin Jyutsu®, a time-honored Japanese healing art that offers simple self-help tools. 

          It’s as easy as holding our own fingers, regardless of whether it’s on the right or left hand. Just hold the finger with the opposite hand:

Thumb Finger/Worry - When you feel anxious about school, homework, or a test, hold your thumb finger until you’re not worried.

Index Finger/Fear - You may feel afraid of something, such as the dark or trying a new activity.  Hold your pointer finger until you’re not so afraid.

Middle Finger/Anger - People can make you angry.  Hold your middle finger until you don’t feel like pushing or hitting.

Ring Finger/Sadness - You may feel sad, like when a friend moves away.  Hold your ring finger to feel better.

Little Finger/Try To - You can feel upset and tired after trying hard all day.  Hold your pinky finger until you feel calmer.     

These holds work for adults, too.  You will “Worry FAST!”

Susan Lieberman, MBA, BSN, LMT, is a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner and instructor in the Jin Shin Jyutsu Professional Practitioner Program.  She is also a nurse, massage therapist, and meditation and qi gong instructor. For information on Jin Shin Jyutsu or becoming a practitioner, visit


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