A good friend of mine recently told me how anxious she is…and how difficult this time has been for her and her son.
“I’m about to lose it, and frankly, his anxiety is so high, I’m not sure how to help him.”
I get it. I recently bought a blood pressure cuff because after surgery, my BP was scary high. So yeah, I check it everyday. Because THAT helps. Steve suggested I have the kids hide the cuff, so I couldn’t take it. Let it go down naturally (since I’ve never had high blood pressure) and relax a bit. I know he means well, but everything about that makes me anxious, on top of anxious: what if I need it, what if I can’t find it, what if I just want to check it because I feel that maybe today I’m calm and not wound so tightly and it would look low and I’d be so proud and…right.
So for us, and our kids, what do we do? What are reliable, effective and kind ways of easing our worry?
Katie Hurley, LCSW wrote a great article a few years ago, and in it she mentions, among several techniques, one called “reframing.” This, I find, helps my kiddos. Name the worry. Figure out if it has merit, how true is it. How can we take that thought and change it to a positive, helpful one?
Renee Jain with the Huffington Post talks about the FEEL method (which I like because I can easily remember the acronym). And I dare say this equally applies to adults? FREEZE: stop and take a deep breath, or five. EMPATHIZE: honor the worry, don’t excuse it. It’s real! EVALUATE: what are the solutions LET GO: [cue Elsa] you’re doing a good job. Take a step forward and raise your head up.
Brene Brown spoke to Oprah a few years ago, on Super Soul Sunday. Feel free to watch the entire clip (it’s good), but at minute 4:00 she says “We are trying to dress rehearse tragedy so we can beat vulnerability to the punch.” Gratitude and practicing joy. How can this tangible behavior help?
Thoughts? What do you and your children do to ease anxiety and feel joy?