Alex slammed the game controller down on the table.
“I hate losing!” Alex yelled, “It makes me so mad!”
“Be careful with that controller, “Andrew said, “You will break it.”
“I don’t care,” Alex said, “I will never beat this game anyway.”
“You get way too mad when you play video games, Alex. “Andrew said, “Why do you even play them?”
“I play because I like video games. But I hate it when I lose!”
All through lunch Alex sat at the table with an angry look on his face.
When lunch was over Andrew said,
“Do you want to throw the ball with me, Alex?”
“No,” Alex grumbled, “I have to beat that game.”
“You might feel better if you got some fresh air and a little exercise, Alex,” Andrew said.
“Maybe in a little while,” Alex said with a sigh, “After I beat the game. “
A few minutes later Andrew heard the game controller slam down on the table again.
“I can’t beat this stupid game!” Alex yelled, “I’m so mad! I want to throw this game right out the window!”
“Alex!” his mother said, “I have had enough of this! You are grounded from video games for the next week!”
“What?” Alex said, “What will I do without my games?”
“You will have to think of something.” His mother said.
The next morning when Alex got up, he sat at the table trying to figure out what he was going to do without his video games.
“I am so bored without my games,” Alex said.
“A couple of my friends are coming over in a little while to play basketball, Alex,” Andrew said, “Do you want to play?”
“I guess so, “Alex said with a sigh, “there’s nothing else to do.”
A few minutes later Andrew’s friends arrived, and they started the game. Everyone was having a great time. Especially Alex.
“Is anybody ready for lunch?” Alex’s mother yelled from the front door.
“Awwww, “Alex said can’t we play one more game?”
“We can play another game after lunch, “Andrew said.”
“Cool!” said Alex as they headed to the house to eat.
“So,” Andrew said during lunch, “Do you still think video games are more fun than basketball?”
“It’s really weird,” Alex said,” but I forgot how much fun basketball is. I’ve been so worried about beating that game that I didn’t want to do anything else. Playing a game with the guys was more fun even when we lost! “
So for the rest of the week while Alex was banned from video games they played basketball and football with Andrew’s friends.
When the week was over Alex’s mother said.
“You can have your games back, Alex.”
“Maybe I will play one later Mom,” Alex said, “I think the guys are coming over in a little while. Today we are going on a hike!”
Until next time Anxious Minds
“I want to quit the team,” Alex said sadly.
“Quit the team? “Said Coach Brown, “Why?”
“I just don’t like Football anymore,” Alex said.
“I don’t understand Alex, “said Coach Brown, “You have always loved Football.”
“Not anymore. “Said, Alex, as he sadly walked away.
“Did you quit the Football team?” asked James.
“Yes,” said Alex.
“Why, “said James, “You’re the best kid on the team.”
“I just don’t want to play anymore.” Alex said, “I better get back to class.”
“Do you know what’s wrong with Alex?” Cindy asked Jen
“I don’t know.” Jen said, “But he’s been acting weird all week.”
When Alex got home from school, his mother was waiting at the door for him.
“Alex, “she said, “Coach Brown just called me and said that you quit the Football team.”
“Yes.” Said Alex.
“Why would you quit the Football team, Alex?” his mother asked.
“I just don’t want to play anymore.” He said.
As Alex tried to fall asleep that night, he tossed and turned in his bed. Alex had a big problem, and it wasn’t about Football. He knew he needed to ask for help.
“Mom,” he whispered as he walked into her room, “I need to talk to you.”
“What’s the matter Alex?” she said softly.
“I have been having a problem at school. There’s a kid that has been picking on me. He calls me names and makes fun of me, and it makes me feel sad. I have tried to talk to him about it, but he just laughs at me and calls me a wimp. So, I then tried to ignore him, but he just won’t stop! That’s why I quit the Football team. I really need your help.”
“I will call the school tomorrow Alex,” Mom said, “We will figure this out don’t worry it will all be just fine.”
The next day, Mrs Jones came to Alex’s classroom and asked him to come to the principal’s office. When he got to the office, he saw the principal, his parents and in the corner of the room, looking miserable as ever sat Nathan Miller.
“Nathan,” Mrs Webber said,” Is there a problem between you and Alex?”
“No,” Nathan grunted.
“Alex,” Mrs Webber asked,” what is Nathan doing that is bothering you?”
“He’s always making fun of me!” Alex yelled He’s constantly calling me names! I don’t like it I’m sick of it!”
“I was just kidding!” Nathan yelled back.
“Well, it’s not funny!” Alex said,” That’s why I quit Football! I’m feeling so sad and worried cos of you making fun of me all the time! You wouldn’t like it if someone made fun of you all the time either!”
Nathan sat there for a minute or two looking down at the floor.
“No,” said Nathan, “I would hate that. I guess I was having fun picking on you and I wasn’t thinking about how you were feeling about it. But don’t quit the Football team. You are the best kid on the team.”
“Thanks, Nathan,” Alex said looking surprised.
“I will stop making fun of you, “Nathan said.
“Great job working it out boys,” Mrs Webber said.
Alex lay in bed that night thinking it’s good to talk about your problems
Until the next time look after yourself Anxious Minds
“You cheated!” Alex yelled at his brother, Andrew, “you only win because you always cheat!”
