Dear Ms. Yoga…
I’m being bullied in school. What should I do?
Scared in School
First of all — I want you to remember this basic fact — no one deserves to be bullied. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, what you’ve done — NO ONE deserves to be bullied.
Unfortunately, this fact doesn’t stop bullying from being a major problem in schools. Remember this too — you are not alone. Many kids — just like you — have the same problem.
So what can you — and others like you — do about it? Here are a few strategies for dealing:
- Imagine you can send a wave of powerful, energy right through the person who is acting like a bully. Like imaginary water that can put out their fire. He or she is just acting out an insecurity of their own. Anything that they are saying to you might just be a projection of what they are really feling about themselves. You can be strong, compassionate and smart enough to not get caught up in the drama.
- Practice visualization. A bully’s words are only as powerful as YOU allow them to be. Imagine the bully shrinking down in size or that the words he or she is using are an alien language of gibberish. Pretend there’s an invisable wall around you and watch the bully’s words bounce off the wall
- Tell an adult you trust about the bullying. This can be a teacher, counselor, coach or parent — as long as it’s someone who will take you seriously and listen to you. This can be really hard, but if you’re frightened, it’s an excellent course of action. An adult can support you and help with ways to change the situation.
- Recite a mantra. A mantra is a word or statement that you can repeat that gives you strength and courage. Reciting a mantra in your head can give you power when you feel weak or frightened. Try repeating “I am fearless. I am strong. I am loved.”
- Be brave. Bullies prey on weakness. When bullies see that you aren’t weak, they’ll be less interested in you. Stand tall, laugh it off, and remember your mantra. Do the Warrior Pose at home to feel strong.
Bullying is a real problem (and the problem isn’t YOU). Yoga can be part of the solution. It can help you develop self-esteem and coping strategies. Another great thing about yoga is that it can actually change the BULLY. If you know the bully’s teacher — talk with him or her. Suggest adding some yoga into the classroom. Most bullies are acting out of a need for attention or a sense of power and authority. Yoga can help curb these needs and change the bully’s negative energy into something positive.