How to cope with back to school stress

The new school year is full of stress for the family.  Some school things you’ll know about, some things you won’t know about.  What makes this a challenging time for parents is that stress is contagious. Children pick up on your feelings and you pick up on theirs!  You know what to put in their lunchbox and what uniform to buy, but how can you cope with stress and help your child deal with their anxieties about going back to school for a new year? 

The answer is to have some emotional freedom techniques on hand and say to the kids “You have Superpowers in your fingers!” -

  • Explain to your children that it is normal to feel anxious or nervous, you sometimes feel like this too but you can show them how to feel better

  • Ask your children to tell you the biggest emotion they are feeling about going back to school e.g. fear or worry and get them to describe where they feel this most in their body

  • Talk to your children how they want to feel about going back to school e.g. calm or confident

  • Start doing breathing exercises together - breathe in deeply and have one hand with the palm upwards. With the other hand use three fingers to tap gently on the middle area of your wrist about two fingertips width down from the bottom of your hand.

  • Breathe in positive feelings like calmness and breathe out negative emotions like stress.

  • Stress headache too? A quick way to help a headache (and stress) is to rub the pad of the thumb with your other hand.

Using Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called Tapping Therapy can help shift and reduce unhelpful emotions until you or your child feel calmer. If you’re watching sport on the television, you’ll often notice many athletes ‘tapping’ to control emotions, now you can too wherever you are.

To help support your family’s wellness, contact Lou Tassell at Optimal Vitality.  Appointments available in Richmond, New Malden and Surbiton.

What to do when our emotions just get the better of us

Let’s face it, there are times when our emotions can get the better of us - we all get stressed, overwhelmed or frustrated with ourselves or someone else. Unhelpful and negative emotions affect how we behave, how we communicate with others - they limit our capabilities and always (as proven by science) have a physical effect on the body.

Well, you can finally relax as you don't have to carry on putting up with these feelings, I will explain how you can change them and move forward. 

I often say we are made like onions - with many layers of emotions and beliefs! 

The ability to feel emotions differentiates us from most other animals and is hugely important to our lives. However, our brain is naturally wired to be negative so our default program is to feel the negative emotion, rather than the positive one. That often triggers the fight or flight emotion and at this point your logic, clarity and focus switch off - which is not helpful when we need a solution. It's an automatic reaction that you can't stop!

This pre-wired automatic negative response to situations means that unless we learn new ways to effectively manage that emotional reaction we will always plunge into the debilitating stress response which does not help us achieve the outcome we are looking for (unless you are in a truly life threatening or dangerous situation, then you definitely need it!).  

Tapping is a form of acupuncture for emotions without the needles.  Instead of using needles we tap on the meridian points of the body to access the unhelpful emotions and beliefs that we have collected over our lifetime which are held in our subconscious mind. Negative or unhelpful feelings such as anxiety, unable to cope, and not good enough disrupt the flow of energy (chi) in our body.  The process of talking about that emotion at the same time as tapping releases the energy disruption in our body and sends calming messages to the brain. This clears and rebalances our nervous system and also reduces our cortisol levels which is a stress hormone. Once you clear the negative emotions, the mind is ready to fully experience the benefits of positive emotions and regains logic, clarity and focus allowing you to move forward. It is very powerful and often used by sports men and women.  You see Olympian athletes release pre-event nerves and promote maximum performance – see 400m runner Bralon Taplin tapping before a race here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfnsV3URoRU

The great news is that your whole family can use this volume control button for emotions to turn down emotions any time - at home, work or school. Adults who might be feeling overwhelm of responsibility or work stress and children/teenagers who may be feeling the pressures of school, exams, friendships or lack of confidence. 

Once you learn the technique, you have a tool for life which you can always turn to for emotional support and share with family and friends.  Emotions are an important part of our daily life and cannot be avoided!

If you would like to learn this empowering, always available and highly effective tool that allows you to turn those unhelpful emotions into positive ones, take back emotional control and allow you to get the most out of life, then please give me a call today for a free 20 minute wellness chat on 07966 502611 or email me at lou@optimalvitality.co.uk.