If you are a regular reader of my posts you'll notice I mention noticing a lot. To some people this sounds too simple to be of much help. It is simple, but that is no reason to dismiss it as not being effective. Noticing things tends to be the first strategy I teach my clients and it is a practice I use everyday in my own life.
Today was the first day all three children were going to school. I tend to lay in bed in the morning and listen to them move around each other. This is not being lazy, this is helping them cultivate their own independence. Yes, it is. Also, just like their mother, at least one of them prefers to move around in their own little bubble not interacting with the world until they wake up properly, so sometimes adding more people into the morning mix is not helpful.
However, as I lay in bed I can hear what is happening. Two children needed to be taken to school. There were two adults available to do the driving this morning and one child was saying they wanted their dad to take them. At this point I realised it would require another adult, me, to hop up so that arrangements could be made. As I put one foot on the floor I felt something shift inside me so I took a moment in between placing the other foot on the floor to check in on myself. When I did I noticed a spot of irritation starting to grow inside me, it was green and spikey. It was small, but threatened to get bigger. This feeling was also accompanied by a negative voice. It sounded a little like a whiney child - "here we go again, the demands are starting'. Now this was totally irrational and out of proportion to the situation. Here is the exciting bit....
As I placed my attention on to this spot I felt it stop growing and shrink back to nothing. My irritation disappeared. This all happened in the time it took to place my other foot on the floor. And I left my room calm
I don't know what you think about this - but noticing, simple yes, effective yes, yes, yes.
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Ross is a Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds and Essential Self-Care for Psychologists.