Family connectedness starts with you. You can be the calm one in the house.
Stop wishing for the perfect life, the perfect children, and perfect home. If you find your inner voice saying things that include words like 'should' and 'it's not fair', 'if only' this is an indication that you are experiencing distorted thinking. Distorted thinking is one of the underlying causes of depression. If you are having these types of thoughts, chances are you are not feeling very happy. If you are not feeling happy and positive, it is unlikely your family is happy either.
Start with where you are. One way to move forward is to practice ABOLD approach.
A: Awareness. Notice the thoughts you are having e.g.. 'I wish my child would just do as they are told'.
B: Breathe. Take 3 deep breaths.
O: Own your thought or feeling. 'Isn't that interesting. I'm having the thought again that I wish my child would just do as they are told'.
L: Let it go. You are not your thought. Often just acknowledging your thought will create a sense of release. Otherwise there are a range of techniques you can practice. The following are just a couple of suggestions. Imagine putting that thought into an envelope and posting it or shaping into a balloon and releasing it. Or imagine the thought in big letters and then shrinking it down so it fits in the palm of your hand.
D: Do something. Ground yourself in the here and now. Sip water, wriggle your toes, hug your child, go for a walk. Reclaim yourself and the situation for how it actually is.
* 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.