“I didn’t cheat, Alex.” Andrew replied, “I won fair and square. You’re a poor sport.”
“I’m never playing with you again!” Alex yelled, “Never!”
“Let’s take a walk,” Lexi said, “I want to show you something.”
As they walked through the woods, Lexi was very quiet.
“What did you want to show me?” Alex asked.
“What do you see right now?” Lexi asked.
“The woods.” He said.
“Yes, but what else?” she said.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Alex answered.
“What are you thinking about right now?”
“I’m thinking about how mad I am at Andrew!”
“While you are thinking about that, you are missing all the beautiful things that I can see at this moment,” Lexi said.
“What do you mean? “Alex said, “What do you see?”
“Did you even notice the baby rabbits hopping in and out of that log as we started our walk?” Lexi asked, “They were so cute!”
“I guess I missed that,” Alex said.
“Did you notice the fluffy white clouds? Or see how beautiful the blue the sky is today?”
“No,” Alex said, “I didn’t notice that either.”
“My point is, while you are staying in an angry moment you are missing things at this moment. Beautiful things that can make you feel happy.”
“I never thought of it that way,” Alex said.
“Let’s look some more.” Lexi said, “Tell me what you see.”
Alex looked around slowly and purposefully.
“Look,” he said pointing to the ground at a big ant hill,
“There must be a million of them. They are all so busy working!”
Alex and Lexi sat watching the ants for quite a while then Lexi said,
“Close your eyes, Alex and tell me what you smell?”
He closed his eyes. “I smell something sweet,” he said, “like a flower.”
“Yes!” she said pointing to a big patch of flowers.
“There are so many beautiful things to see, smell and feel if we just look for them.” She said.
“So Alex,” she said, “when you get angry you can come to this place or imagine all the beauty here, and you can enjoy the beauty at this moment as I do.”
“I will give that a try.” Alex said, “It sounds like a better idea than just staying mad all day.” he said.
Alex and Lexi sat there quietly for a while enjoying watching a green grasshopper as he hopped playfully through the grass. The warm breeze blew gently over them. Alex took a deep breath. Then another.
“I’m ready to go back,” he said, “I’m not angry now.”
Until next time Anxious Minds
Alex learns about Mindfulness
The sun was shining brightly through the kitchen window, and the smell of a delicious breakfast filled the room.
“Do you want pancakes or eggs? “Lexi asked Alex.
“I’m not hungry,” Alex grumbled.
“You’re not hungry? “Alex’s mother asked, “Are you feeling ok?”
“I feel ok,” Alex said, “I’m just stressed out about the play tonight. I just know it’s going to be a disaster.”
“Why do you think that it’s going to be a disaster?” his mother asked.
“The rehearsal was terrible yesterday!” Alex said, “I made so many mistakes. It seems like everyone did well except for me.”
“Maybe you were just nervous,” his mother said,” or maybe you just need to relax.”
“I’m so stressed out!” Alex said,” I can’t really relax at a time like this! The play is tonight!”
“Let’s try a mindfulness exercise.” his mother said.
“I’m not sure how exercising will help, but I will try anything. “Alex said.
“Ok, Alex,” his mother said, “Let’s think about what’s happening in this room at this moment.” his mother said,” Let’s take a deep relaxing breath.”
“Ok,” Alex said breathing deeply.
“Close your eyes, Alex and tell me what you notice now that you’re paying attention to this moment.” his mother said.
Alex sat quietly for a little while.
“I hear the birds outside the window,” Alex said,” I feel the warmness of the sun coming in the window. I smell pancakes and bacon!”
“Now pay attention to your breathing, Alex.” his mother said softly, “keep breathing deeply. Do you feel yourself relaxing at all?”
“Yes,” Alex said, “I actually do.”
“Let’s just stay this way for a few minutes.” his mother said softly.
After a little while, Alex opened his eyes and took another deep breath.
“I feel a little better,” Alex said, “I didn’t think I would, but I do. “
“That’s good, Alex. Here’s something to think about that may help you. When we worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow, we miss out on today. You won’t enjoy being in the play if you‘re worried about what might happen. At that moment you will be missing all the things that are happening. And in the end, it doesn’t matter if everything goes perfectly. It doesn’t matter if everybody remembers every line. The important thing to remember is to enjoy just being in the play.” his mother said.
“I got up in a grumpy mood this morning, “Alex said, “I didn’t really give this day a chance to be good. If I think about it a little differently this day can be great no matter what happens. “
“That’s true.” his mother said.
“I guess I only have one more question,” Alex said.
“What is it? “his mother asked.
“Are there any pancakes left? “Alex said with a grin.
“Yes, Alex. Let me get you one. “his mother said.
That night as Alex was getting ready for bed his mother came into his room to say goodnight.
“Thank you for helping me this morning, Mom,” Alex said, “The play was great!”
“That’s wonderful Alex!” his mother said, “So it wasn’t a disaster?”
“No, “Alex said, “We all made mistakes, but we sure did have fun!”
“That’s what really matters,” his mother said, “Goodnight, Alex.”
“Goodnight, Mom,” Alex said.
Until next time Anxious Minds