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Emotional Resilience: 5 Exercises For The Whole Family - Self-development, Society
Emotional Resilience: 5 Exercises For The Whole Family - Self-development, Society

Video: Emotional Resilience: 5 Exercises For The Whole Family - Self-development, Society

Video: Emotional Resilience: 5 Exercises For The Whole Family - Self-development, Society
Video: 5 steps on how to develop resilience 2023, June

Emotional resilience is the ability to cope with painful experiences and learn from them valuable lessons that would positively shape our personality. Emotionally stable people are able to withstand heavy loads, react more calmly to difficulties and recover faster after life trials. And learning to do this is not so difficult, especially if you do it with the whole family

What skill can be called the most valuable and in demand these days, when technologies are developing at the speed of light and changing our lives, when nature brings new surprises, when financial stability seems only a vague memory, and human closeness is slipping through your fingers?

The quality that will help us and our children cope with the stress and challenges of our time and live meaningful and joyful lives is emotional resilience.

A ray of hope in dark times

Modern research points to a record leap in mental disorders in children and adolescents, and anxiety disorders and depression are becoming the champions in this field - they are about 50% more common than 15 years ago. According to various sources, about one in eight children from 5 to 15 years old is faced with one or another mental disorder. A third of adolescents who are now 13 to 18 years old will develop at least one anxiety disorder during their lifetime.

At the heart of this frightening statistic is the tremendous pressure that the younger generation is experiencing. This is the stress associated with studying at school and numerous sections, and peer bullying (including virtual), and anxiety about professional and financial prospects, and worries about the appearance and body image against the background of unrealistic social patterns.

If you, as a parent, feel helpless in the face of all these challenges, you are not alone

On the contrary, it would be strange to think that you can completely protect your children from the harsh and unpredictable reality. However, the most valuable gift you can give your daughters and sons is to teach them the skill of emotional resilience.

The Conscious Parent - Conscious Children

Our task is not to keep our children in vacuum bubbles for life, trying to save them from mistakes and pain. On the contrary, modern parenting assumes that we give our daughters and sons the opportunity to develop awareness, confidence and mental strength so that they can make their own decisions in life.

But what if we ourselves lack emotional stability? Is it possible to teach a child something that we do not have? It turns out you can. Especially if you study with your children. Modern science has long proved that our brains continue to develop throughout our lives: fresh neural connections are built in response to new information and actions.

You can learn, model and maintain the skill of resilience to stress at any age

When you do this with your children, it becomes part of the routine, and it also allows adults to return to their long-forgotten mode of play - and this is the most effective way to learn.

Exercises for the whole family

Fertile ground for the development of emotional stability - a strong support system and developed communication. If in a relationship it is possible to express emotions safely and competently, then their participants can more easily notice their feelings, recognize the reasons for their grief, and take the necessary actions to improve their condition.

To create such a relationship does not require any sweeping gestures and heroic deeds. Small rituals and attention to precious moments of intimacy are enough.

1. Time one on one

Not only children, but also adults need attention, attachment is needed. The inner “core”, which we so want to develop in ourselves and our offspring, will not be taken from anywhere - it is born from the realization that there is always a person nearby who needs you or needs you, who sees you.

No matter how much you work, no matter how busy your day, you can find precious bits of time in it when you can look your child in the eyes and listen to him or her, without flipping through the news feed on your smartphone

Children are magical creatures. They, unlike us, know how to enjoy the little things. A child needs 5-10 minutes of high-quality contact, your undivided attention, to be nourished with support and confidence from you.

If you keep checking emails from your tablet while playing mother-daughter or drowning in the news at dinner, you’re teaching a lesson that’s not a useful lesson: that it’s okay to be distracted and that your children are not important enough to make time for them.

The present time alone does not mean that you have to give up everything, put your child at the table and demand that he pour out his soul to you. Even the busiest routines already have moments of intimacy such as swimming, bus rides, eating together, and waiting in lines. It is in such "empty" moments that you can crawl out of your thoughts and get to know your little people better.

