Grand Feelings Exit Plan (Signs of Emotional Health)

Grand Feelings Exit Plan

In the past, we have discussed the importance of helping young people to name and understand their emotions using the Super Simple Feelings Management Technique. We have also discussed the importance of helping them to build a tool box of coping skills by discussing Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.

So, how do we know when these tools are working? That is why at Hope 4 Hurting Kids we’ve developed the

Grand Feelings Exit Plan

The Grand Feelings Exit Plan helps a young person to know the signs that they have truly dealt with and moved past a difficult emotion or circumstance. Like the Super Simple Feelings Management Technique and Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, the Grand Feelings Exit Plan is a mnemonic to help young people, and the adults who care for them, to remember the four signs of emotional healing. Let’s have a look at each sign.

G(rand) – Gratitude

We should all be grateful for the things, people and circumstances of our lives. However, focusing on the things we are grateful for even in the midst of difficult circumstances is a sign of emotional healing.

F(eelings) – Forgiveness

Forgiveness isn’t always easy, and many times it is the last things we want to do when someone has wronged us. Young people need to understand, though, that refusing to forgive only hurts them and not the person they are refusing to forgive. There is a famous quote which has been attributed in various forms to a number of different people:

“Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

When a young person gets to a place where they can forgive the wrong(s) done against them, they have reached a point of emotional healing.

E(xit) – Empathy

Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It is looking at the world through the eyes of the person you are empathizing with. It is different from sympathy and a much higher goal than merely feeling bad for someone. When a young person can work through their own emotional baggage, and instead take what they’ve learned and empathize with another that is another sign of emotional healing as well as emotional maturity.

P(lan) – Pushing On

When the event or the circumstance or the emotion becomes a part of that collective that forms the well of experiences that we learn from and drawn from rather than the pressing and urgent crisis that we are dealing with in the present, that is when a young person has pushed on, and through, to emotional healing.

The Grand Feelings Exit Plan is the goal. It is where we want young people who are dealing with difficult emotions to end up. There is not right amount time or perfect path to get there, but it important to keep the goal in mind.

The Grand Feelings Exit Plan is the final step in our three stage comprehensive plan for helping young dealing with emotions called Jump In! Stand Strong! Rise Up!

Find out more about each stage:

For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at