We can promote resiliency & connection by ‘tuning in’ to our senses, thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and relationships. Negativity, symptoms, and conflict often come from a state of stress and/or unmet needs.
Here are keys to empowering you to make conscious choices to get your vital needs met. Understanding and following these will harmonize your connection to your mind, body, and soul as well as your relationships.
Inconsistent or inadequate amounts/quality of the following vital needs trigger dysregulation (dependent on context and individual temperament or special needs):
- Level of stimulation (from all senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, & smell)
- Connection and Emotional needs of feeling Respected, Important, Secure, Accepted, Included
- Unprocessed stress/trauma (negative events, thoughts, emotions, chemicals)
“…kids don’t get dysregulated because we allow their emotions. They get dysregulated when they need to express an emotion but can’t. So, instead, they act (it) out.” ~Dr Laura Markham
Be detectives as a family… spy around for what might be triggering you and your family to act out?
When tension or negative behaviors are escalating, HALT(S) and reflect:
Are we Hungry?
Lonely? Is it too Loud? Are we running Late?
Are we Tired or too hot or cold (Temperature)?
Sick (coming down with a health expression)? Stressed out?
Get regulated together by doing the following daily:
- Take deep breaths
- Eat nutritious food & Drink water
- Reduce or change stimulation (i.e. adjust temp, turn off electronics, lower noise level, get fresh air and sunlight)
- Increase production of happy, calming hormones by doing fun, interactive activities such as smiling, silly faces, singing, music, hugging, playing games, tickling, dancing, exercising, attend social events, spending special one-on-one with each other
- Process stress & release negativity through play, drawing, exercising, writing, understanding, reflective listening, asking open-ended questions, identifying/labeling possible feelings, empathy…the list is endless and unique to individuals interests and/or preferences.
When applying these keys, please be compassionate with yourself and family. Change can be really hard, especially when our negative reactions are often unconscious. It is easy to get stuck in our comfort zones even if they are filled with unhealthy habits because they are familiar and “safe.” Anything new, even if healthy, will often be perceived at first as “threatening” so expect resistance and regression. It takes on average 21 times to practice a new skill in order to make it a secure, conscious connection in your mind/body/soul and relationships. It takes, even more times if there is any related trauma connected to the negative reactions. Deep breaths, baby steps. You can do it.
You can learn more about me and my online services at Wecounsel
Resilience: the ability to cope effectively in the face of stress, adversity, and potentially traumatic experiences
Regulation: Emotional, physical, psychological state of being calm, thoughtful, responsive, connected even in times of stress; the ability to experience a feeling, know that the feeling signals a need and then know how to get that need met
Stress: any emotional, mental, physical, or chemical stimulus that is prolonged, unpredictable, and/or overwhelming
Trauma: personal experience of an event that involves actual or perceived death or serious injury and/or any stressor that continues to go on unexpressed, unprocessed, and/or misunderstood
Dysregulation: being in a state of STRESS beyond your threshold of tolerance which alters the chemistry and functioning of your mind/body/heart connections; Creates unconscious emotions of fear; Activates stress hormones and flight/flight/freeze mode of reactions; and Decreases ability to access higher brain functions (i.e. problem solving, planning, language). The longer one stays in a state of dysregulation, we increase the likelihood of causing harm, impairment, escalation of negative behaviors and production of dysfunctional survival behaviors.
View these links for more info on children’s resilience and stress:
This is also a synopsis of some highlights I have learned from these amazing people:
Barbara Wetzel http://www.theergonomiccouple.com/
Juli Alvarado http://alvaradoconsultinggroup.com/
Bruce Perry http://childtrauma.org/
Dan Siegel http://www.drdansiegel.com/
Heather Forbes http://www.beyondconsequences.com/
Bryan Post https://postinstitute.com/
Disclaimer: Positive Reframe shares resources with the intent of the positive progression of informed decision making related to issues associated with emotional, relational, physical and spiritual wellness. While I share personal and professional perspectives, my writings reflect my personal opinion and not intended to substitute professional advice, diagnosis, and treatment. The online medium does not lend itself to the level of detail and rapport building required for thorough assessment and therapeutic intervention. Thus the content shared on this page is for informational purposes only. To make well-informed decisions that best meet your family’s unique needs, I highly recommend exploring and researching available options, consulting primary health care providers, engaging in respectful dialogue with friends and family as well as seek referrals from a trusted source for professional counseling. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy in the state Illinois, USA