Be REAL Week 5 (10-week)




Coming Back to Balance (Part 1)


This week, our session focused on emotion regulation, including how to understand our emotions and support ourselves when it feels like strong emotions take over. We practiced skills that we can use including +2 Breathing, Name It to Tame It, 3-2-1 (See, Touch, Hear), and Willing Hands.


Tending to Our Emotions

Feelings aren’t good or bad. They tell us what we need to tend to. Acknowledging our feelings – with kindness – can help us process them. 

Looking for resources to help build your emotional awareness?


Practices for When Strong Emotions Take Over

+2 Breathing

Exhaling longer than you inhale can slow down the heart rate and turn on the relaxation response. Our audio practice +2 Breathing (Respiración Extendida) can help you practice. Note: If exhaling 2 counts longer doesn’t feel comfortable, try 1 count or a brief pause. The breath changes day-to-day so find what you need.


3 – 2 – 1

This practice helps engage the cognitive functions of your brain, which can be helpful when strong emotions surface. Take two slow breaths. Then softly or silently name 3 things you can see, 2 things you could touch, and 1 thing you can hear. Take another two breaths.


Willing Hands

With Willing Hands, we are opening our hands and ourselves to feel compassion and to connect with what is best in a situation. As you close your hands, notice what you feel and pause for five seconds. Then, open your hands and notice how that feels. 


Holding a Stone & Investigate Your Emotions

Emotion regulation is like holding a stone – we don’t want to hold on too tightly to the emotion because that makes it hurt more, but we also don’t want to ignore it all together.  We want to practice holding it with awareness – observing it.  This is what mindfulness is – paying attention to what is happening in our bodies with awareness.  Investigate your emotions is learning to observe our emotions.  One strategy for this is taking a curious attitude towards them.  



Home Practice

Noticing Practices

Guided & Reflective Practices


About Be REAL
Be REAL (Resilient Attitudes & Living) was developed at the University of Washington Center for Child & Family Well-Being. The program’s aim is to promote the well-being of college students and staff by building skills to cope with emotions, navigate challenging situations, and strengthening internal awareness. Learn more.






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Center for Child & Family Well-Being, University of Washington · Guthrie Hall 119a Box 351525 · Seattle, WA 98195-1525 · USA