Halloween Shouldn’t Be Stressful!

Halloween Shouldn’t Be Stressful!

Halloween is supposed to be fun! Do YOU remember the decision process of what to wear for Halloween? Chances are good that it didn’t matter if you chose a costume that someone else was wearing, or one that wasn’t quite as spectacular as your friend’s costume, or even one that you wore last year. It was all about the experience of dressing up, being in the costume parade at school, and then, the very exciting time of going trick and treating.  And it very seldom was anything but a safe experience.

I thoroughly loved Halloween. It was the holiday that allowed me to fully be out of regular character and act the part of someone entirely different from the normal me.  Decorations didn’t play a big part when I was a child, but when I became an adult, my kids informed me that I went a bit crazy creating a Halloween go-to destination for trick and treating.

Halloween Was Indeed Fun

I do believe I made it lots of fun for all the kids in the neighborhood. Is it fun for your kids? I hear from way too many children in today’s world that they’re stressed about what to wear, about what group of kids they can hang with that night, whether they’ll be invited to THE party, and whether this Halloween will be better than last year’s holiday.  They want something better than what they perceive is not okay and in that place of wanting something different, they’re stressed.

Stress and Halloween Are Not Supposed To Go Together

That’s not okay! If you notice your children are feeling anxious or nervous about the events of Halloween consider helping them by showing them how to be calm and relaxed. It’s all about discovering that breath is the key. Have you ever noticed that when YOU are anxious your breath gets blocked and congested? The trick is to open up the energy so breath expands. Here’s an easy energy tip to help your children breathe, to be calm and to let go of anxiety.

Your Halloween Treat

With one hand — hold your fingers on the upper back near the shoulder blade

With the other hand — hold your fingers on the upper arm

Then move those fingers to the outside of the wrist     

You can do it for yourself too.  And teach your children how to do it for themselves.

Right hand — hold your fingers on your left upper arm

Left hand — hold your fingers on the base of the right ribcage

Left hand — hold your fingers on the right inner thigh

Feel how the breath opens and everything in the body relaxes.  And experience a whole new way of feeling, including being excited about Halloween. Enjoy!

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Is Finding Time Creating Stress?

Woman So Stressed She is Vibrating

Is Finding Time Creating Stress?

Where did last week go? For that matter, where on earth did the last six months go?

Is time really passing faster? Or is it our perception? I believe that our brains take an accounting of all that we’re asking our physical, mental and emotional bodies to handle. When the list is long and the activities we manage to accomplish and check off of the list are many, our brains say, “I can do it all!” So our bodies step up to the plate to help us get around to it all and get it done and be able to even add more to the list.

FITTING IT ALL IN

But that means “all of the items on the list” need to fit into the calendar and into the entire picture. Our brains see all of those five and ten-minute segments and two plus hour time slots and have to figure out how we’re going to do it all. You would think that time would appear to slow down to allow it all to happen. But, alas, it is a paradox. The brain and our bodies get the sense that time is speeding up as we fill our days with all of the “to do items” on our lists because we’re NOT moving slow! It’s no wonder that feeling stressed comes into the picture.

OUR KIDS ARE AFFECTED BY WHAT THEY SEE

And here is the clincher. The kids in our lives SEE that behavior and our need to find time to do it all.  Many children have an amazingly full schedule between school, studying, music, and sports without even talking about all of the other extras. And that’s not even taking into account just hanging out and doing fun things with friends and family. They manage to do what they see US doing: filling up their calendars, trying to do it all, and experiencing time passing faster and faster as the days go by. And this brings them to feel the sense of “being stressed.”

There are significant health risks associated with stress. In an article by Dr. Robin Berzin, she identifies 10 Reasons Why Stress is the Most Dangerous Toxin in Your Life. Of the ten health risks, one really stood out. Dr. Berzin cites research into brain chemistry that shows “Early life events determine your set point for stress.” And if that was the only harmful effect, it is reason enough to break this habit of hurry.

SLOW DOWN AND FIND SPACE!

The solution: slow down and create space for our bodies to experience feeling the breath, feeling the energy of “just being,” discovering that meditation is easy when we allow our brains the opportunity to “just hang out.” Consider doing something to help you and the children in your life more easily allow that to happen. I start every day doing the Daily Clean Your House Flow. It takes me anywhere from five to twenty minutes, depending what I choose. The animation video I created only takes six and a half minutes!

A DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

And why are people doing the Daily Flow? They are noticing that they have better attention to detail because clarity and focus are boosted, that they are better able to do their activities without their bodies going into reaction (any sports, house and yard chores, computer work, etc.) and that their bodies stay healthier. But the absolute biggest reason is they feel less and less stress. People who do this daily practice have told me they notice that their breath is more expansive, that they can actually relax, that their brains slow down and let go of the chatter.

MY RECIPE FOR MINDFULNESS INSTEAD OF “MIND FULLNESS”

Try it for yourself. YOU just maybe will slow down and smell the roses! And just maybe we can model different behavior and change what’s happening out there in the world and help children NOT be in that terrible thing called stress.

Photo credit: Evil Erin / Foter / CC BY

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