This blog has been written to encourage children (and parents) to help themselves with common feeling/states….. (so that ignoring, over-reacting or using ‘calm down’ is not their only strategy)…
Wouldn't it be nice to know that we could give our children the useful link between having a feeling and knowing what to do - and it is never too late to consider this for yourself? To have plans for problem moments requires that we really think about what helps...unfortunately, often after a big feeling, we simply want to feel better, and fail to investigate the usefulness, or otherwise, or our reactions. Moving back to 'ok' we forget to process what helped and therefore cant be sure of it the next time feelings arise.
When children try to pass their big feelings on to you - perhaps a little joint planning could prove helpful....
Find some comfort, look for something that feels nice (teddy, a book, a snack, a person), seek some connection with someone, have a cry, release and recover and resume life, aim to find some positive thoughts that feel good, sooth yourself with kind words to self ‘its ok to be sad, it just means we value stuff and feel a sense of loss when it isn’t there’. Remember that you have endured many sad times and that between them things were better.
We are unique individuals - so we each need plans that fit for us....here is a pick and choose menu to consider....
Share your frustration in words (explaining the problem without blaming), add a little patience to see the other person’s view, take a break....
Try to understand the problem and seek solutions, disagree – (being determined to stay cool in holding an opinion and not enforcing that someone else take the same view)
Lie down – it is hard to be mad when you are horizontal.
Write it down in a complaints book……to be dealt with after the big feeling subsides. Use your body to move vigorously and let go of some of that energy. Shout – but not at the person, just shout to let the feelings go and feel better.
Run – it is hard to stay mad whilst running. Remember that angry is just a reaction to a problem and that later, after anger, you can move to solutions.
Sooth yourself, tell yourself that anger feels horrible and instead of putting it on the other person, take ownership and simply work with that wish to feel better.
Breath – blow balloons...time yourself to see how long the 'mad' feeling lasts...it cant be for ever....
Figure out, guess, find some element of the issue that you know about, use words to seek more information, just respond in any way way – knowing it might be not quite right. Slow down and think the thing through. Believe that you are capable and could probably find an answer (especially if the pressure to be right was taken away). Allow that confusion is present but risk is required – be brave.
Slow down….believe that solutions are possible, be conscious of the fear and aim to be realistic about it, think of a small way to start the process towards recovery. Make a plan, even if it is not a great one, it will help. Sooth yourself by remembering that even things that get worse - eventually get better. Hug yourself to sooth yourself. Stroke your arm – it is like soothing a baby, concentrate on the physical feeling so that the chemicals in your body slow down and panic goes down. Try long, slow breaths. Or jog on the spot to work with that sense of panic. Understand that we exaggerate problems and that panic is blowing problems into bigger issues. Imagine how you would help if someone else were panicking about this issue – what would you do first towards helping them.
Resistant/don’t want to
Look at the value of doing this task, versus the cost of avoiding it. Try to encourage self. Consider the trouble/consequences/nagging of not doing it. Really give some consideration to how others, even those less capable than yourself, get through this! Consider that you might be prone to exaggerating how hard this task might be so really pause to think about whether it does take effort or time beyond your ability.
Remember all the times you have overcome difficulty in the past. Be realistic about the need for effort and for courage to manage things. Be aware that life can not be easy all the time. Understand that there is a need to help yourself by coaching yourself into a better frame of mind. Realising that sometimes hopeless is a way of avoiding, or arises because we have too high expectations to meet. Settle for something that is less than perfect. Talk to yourself as though you were a kind friend.
Tell yourself that everyone gets wrong sometimes. Remember there are skills and knowledges that are not known/learnt yet. Be grateful for the opportunity to use this mistake and figure out better ways. Embrace the wrong and really give thought to why it occurred and how to lessen that next time. Sooth yourself that you cant be right all the time, that many wrongs are not intentional and that you will recover.
Try to see the big picture, not just the bit that you don’t like.
Understand reasons why this occurred. Give thought to how others view this as ‘unfair’ is just your own perspective.
See that you have added this because you feel you are not getting what you want and try to figure out what you can do to accept, adjust or change that. Know that you are choosing to be a ‘victim’ when in fact you have the ability to pick yourself up and continue even when things are not fair. Accept that sometimes you are the beneficiary of that same ‘unfair’ when you get more than others.
Remember that it’s a feeling not a reality. Know that others don’t feel the situation as much as you believe they do. Recognise that later, it will feel a little less overpowering. Know that wrong is a part of life and mistakes help us learn. Have courage to endure that moment without having to make others feel they have ‘exposed’ you on purpose.
Think about how much you managed to get your message across and whether you need to find language that will encourage the other person to hear you. Take a break and try again later. Give thought to why they are not listening – is that your words are forceful, soft, whinning, blaming…and adjust them. Consider how many times you have repeated this same refrain, perhaps others are bored with what you are saying or what you are saying is just not relevant/interesting to them
I know there are more – but we could go on and on…… time to think of more yourself...