As young kids we often imagine what it will be like when we have a family of our own.
Who will we marry? Will we have a big house? How many kids will we have? What will life be like?
When we do meet that special someone, or get married, or move into the house, or start the family, while great and amazing in its own way, it’s often not what we dreamt of as a child. Reality sets in as adulthood responsibilities pile up (bills, mortgage, work, parenting) and we find ourselves stressed out more than we’d like.
This is completely normal and we all go through it. But the more stressed we are, the more we tend to project that onto our spouse and children in different forms — such as nagging, control or frustration.
The true challenge is learning how to see past the stress and illuminate the beauty and gifts within the chaos.
How do we do this?
To create positive change and move into gratitude over stress, tune into which times during the day or what specific events trigger your stress. Then you can focus on how to “fix” that particular (and much more manageable) situation.
It may be that your blood pressure skyrockets when you’re trying to get everyone out the door in the morning or when shuttling them to-and-from after school activities. A common trigger among parents I work with is battles over homework or a drawn-out bedtime routine. For others, it’s the guilt that often accompanies being a working mom or simply trying to accomplish everything else that must be completed during the day.
Regardless of what it is that pushes your buttons, intentionally focus on each particular experience, one at a time, and break them down until you find your trigger in each one.
Once you know what your trigger is, you can create a system that’s manageable for you that will help you reduce or stop that trigger from reoccurring.
Here are some steps to do this:
- Plan ahead so that when you’re in the middle of a situation that stresses you out, you have a buffer of time to pause and focus on not being triggered rather than being preoccupied with the situation itself. Stop the nagging!
- Delegate the task or situation to someone else so that it will still get done, but you no longer have to do it yourself and be triggered by that event. No more controlling!
- Eliminate it altogether if you find that situation or experience is ultimately unnecessary in your day. Perfect, it’s not worth the stress anymore. Let go of the frustration!
Being mindful of what causes you stress and committing to improve that situation will make everyone’s life smoother and easier.
It will also lessen the amount of nagging and controlling on your end! And nothing makes your kids feel more at ease than happy and relaxed parents, so tackle small pieces at a time until you feel like a deep breath isn’t something people just talk about in yoga class.
Leave a comment to let me know what your triggers are and how you will be more mindful to create less stress in your day!
Wishing you peace and calm,