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Helping Your Family Cope with Stress

Let's face it stress comes in all forms and from all directions, especially for families in these super busy, technologically advanced, yet tough economic times. The problem with this is that nothing can hold you back or hinder a family, quite like stress. Yet, stressors are everywhere, and even a small amount can severely impact your family. Therefore, it's important to learn how to deal with stress effectively.

According to a research study from New York University entitled, "Cognitive Emotion Regulation Fails the Stress Test," even a small amount of stress negatively impacts a person's ability to keep their emotions in check. Stress, if unchallenged, can build up in the body and mind.

Since stress can have such an impact on ourselves and our families, we need to learn to understand what is causing the stress and then learn to cope with it in healthy ways.

One of the biggest contributors to stress is worry. But, look at it this way: most of the things you worry about probably won't happen. I know that this is difficult, and honestly, it is something that I am working on but decide here and now to stop mulling over things that are out of your control.

Instead, put that energy into visualizing the outcome you'd like to see. Vividly visualizing the positive has repeatedly been shown to lower stress levels.

Besides, worrying doesn't contribute to the problem-solving process in any way. When has worry ever actually helped you resolve a crisis? In a stressful situation, you may find yourself asking the question, "What if..?" While that question can get you thinking, the stress-soaked mind isn't in the position to generate solutions.

Remember that at any given moment, you're either working on a solution, or you're spending time worrying. I am positive that we have all heard at one time or another in our lives tips or strategies for managing stress and worry. However, when you are in the midst of a stressor, it can be difficult to remember to use those tools.

One great tool to use when coping with stress is meditation. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and de-stress. To get started, simply designate five minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing.

When your thoughts move away from your breathing - and they will - refocus on each breath. As you gain proficiency, you can increase your sessions from 5 minutes to 10, and then to 15.

Meditation has been shown to reduce stress levels and blood pressure, and it can be done anywhere, and anyone in your family can do it.

Even though meditation is powerful, there's another way to deal with stress too.

Everyday Stressors Add Up

A single neglected weed can take over your family garden in a few weeks. Similarly, life's small stresses quickly add up. Free yourself and your family of these low-grade stressors by taking stock of them, and then drawing up a plan to deal with them one by one.

As you remove the small stressors from daily life, you'll empower yourself to deal with the more significant issues. You'll have more energy and feel more optimistic. With optimism comes opportunity.

Proactively dealing with stress is like taking off blinders. Suddenly you'll find new and exciting ways to express yourself. You'll form deeper relationships with your family and friends. You'll also feel more gratitude for everyday things.

Get started now by making a list of all the stressors that are facing you and your family. Once you think you've got them all down, step away for a day and then go back to the list to add any you forgot. Then, go through them one by and write a sentence or two on how you can deal with them. Take action on your ideas. This takes time, but step by step, you'll feel your stress melting away.

Incorporating these strategies into your family life will help you be able to relieve the stress and tension and replace it with joy, health, and happiness!

There are always positive ways to look at things, and when you train your minds to look at change as an opportunity, instead of stressing out about it, you'll be happier and healthier.

How you choose to handle a situation will determine how much stress you're going to allow on yourself. You can either look at it as a new opportunity or a dreadful scenario. The choice is yours. But the sooner you begin to look at life changes as new opportunities, the sooner you'll enjoy a less-stressed life!

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