As a loving parent, you know how hard it is to be compassionate and patient when you’re stressed out. As such, it’s really important to learn how let go of daily stress because parenting is full of situations that produce it.
Keep in mind that if you are driving kids from one event to another, fixing a healthy meal, or dealing with a child who is having a major meltdown, these events are not the root cause of your stress. Let me say that again… these events are not the root cause of your stress. However, your appraisal and your view of the situation is what generates the stress. Here is what I mean. If you listen to your inner-critic, you are far more likely to:
- Overestimate the problem: turn a level 2 of stress into a level 10.
- Underestimate your ability to cope: you start to doubt your ability to handle the situation.
- Underestimate the help that’s out there: you are tempted to feel as if you are all alone, like nobody is on your team and you are left to fend for yourself.
I talk about the power of these corrosive thoughts in my next parenting seminar on Saturday 3/18/17. Even so, letting go of daily stress requires a new strategy! Go ahead and do something different today:
Let go of daily stress by practicing the art of breathing deeper.
Believe it or not, when you are in the thick of rush hour traffic or your little-one’s major meltdown, it’s entirely possible to breathe deeply and feel relaxed. Pausing a breathing deep is one of the best ways I know how to let go of daily stress. Yes, this kind of exercise takes practice, but the payoff is well worth it!
Taking a brief moment to pause… stop… and breathe is important for your mental health. Doing so brings you back into your body, back into the present moment, back into a choice about how to respond rather than react to a stressful situation. It helps put things in their proper perspective as well.
When you feel that tightness growing in your stomach, chest, or throat, go ahead and silence your inner-critic. Take a moment from what you’re doing and simply hit the brakes. Then, take a few deep, cleansing breaths to blow out the “stikin-thinkin” of your inner-critic. Then, remind yourself that the situation is not an emergency and that no one’s life depends on it.
For most of us, breathing seems so simple that you may find it hard to believe in its power. However, when you take a moment to slow down… and breathe deeper… your brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good chemicals. In addition, it helps shut off the cortisol-producing fight-or-flight reflex that generates stress in your body.
The bottom line is that breathing deeper is a game-changer for every parent. It helps reduce your stress and focus your energy. It provides more access to your brain so you can get creative and problem-solve better. Even more, breathing deeper makes it much easier to get and stay connected to your children during difficult situations.
A Point To Ponder
Having difficulty seeing what all the fuss is about breathing? To quote an old cliché: “Try it, you might like it.”
If you want to parent with more confidence and less effort, then consider attending my seminar called “How To Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice“ on Saturday 3/18/17 from 1 – 5p.m. in Costa Mesa. Registration for the private event will open up real soon so stay tuned…
Author: Steve Cuffari For many, Steve Cuffari is the mentor that parents call on to make their parenting style warmer, easier and more affective. He is the founder of inTouch Parenting, a company devoted to helping today's parents calm the chaos, raise emotionally intelligent kids, and nurture families that thrive. read more about Steve Cuffari here...