Releasing Our Emotions

Written by Christy Whitman August 16, 2013
Mother and son

Okay, the next exercises that I want to talk about are recognizing, feeling, and most importantly, releasing our emotions.

As parents, it’s vitally important that we teach our kids about emotions so that they can understand what’s going on inside of them. First, we have to help them identify what the emotion is. Find out what it is that they’re feeling. And in doing so, if they identify an emotion like “I’m upset” (which can mean many things), we want them to identify the core emotion. Are they sad? Disappointed? Angry? Frustrated? Once they have identified the emotion, it is also important to teach them what they can do with those emotions.

For example, Alex was angry at his brother the other day and threw his toy at the wall. I explained to him that being angry is an emotion, and I can understand why he would be angry (we must allow them to have their emotions and express them but in a healthy way) because his brother knocked over the block house he took so much time to build, but we must not harm others or ourselves with our emotions.

Throwing the toy at the wall could damage the wall, or if someone got in the way, it could hit that person and harm them. We must express our emotions in a healthy way. I then had him imagine a bubble in front of him, put all that anger in the bubble, and then blow the bubble away. Less than ten seconds later, he was fine and back in a good mood.

A couple of days after that, we were driving in the car, and the boys were in the back. Maxim was singing loudly, and Alex had asked him to stop, but he wouldn’t. Alex got frustrated and said, “I am frustrated. I am putting it in a bubble.” And then he took a big breath and blew the bubble away. He felt much better.

Teaching our children to first identify their emotions will allow them to understand themselves and to better manage how they feel. They can then express their emotions in a healthy way and have an outlet instead of suppressing or denying them (which can lead to numbing as a teenager and an adult), and could ultimately lead to negative addictions, vices, and actions because they never learned how to feel and deal with emotions in a positive way.

How are you?

Are you taking care of yourself?
Are you happy?
Are you taking time to connect with yourself?

The reason I’m asking is because your energy directly affects your children. Your mood directly affects your children. Your state of being affects you, your children, and the environment. It all starts with you. The expression, “If Momma (or Daddy) ain’t happy, nobody is happy,” is so true.

If your children are anxious or hyper, they are most likely picking up on your energy or the energy of their environment. If you are feeling anxious or stressed in any way, it is so important for you to manage that stress. That is why meditation is so crucial. Even if you take just 5 minutes to connect with your own inner peace, it will calm you and your emotions, quiet your thoughts, and allow you to connect with YOU. Meditation allows you to put things in perspective and turn your attention from everything outside of you to within you. It allows you to return back to the place where your personal power resides—within you.

As parents, we are constantly giving our attention outside of ourselves to our children, to our partners, and even to our work. Meditation is a break during the day to bring all of our energy back to ourselves. This grounds us and allows us to be centered. When we are centered, we are less reactive and more patient. When we are coming from our hearts and not our heads, we can respond in a loving way.

When you meditate, find a quiet place in your home (or even go to the car for a few minutes). Keep your back straight so that the energy can flow through you. Imagine that you are bringing all of your energy back to yourself. Imagine that any negative energy (frustration, anger, sadness, etc.) is leaving your body and going into an imaginary bubble. And just as we teach our children, imagine blowing this bubble away so that your energy is clear. This just takes a few minutes, and it makes a world of difference.

Any time you can take time for yourself to feel centered doing meditation, yoga, or even conscious breathing, you will find that it will help you enjoy your role as a parent. Not only that, your children will enjoy being around you because you are happy, centered, and calm.

I hope you’re starting to see how everything I’ve been sharing with you will impact both you and your kids for the rest of your lives. How many of us wish that our parents or teachers had taught us these skills when we were kids? Can you imagine how your life might be different today?

This is what it’s all about—continuing to give our kids the tools and skills that we may not have had growing up and giving them the core building blocks that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

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