🧬 Sometimes, things will happen with your kids that can bring up old feelings you may still have trapped in the body from childhood. This is where you might overreact or have big disproportionate reactions, feelings and thoughts. You might find yourself saying or doing things that you never thought you would!
Of course, being a mum doesn’t stop. If you have babies/ toddlers/ preschoolers at home you most likely don’t have the luxury of much quiet space to yourself for processing! So, it’s important to have some steps up your sleeve to help you process your triggers and get back to the present moment right away.
When you feel triggered, you are emotionally transported back into the body/ time /space of that little girl who felt powerless because her brother snatched her favourite doll and wouldn’t give it back. You then react to the current situation from this space. You seek to regain the power and control in the situation. Suddenly it’s no longer about your child picking that pair of socks off the floor and putting them in the laundry basket. It’s about your favourite childhood doll. The situation very quickly becomes unnecessarily emotionally charged. ‘Unnecessarily’ because your child’s lack of cooperation with picking up his socks has absolutely nothing to do with you and nothing to do with your childhood doll… right? Your ego is making it so. And once you get on that track, where your brain goes into fight or flight and your stress hormones are activated, it can be very hard to get off. But not impossible. When you can become aware that your feelings have absolutely nothing to do with your child’s behaviour you can begin to deal with the two issues separately.
Becoming a conscious observer of your ego in action takes time.
Every time we learn something new, it takes time to strengthen those neural pathways in the brain. At first it may feel hard or even impossible, but it will become easier for you, I promise. The first part is simply being aware that you’re feeling triggered. Even if you aren’t able to act on that awareness straight away, know that you’re making progress. Once you are aware that you’re feeling ‘triggered’ you can follow these four steps to help you reconnect to yourself and the present moment.
Step 1) Feel your feet on the floor/ or walk/ pace (even just to the next room ). Moving your body helps to keep you grounded, in your body and more present.
Step 2) Take a few long, deep breaths. A long inhale and an even longer exhale is helpful. This helps helps to calm and soothe the nervous system, esp if your amygdala (fight or flight) response has kicked in (FYI I have an audio to guide you through this step in my Mindful Mothers Starter Pack)
Step 3) Place your hand on your heart and acknowledge what you’re feeling. Take even 1 minute to be present with your emotion. Where do you feel that in your body? How does it feel? What are the physical sensations? It’s okay to feel that way! Breathe. This keeps the emotions flowing. Rather than stopping them or keeping them stagnant in your body.
Step 4) Reconnect to your child. Get done to their level, look into their eyes, put your arm around them.
Going through these steps means you’ll be feeling more connected within and much more connected to your child.
When you feel connected, you’re going to be much more likely to stay present and respond lovingly. Afterwards, when you do have a moment for some introspection, consider why you might have been feeling this way. What does it stem from? Your triggers are opportunities for further healing.
Do you have questions or would like to know more about this – I’d love to hear from you! And if you’d like my support in creating your own personalised plan of action for more balance, ease and flow at home with your children, you can book here or get in touch through my Facebook page and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible xo