Written by Lora Halfhill, Yoga Teacher + Marketing Director
"We are our best selves when we connect our smart minds to our kind hearts and our calm bodies." - Molly Schreiber, Grow
A calm corner, also known as a calm-down corner or a peace corner, is a designated space in a home, classroom, or other environment that is specifically created to help individuals, especially children, regulate their emotions, self-soothe, and manage stress or anxiety.
It is a quiet and safe place where individuals can retreat to when they are feeling overwhelmed, upset, or in need of a break.
Calm corners can be especially helpful for children in school settings to manage their emotions and behavior effectively, but it can also be beneficial for adults and individuals of all ages in various settings.
The goal is to promote emotional well-being and create a safe space for self-care and self-reflection.
There are several reasons why having a calm corner in the classroom is beneficial.
Benefits of a Calm Corner
1. Allows Students to Take Responsibility for their Emotions
First, a calm corner provides a safe space for students to manage their emotions.
Emotional regulation involves managing emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. This includes recognizing and appropriately expressing your feelings and managing stress and anxiety.
When a child is feeling overwhelmed, upset, or frustrated, they can go to the calm corner to take a break.
By taking a break in the calm corner, students learn how to identify their emotions and regulate their responses to them.
This helps a student pay attention to how their emotions impact themself and those around them. They are given a choice to take responsibility for how they feel and regain control of their emotions.
An emotions chart or an emotions card deck can be a helpful way to introduce emotional intelligence skills to kids.
Free Download Includes: 1 Feelings Discovery worksheet + 5 Emotion exploration pages + Emotions Chart w/instructions (in a PDF file)
2. Provides Tools for Self-Regulation
Secondly, a calm corner helps students to develop self-regulation skills.
Self-regulation refers to the ability of an individual to manage and control their own thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and impulses in order to achieve specific goals, maintain self-discipline, and adapt to changing circumstances.
Developing self-regulation skills can lead to:
Better impulse control
Increased resilience in the face of challenges,
Enhanced overall life satisfaction
It involves the capacity to monitor one's own actions and make adjustments as needed to meet internal or external standards and expectations and is often cultivated through self-awareness, practice, and the use of various strategies and techniques.
Posters with techniques such as breathing, yoga poses, or positive mantras can be hung up as helpful suggestions for students.
3. Create a Positive Classroom Environment
Lastly, a calm corner can help to create a positive classroom environment.
Emotional intelligence plays a significant role in shaping peer relationships and can have a profound impact on how individuals interact with and relate to others.
Emotional intelligence enhances peer relationships by fostering empathy, effective communication, conflict resolution, social awareness, trust-building, and supportive friendships. It helps individuals navigate the complexities of social interactions, leading to more positive and fulfilling peer relationships.
When students feel supported and safe, they are more likely to engage in learning and interact positively with their peers.
A calm corner can also help to reduce disruptive behaviors and improve overall classroom management.
There is limited research on the specific statistics related to teachers having a calm corner in their classroom. However, studies have shown that creating a calming environment in the classroom can have a positive impact on students' behavior and overall well-being.
Research has shown that when students are given the tools to self-regulate and manage their emotions, they are more likely to exhibit positive behavior and have better academic outcomes. Additionally, creating a positive and calming classroom environment can lead to increased student engagement and improved classroom management.
While there may not be specific statistics on the use of calm corners in classrooms, the benefits of creating a calming environment are well-documented.
Overall, a calm corner is an essential tool for promoting emotional regulation and creating a positive classroom environment.
By providing students with a designated space to regulate their emotions and practice self-care, teachers can help promote a positive learning environment and improve student outcomes.
It is a simple yet effective way to support students' social-emotional development and help them succeed in school.
Setting Up a Calm Corner
A calm corner in a classroom can be a fantastic tool to help students cope with stress, anxiety, and other strong emotions.
Creating a calming environment has many practical benefits to increase student well-being.
For example, a calm corner can help to reduce disruptive behavior, improve focus, and foster improved relationships between students. Here are some items you might consider including in a calm corner:
Comfortable seating: Soft cushions, beanbag chairs, or floor pillows can provide a comfortable and inviting space for students to relax.
Sensory items: Soft blankets, stress balls, fidget toys, and other sensory items can help students to release tension and calm their minds. Our students especially love our scented eye pillows for their yoga naps!
Card Decks: Card decks are a fun item to include in your calm corner. They are a great way to help a child acknowledge how they're feeling and make a positive choice to get back in balance.
Our Just Breath Card Deck features color-coded cards to help connect bring calm, energy, concentration or connection.
Our Emotions Card Deck can help foster emotional intelligence but is also fun to use with a partner!
Mudras are known to cultivate health and healing. Our Mudra Deck includes instructions, a list of benefits, and an affirmation for each gesture.
Mindfulness Posters: Posters demonstrating yoga poses, mudras, breathing exercises, mantras or positive statements can be helpful visual aids to students.
Eye pillows are a great addition to a calm corner!
Remember, the goal of a calm corner is to provide a safe and supportive space for students to regulate their emotions and calm themselves. By including these items, you can help to create a peaceful and restorative environment that fosters learning and growth.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Have you heard about our Yoga + Mindfulness Resource Center?
You’ll find access to ALL of our best yoga and mindfulness resources - all in ONE place!
- Breathing practice instructional videos and card decks for calming, focus and energy
- Movement videos and yoga sequences
- Guided mindfulness audio tracks
- Mindful games + social-emotional learning worksheet Printables
- Teacher self-care practices and in-services
It’s the one-stop shop for classrooms, learning communities, daycares and homeschoolers!
Learn more and sign up: https://grow.challengetochangeinc.com/p/general-resources