We've all been there. That moment when your stress has finally built up and you're about to blow and take it out on everyone else. When you're a busy mom, you might have several of these moments every day. Your life is feeling like it's out of your control and you can't take it anymore. So you blow up. That energy has to go somewhere, right? If you don't let it out, you'll crack, right? Well, yes and no. You might feel better because that anger is no longer inside you, but is your broken situation healed? Probably not. More often than not the situation that got you so stressed will probably happen again.
So are you just supposed to hold everything in? This is not a great option either. Women who hold in their thoughts and feelings tend to have higher rates of illness and other discomforts such as stomach aches and headaches. So what's a stressed out mom to do? Here is a surefire way to decrease your stress in 60 seconds.
1. Pause what you are doing
3. Change your mind
That's it? Yep, that's it. The true key to lowering your stress is actually very simple. In order to defuse a situation, you must first pause the situation. We've all had those times where things would not have been that bad if only we didn't do or say something to make it worse. You are also not in a rational state of mind once the stress gets too great. So take a step back and pause. Just by doing this, you will change the energy in the room. You will change your energy.
Next, take the next 30-60 seconds to focus on your breathing. When we are stressed, every ounce of our being is stressed. Our body (including our brain) is not being fed oxygen. As a result, we do not think clearly and our body does not function well. Take in deep breaths, the kind that fills your belly. Continue to do this until your breathing slows and you feel calmer. If you need to leave your current space, do so.
Now here's the tricky part. But don't skip it because it's the most important. While you are focusing on your breathing, DO NOT think about what you are going to say or do next to prove your point or show that you are right. Instead redirect your thinking to what you really want. You probably think that what you want, for example, is for your kids to keep their things out of the living room or for your spouse to do a load of laundry before you get home from work. But you've probably voiced this before, right? Will voicing it again work this time? Probably not.
You must reconnect what you really want to your thoughts and actions. Instead of thinking about the things you want done, think about the feelings you want to have. If getting your family to pitch in around the house is the thing, then maybe the feeling is relaxation. And, if you think about it, every member of your family wants relaxation. So instead of coming undone (and no one is going to hear you at this point anyway because they are probably coming undone), calmly let your family know that you need time for relaxation just like they do and that you want to negotiate how everyone can get their needs met. This will work beautifully because everyone will feel that their needs are being heard and there is room for themselves in the issue.
Reducing your stress in this way takes some practice. You might not see positive changes right away. After all, up until now, you have been hardwired to react to stress in a less than healthy way. Keep at it and it will become natural to you in no time. Your mind and body (and everyone around you) will thank you!
So how about you? How do you normally handle the stress in your life? Leave your comments below describing how you positively or negatively let go of stress. And don't forget to breathe!
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