No matter who I speak with, everyone is experiencing stress at some level every day. Whether it is because there is too much to do, financial issues or relationship troubles each of these can create a lot of stress. Not to mention the low level stress like...what will I cook for dinner tonight, prepare for the children’s lunches tomorrow or buy for my friend’s birthday? And the list goes on…
And what about our children’s stress? Children have busy schedules, social issues and study pressures – not to mention the stress they experience simply because they see their parents are stressed. In my book, Inspired Children: how the leading minds of today raise their kids, has a chapter by Maggie Dent dedicated to understanding the stress children experience and how to help them manage it. You can read more about it in her chapter entitled: Calming children and the world: tools for managing stress and chaos.
Now we all know that stress makes you feel unwell but what many people may not realise is the MEDICAL FACT that according to the National Institutes of Health from 80 to 90 percent of all illnesses are either directly or indirectly caused by stress. Scary! Furthermore, research shows that many adults aren’t able to manage their stress because no-one helped them with stress and distress in their childhood so they did not develop the self regulating systems in their brains. You can see that it’s really important to manage your own stress and to help your children learn stress management techniques that will give them a valuable skill for life.
It doesn’t take long to decrease your stress and you can use a variety of techniques like focussing on taking a few deep breaths, going for a short walk (in nature if possible) or doing a few stretches for the neck, legs, arms and back because as it turns out stiff muscles hold tension and make you feel more stressed. Makes sense! Why not make it a fun and relaxing time for both you and your kids.