At times it can be difficult to remain calm and thrive through the emotional chaos you might be experiencing. Your emotions seem to be all over the place. You promise yourself you won’t let your emotions get the best of you but then they do…you make a reactive choice from your emotions.
Later regret floods your brain. You wish you had taken a breath and been more self-aware of the emotions you were feeling and handled them differently.
Since emotions fluctuate and change according to the circumstance and mood you are experiencing, emotions are not a reliable place to make all choices from.
What helps me thrive through the emotional chaos so I can remain calm in order to make choices I am proud of, is keeping my character (who I believe I am), at the forefront of my mind. I repeat, ‘I choose to be respectful and patient.’ I even have it written on post-it notes as a visual reminder 😊
I remind myself that I am allowed to feel frustrated, disappointed, angry, upset (so are you). When I take a deep breath and say, ‘Sara, it’s OK to feel that way but your character is Respect & Patience’, it actually shifts my approach. It shifts my choices.
Training yourself to be conscious of the emotions you are experiencing so that you can breathe through them to make character-based choices, is essential to making choices in the moment that you can be proud of for the moments to come.
Until next time…
7 Apr 2022
Do You Fess Up When You Mess Up?
Ever caught yourself yelling to your child ‘CALM DOWN’ – only to realize that it was you who needed to calm down first?
When I asked this question on my Instagram story over 90 percent said YES.
As parents/educators, there will be moments where we are dysregulated and reactive.
What if we used those moments as teachable moments? This would remind kids/students that we too are learning the skill of self regulation and when we mess up – we own up!
1) The next time you react in a way that you are not proud of – apologize and share with your child/student the emotion you were feeling when you yelled.
It may sound like this, ‘I am sorry that I yelled, I was feeling frustrated.’
2) Let them know what you will do the next time to help you find your calm.
It may sound like this, ‘When I am feeling frustrated, I’m going to take three deep breaths before I speak.’
3) Share the choice you wish you would have made and what you will do next time.
It may sound like this, ‘I wish I would have shared with you that I was frustrated and I wish I would have spoken in a calmer voice.’
It’s not about perfection – it’s about progress!
This is what I know: When you model self-regulation, you are giving kids the invaluable life skill of developing emotional intelligence.
Don’t you wish you could pick and chose the emotions you want to experience?
Especially during lockdown and online learning. I remember one morning laying in bed, mentally preparing the start to my day.
I was telling myself…
‘Today I won’t feel irritated. I felt irritated yesterday and it was exhausting, not today!’
Within 10 minutes of getting out of bed my son was already complaining about having to log on to do his learning – he was asking for his fifth snack and it wasn’t even 9 am yet!
I was irritated!!
I couldn’t avoid it. My body and brain felt irritated without my consent.
This is what I know: I quickly learned that emotions can surprise you and they aren’t to be avoided and can’t be avoided for the long term. We are emotional beings whether we are comfortable with it or not!
So, the real practice becomes in allowing ourselves to feel and acknowledge our emotions and then find healthy ways to move with/through them.
Here are some simple and effective strategies that I find helpful:
• deep breaths (make your exhale longer than your inhale)
• remind myself that it’s ok to feel what I’m feeling
• notice where the emotion impacts me physically (neck pain, stomach ache , heart rate)
• 5 min meditation
• talk to someone
• go for a walk
• listen to music
What helps you move with and through an uncomfortable emotion?
12 Feb 2020
Why is the Thought of Asking So Scary?
‘You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.’ Oprah Winfrey
Think about a time you wanted to ask a question and didn’t.
Have you ever avoided asking because you were scared you would hear that one word … it’s not yes … it’s No!
Has the fear of ‘NO’ stopped you from pursuing a dream, taking a stand or getting an answer to something you really want to know?
Think of all you are missing because you are allowing fear to stop you … all the unanswered questions … all the missed opportunities.
Young people tell me that when they are feeling shy, nervous, embarrassed, sad or anxious – it’s harder to ask. I agree!
It’s natural to feel these emotions. The key is not to allow these emotions to stop you.
Choices from these emotions easily steer you not to ask. Choices from courage allow you to feel the emotions and ask anyway.
Where will you choose to make your choices from? Fear? or Courage?
Go on… Ask!
Until next time…
23 Sep 2019
Parenting/Teaching through the Cloud of Frustration and Anger
Parenting/teaching is one of the hardest jobs and also one of the most rewarding! For this article let’s talk about the ‘hard part’.
My career as a speaker allows me to speak with many parents and educators. Through listening to them and learning from my own experiences of being a mom, I realize that one of the most difficult challenges is parenting/teaching through tough emotions like frustration, anger, stress and sadness.
Ever had a moment when you are feeling calm, cool and collected and suddenly something happens that triggers your emotions to go into overdrive? In a split second you react in a way you’re not proud of. You spend the rest of the day feeling guilty as you reflect on how you could have handled the situation very differently.
When our seven-year-old son, Kai, is not listening or is acting irritable, it triggers frustration in my body which can easily lead to anger. Parenting/teaching out of one of those emotions can quickly lead to uttering unreasonable consequences or saying/doing things I later regret.
We often hear about the importance of teaching children self regulation. This is where it gets difficult – we actually have to model self regulation in order to teach our young people to do the same. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ doesn’t work anymore!
Here’s what I’ve learned that helps my son, husband and I self regulate when we are experiencing tough emotions (some times at the same time). We name our emotions even though it feels uncomfortable and we want to deny their existence.
Give these two simple, yet effective steps a try. They will help you calmly handle the next time the cloud of frustration and anger sets in.
Name the child’s emotion: I can see you’re feeling really frustrated right now and you’re making disrespectful choices out of feeling frustrated.
Help them move through their frustration: Together create a list of healthy ways that will calm their brain and body. Suggest one of the ways when they are in the chaos of their emotions.
Always remember the best way to teach is to model what it is we want children to learn. If you’re still not sold on the idea of naming your emotions and finding ways to move through those emotions here are more benefits: