Parents who manage their stress and emotions so they stay mentally healthy, especially during challenge, change, chaos or crisis, are better equipped to raise emotional healthy and well-adjusted children. Let’s discuss why.
Believe me, I understand.
You’re busy and you don’t want to take the time to give attention to your mental and emotional well-being because you have so much on your plate.
If you haven’t considered the value of expert help so you manage the stress of life, you may want to ask yourself, ‘Are the kids alright?’
Did you answer with a resounding ‘Yes’?
Well, think again.
When you are under stress, avoiding facing what you are feeling, pushing your emotions away or thinking that all you need to do is ‘get through this’ and then you’ll be ‘okay’, is not the answer. It’s difficult at best. It’s dangerous at worst.
Reason Number One:
You have emotions and so does everyone else.
According to ‘Longman Dictionary of Psychology and Psychiatry’, emotions are “A complex reaction pattern of changes in nervous, visceral, and skeletal-muscle tissues response to a stimulus… As a strong feeling, usually directed toward a specific person or event and involves widespread physiological changes, such as increased heart rate and inhibition of peristalsis.”
Years of scientific discoveries have shown emotions are physiologically based. Which means having an emotion, whether acknowledged or not, alters biochemistry and cellular function, and that impacts organs and systems in the body. Thus, dis-ease and diseases that include eczema, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease and others have been shown to be directly connected to emotional and mental stress.
In fact, some researchers in the field of mind/body medicine estimate that 99 percent of the people who die of cancer, as well as heart disease, suffer from chronic, serious depression, anger or a combination of both emotions. According to famed physician, Dr. C. Norman Shealy, the most prevalent ongoing emotion leading to cancer is depression, while chronic anger is the most likely emotion to cause heart disease and high blood pressure.
These findings parallel those of former Stanford University scientist Dr. Bruce Lipton, whose research shows that chronic stress is a primary cause of more than 95 percent of all types of disease conditions. Most people live with some form of chronic stress and don’t have reliable methods or tools to manage the pressure they face.
Martin*, the CEO of a global financial company, when working with me to handle his current business stress, suddenly recalled that his chronic stomach problems started when his father suffered from depression and anger outbursts following a business collapse — nearly four decades earlier.
Tala*, a real estate entrepreneur, realized her skin condition started during the time she would hear her parents screaming at each other daily for years before they divorced when she was eleven.
Both had dramatic improvement when they identified the cause and healed the underlying emotional triggers creating their symptoms by using a customized mind-body approach.
I have a long list of issues, these and others, such as headaches, sinus conditions, neck and back pain, digestive issues and more from over twenty-five years and thousands of sessions with clients. They had physical problems which were previously uncorrectable until the emotions of their childhood and current stress was addressed, transformed and healed. In many cases they might have avoided the development of their health conditions had their parents understood, taken the time and found the right expert to help them fortify their emotional and mental health, especially during stressful times, and made sure their kids were alright as well.
Reason Number Two:
Emotions are Contagious.
For decades researchers have studied the tendency for people to unconsciously and automatically mimic the emotional expressions of others, and in many cases actually feel the same feelings, simply by exposure to emotions in social interactions.
Studies have found that merely seeing another person frown or a smile, or other kinds of emotional expression, trigger reactions in our brains that cause us to interpret those expressions as our own feelings. Simply put, we are as a species, innately vulnerable to “catching” other people’s emotions.
Yes, your children can be deeply impacted by your emotions — even when you’re not aware you are emotionally reacting, even when you think they’re not looking, and even when you believe you’re not showing your reactions.
Alicia*, a CEO in the middle of a divorce was in tears when she shared with me, “I just heard Melanie (her daughter) tell her sister she hates daddy because he made mommy so sad. I couldn’t believe it. I am sad, but I never told her I was”. You don’t have to say it for them to see it.
A high-profile attorney, William*, going through a major law suit was experiencing panic attacks, and recalled when he was a child, every time his mother had a certain look on her face he could feel his heart beating in his chest, just like he was experiencing during his current panic attacks, even though she said nothing. He didn’t learn until he was an adult that she suffered with anxiety and panic attacks.
The process in which a person, or a group, influences the emotions and behavior of another person (or group) through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotions is referred to as “emotional contagion” (EC). According to many research studies, including reports in Psychological Science and Psychology Today, this is a very real and serious issue. There are studies that demonstrate how powerfully EC can impact our relationships, partnerships, friendships, teams, business relationships, and groups of all kinds. Most people do not realize how much their own emotions are influenced by the emotional states of others, or how much they impact others by their emotional states.
We know that the impact can work both ways — positive and negative. So, the important question is, ‘In what direction are your emotions being influenced, and how is your emotional state affecting your children (and others around you)?”
Reason Number Three:
You have ‘Mirror Neurons’ (and so do your children).
In the early 1990s, Italian researchers made an incredible discovery of something called ‘mirror neurons’. Mirror neurons are a special class of brain cells that fire not only when an individual performs an action, but also when the individual observes someone else make the same movement.
Human infant data suggests that the mirror neuron system develops before 12 months of age. This means your children can actually feel what you are feeling, just by observing you when you are under stress! Your emotions are impacting not only you but your children’s nervous system, perceptions, reactions, behaviors and their overall health and well-being — whether you are aware of it or not.
I imagine now you can see that no matter how full your life is, you are not too busy to consider having expert help to assure you manage your emotions and your mental stress. If not for your sake, for the sake of your children. I’m here to help.
©2002-2021 Dr Denise Nadler. All rights reserved. This is for educational purposes and are not meant to imply any professional recommendation.
If you are going through any life stress with a legal battle, divorce, custody battle, bankruptcy, illness and more, or if you’ve just come through something like that, or you know it is imminent in your near future, or if you are routinely under high level stress, let’s have a Real Conversation to discuss how VIP Consulting can offer profound benefits in preserving and protecting personal and professional focus, relationships, performance and well-being.
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*These are not my clients actual names. However, they all gave permission for their story to be shared.