BETCHA You Can Become a Stress Conquering Mom

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July 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm  •  Posted in Stress Management by  •  0 Comments

By Bette J. Freedson, LCSW, LICSW

Introduction

The BETCHA process (Breath, Evaluate, Think, Choose, Heart Approach, and Act Appropriately)  can help you gain confidence in your coping know-how. The more you practice, the more automatically you will be able to apply the six BETCHA steps to reduce stress during difficult and problematic situations that arise in the life of a mom.

Six Quick Tips for Calming Mom and Coping With Kids
Build a foundation of coping skills that will reduce parenting stress and increase Peace of Mind.
Tip #1 –BREATHE

Your breath is the pathway to healing your body, calming your mind, conquering your stress and coping with your kids. Conscious breathing improves focus and concentration, allowing access to inner wisdom and intuition when you encounter a stressful situation. When your mind is calm, you can make more effective coping decisions. When you feel stressed, start by taking one or two deep breaths—comfortably, not necessarily 100% full. Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly. Feel your abdomen rise and fall as you breathe in and out. Feel where the relaxation starts in your body and allow it to spread, continuing to breathe normally and comfortably. When you want to deepen the calm feeling, you can try another deep breath.

Accompany your breathing with this affirmation:
Every time I breathe in I heal my body. Each time I breathe out I calm my mind.
I am able to know the best decisions to make for my children and myself.
Tip #2–EVALUATE

Now that you are calm, you can focus more clearly on the situation at hand. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. Ask yourself these questions: What am I thinking and feeling about these circumstances. How do I usually cope when I am stressed? Take a moment to evaluate how your typical coping strategies have worked in the past. How do you think they might work now? Are there other supports or skills you need?

Tip #3–THINK

Next take time to think about the facts of the situation. Sometimes things are happening fast, especially when kids are involved. Practicing thinking about what is going on will become more automatic over time. As you think, continue to notice your thoughts and feelings. Your awareness will help you to know what to do. Think about some coping options. Is this a situation similar to something you have handled successfully before? Think clearly about what you want to accomplish. Intentions and motivations play an important role in making choices. Your intuition is a part of your thinking process too. Gut feelings can help you recognize your intentions and select a strategy.

Tip #4–CHOOSE

When you have evaluated what is going on, have paid attention to your thoughts and feelings; have thought about your options, and have used your intuition to recognize what you want to accomplish, you are ready to choose a coping strategy. Matching motivation to strategy gives greater potential for an effective outcome.

Tip #5–“HEART” APPROACH

Notice ideas that seem to come from an inner sense of knowing what is right. This is the “heart approach.” Including your “heart” or “gut feeling” when thinking about how to handle a stressful situation helps you transcend negative emotions and choose wisely. This is particularly important when the kids are driving you mad. Using the “heart approach” along with factual evaluation of the situation will prepare you for the most effective action.

To access Heart try this affirmation:
I am able to stay centered and in touch with the higher good of my children and myself.
Tip #6–ACT APPROPRIATELY

If you have calmed yourself with some good breaths; have taken time to think; have evaluated the situation; have added the centering influence of your heart; and are clear about your feelings and intentions, you are now prepared to take appropriate action.

As you get more familiar with them you will find them readily available. You can use them in any order that is most helpful. Trust that the BETCHA steps will take you into new territory of learning to live life calmly and wisely, and find more effectiveness and satisfaction in being a stress-conquering Mom!

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