Chat, listen, talk about your feelings, support them in reciprocal self-expression. If these one-on-one minutes become regular, the child will be confident that it is safe to be with you.

2. Deferred remuneration

If you want to achieve emotional stability, it is important to understand that you will not always get everything as soon as you want it. Nowadays, when all desires are fulfilled with one touch of the smartphone screen, this knowledge is especially important to convey to children.

Without the ability to postpone immediate gratification for long-term benefit, people lose planning skills and lose touch with their true values

What activity teaches delayed gratification? For example, board games. They require self-discipline and control of impulsive reactions, develop the ability to wait for their move and think over their actions in advance. Most board games develop the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for situational analysis, decision making, creativity, and emotional regulation. If you also show yourself how to lose with dignity, it will also be a good lesson in emotional stability.

There are many other sources of delayed reward: learning to play a musical instrument, mastering a foreign language, assembling complex mechanisms (for example, in a robotics club), conducting chemical and physical experiments (have you ever tried growing crystals?), Or even watching your favorite TV shows on episodes a week, not the entire season in one gulp for a couple of days.

3. Healthy sleep

Sleep deprivation is a powerful stress engine that contributes significantly to depression and anxiety disorders in adults and children. It impairs memory and attention, slows down the speed of thinking and complicates decision-making.

The simplest solution to improving sleep quality is to reduce the amount of time in front of the screen

You have probably heard about the blue glow of screens, which suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin (which is why it is better to choose nightlights and lamps with a yellow or even red spectrum of light for a children's room). In addition, cartoons and games keep us (and children especially) in emotional tension and stimulate the brain - which is not conducive to relaxation before bed.

It is useful to introduce a family rule that all devices turn off an hour before bedtime. If necessary, put your smartphone in airplane mode or turn off wi-fi in the house. The main thing - do not forget to follow this rule yourself, if you require this from your children.

4. Active rest

Sport works wonders - and this is no exaggeration. Exercise actually improves brain function and increases our resistance to stress. When you and your children allow your body to move, the body gets used to switching from stress mode to calming mode faster.

During workouts, the same hormones are produced as in a state of psychological stress - only for a short time and with benefits for the heart and blood vessels

Well-chosen, regular aerobic exercise can sometimes even replace medication in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders - even though it is worth talking to your doctor first.

Moving around and being naughty with children is also a very fun activity. Now you can find many video tutorials on short home workouts in a playful way that can be done with the whole family: for example, portraying different animals or even acting out a performance consisting of squats, jumps and somersaults. And the more ridiculous it looks, the louder the children's laughter will be and the more joyful it will be to return to these activities day by day.

5. Recharging thanks

One of the most beneficial emotions for mental and physical health is gratitude. On the one hand, this is the main antidote to loneliness: if there is something or someone to whom you can say “thank you”, this already sets us up to a feeling of contact. On the other hand, gratitude has a different hormonal background and general physiological state compared to anxiety, sadness or anger, so thoughts of gratitude themselves have a beneficial effect on the body and psyche.

For the practice of gratitude to become regular, you can introduce a magical family ritual: at dinner, before bed, or in general at any time of the day, share with each other the answers to three questions:

  • What people and events have made me happy today?
  • What did I manage to do today to please someone?
  • What new have I learned today?

These questions contain an emotional component that is lacking in the more familiar "How was your day?" or "What did you do at school today?"

Discussing gratitude and sources of pleasure teaches you to notice pleasant experiences, and not filter them out against a general anxious-tense background. Who knows, maybe this simple ritual will help you learn about your children or even about yourself something that you would not mention in a more formal conversation?

Such conversations remind of kindness and mutual help, and in our world we too often forget about how subtly we influence each other with our actions and words. If the bricks of emotional stability are glued together with the cement of gratitude, we will have a chance to build a much healthier and more conscious society - and we can start with our own family.

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