Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You

“Do you have a bodily sign that signals you are needing a break or you are on the edge of stress?”

This question was posed on social media recently. As I read the responses below, I was struck by the repetition of the symptoms (some of which I’ve experienced myself on occasion).
“Hands shake. I feel anxious”
“Sleeping when I don’t want too”
“Migraines like the one I currently have”
“A super annoying and persistent eye twitch”
“My back gives out”
“My neck cramps up”
“An eye twitch or migraine”
“I get a knot at the base of my head. And then about 1-2 days later a migraine”
“I get to where I can’t think straight”
“I get a headcold and am down for about a week. I don’t get them any other times except for when I’ve been going and going for too long”
“Headaches, stomach aches, I get super grouchy, I start crying for “no reason- it’s really like 1000 reasons”
“I have breakouts and my eye begins to twitch”
“Headache. Anxiety. Eye twitch. Shaking hands. Tightness in neck”
“Stomach pains”
“Free floating anxiety/ loss of concentration”
“Headaches, body tightened up, feeling of dread”
“I know I’m approaching crisis when my wardrobe goes um… ‘eclectic’!”
“Wanting to sleep all the time”
“High heart rate, not able to sleep/stay asleep, change in appetite, headaches”
“My heart starts racing, I can’t sit still”
“My stomach feels like it’s grinding”
“Headache, stomach aches, back hurting more than usual, spacey mentally”
“Can’t sleep, Mind is over worked”
“Pressure in my head and a tight chest”
“Sleeplessness, upset stomach, inability to focus”
“Chest rash”
Moms, do you experience any of the stress indicators above? If you do, I can almost guarantee your tension permeates the rest of your household, no matter how good of a front you put up. If you’ve had these symptoms for years, this tension feels normal to your children. It also implies you are putting yourself last in your life. Ask yourself this: “What will this stress symptom look like 10 years from now if I allow it to continue?”
Let’s find a way to eliminate some of these symptoms. I can’t help with the sources of your pressures (because I don’t know what they are). However, here is one suggestion for calming your body while you are in the middle of the stress. (May I also suggest you teach it to your family?) Enjoy this helpful excerpt from my book, How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door.

Here’s the real kicker. Whichever way you react to the pressures in your life, you can expect your teen will do the same because:

  • you’re genetically related
  • she lives in your household where she copies your habits and coping solutions

This is not the time to negatively judge yourself or your daughter. This is the time for objective assessment. Look at it this way: If you both have the same color eyes, or if she laughs the way you do, you don’t judge. You observe. Similarly, you should not judge how she or you handle pressure. This is not about placing blame or feeling guilt. Instead, observe, listen, and learn to read the signs.
Signals abound if you look for them. The question then becomes whether or not you’ve been addressing the pressures in your life adequately. Here’s two starter tactics both you and she can try.
Quick Fixes
It’s time to do a quick check-in. Are you feeling a bit tense right about now? After drawing your attention to your daughter’s pressures and symptoms, and after looking at your own, I wouldn’t be surprised if tension, and a bit of anxiety, have crept up a notch or two. Try these two helpful tools right now.
Quick Fix #1: Mindful Breathing

  1. Draw your shoulders back.
  2. Listen as you take a slow deep breath through your nose.
  3. Listen as you slowly exhale through your relaxed mouth.
  4. Repeat for a total of five deep breaths, although in a pinch, three will do.

Do this now. It’s important. Mindful, slow deep breathing has several benefits:

  • It moves your lymph through your lymphatic system (which only moves when you do).
  • It massages your organs.
  • It adds more oxygen to your blood.
  • It increases your blood flow to your brain, which—let’s face it—can always use some extra oxygen.
  • It leads to yawning, an indication your energy level has changed.

Do Mindful Breathing five or more times daily. Do it when you are driving, before you get out of bed and after your head hits the pillow, before and after every meal, before a meeting at work, and definitely after one. Do Mindful Breathing whenever you feel tension, and whenever you think of it. Make this part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.

The second tool can be found in How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door, along with tons of other strategies for you and your tween/teenage daughter. The book is already available for preorder at these fine locations:

Click on the link and order yours today. (Spoiler Alert: It will help you with your relationships with your sons as well.)

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