The second key to stress-hardiness is the ability to live in the present moment; not living in the past or the future. Those who live in the past have a tendency to say things like “if only”
I hadn’t done this or that, I wouldn’t have this problem. Other times, you might find yourself worried about the future which sounds like “what if” all these things happen to me, then what?
Oh no! I’ll really be in trouble.
The following are ways you can cultivate present moment awareness:
- Model for your child a mindset of being present FULLY. Put away the cell phone and look into each others eyes when you speak. Play a game of sixth sensory knowing with your child. Remind them that our ancestors had to develop a keen sense of perception to the world around them for survival. In our modern age, we don’t have saber tooth tigers who threaten our safety, but we do need our kids to have “situational awareness”. What I mean, is that, more often than not, our children are walking around with there heads in their mobile devices. Kids have become less and less concerned about their immediate surroundings. Most of the time they may be safe but we are not teaching them the art of discernment which develops their keen sense of potential threats that exist. As a rule, routinely, ask your child to shut off her/his phone and pay attention. With your eyes and ears wide open- watch and breathe for just a moment. Ask them what they perceive?
- Next, ask your child to close her eyes and see if she can “feel” or perceive someone entering her personal space. Ask her to tell you how close or far you are standing from them. Keep practicing until your child’s accuracy increases.
- When your child is apprehensive about upcoming events, try this. Remind your child that in the present moment,nothing bad has happened yet. In this moment, all is well. Mentally, stop the “railroad train of never-ending worry thoughts” by choosing to stay in the present. Awful-izing the worst possible outcome is not using emotional intelligence. Staying present to exactly what is happening is wise. Staying present and open to all of our emotions is a practice of mindfulness, self care and patience. Instead of joining your child in their worry thought, you be calmand send that calm energy out. Your child feels your emotions. To help yourself in the cultivation of calmness, use this phrase with your child: “You have a special way of landing on your feet, even when you worry about things that could go wrong! So stay focused on this moment. In this moment, all is well.” You keep directing your child’s focus by saying: “Remember,(___say your child’s name), you have what it takes to do what it takes to get the job done! But for now, you are here with me and you are safe.” Say to your child: “Take a deep breathe…be still…feel your inner self be still…breathe…feel the peace within you in this magic moment of now. It is always available, even though you may go throughout your day out of touch with your peace, you can come back to it right now…breathe…rest…turn your attention away from the day and bring your attention inward to your breathing…breathe…be still in this magic moment of now.”
- Use the bell of awareness for practice. Today, most mobile devices have bell tones you can set whenever you like. Set the bell tone to ring every hour. When the bell rings, let it be a reminder to be here, now. Then, breathe, let go of worry, say: “all is well in this moment; I am safe; I am calm.”
5. Once again, teaching tales come to the rescue! Martin Waddell’s Can’t You Sleep Little Bear and Let’s Go Home Little Bear are favorites for young children.
Stay tuned, next we will look at the third key to stress-hardiness: Response-Ability.