The other day my Mimi got really triggered, she was so upset and angry and I saw these big emotions overtake her. Her body tensed up and she opened her mouth to yell, but instead closed it and abruptly turned and left the room. I saw her scurrying around the house, head down, eyebrows knitted huffing and puffing, and at first didn’t know what she was doing.
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But then I realized that she had gathered a canvas, paintbrush, paints, and a cup of water and sat down at the table and began to paint.
She kept her mouth closed, and her head down and I watched as she channeled her fury into her painting. As the moments passed she relaxed, her shoulders melted, her demeanor softened, and her attitude changed. When she finally looked up from her painting it was with this big smile, calm, collected, and happy.
When we get triggered it is extremely hard (if not impossible) to think, act and speak from a calm place. In conscious parenting a big focus is on giving ourselves and our children the space to notice and have our big feelings and then learning how to self-regulate; or “find our calm” before we continue to act, speak, or confront a challenging situation.
It is so important for each of us to take the time to figure out what helps us self-regulate to set ourselves up for success!
We are all unique and there are so many different, beautiful ways for us to find this calm place; through what we call a calming access tool. Some people take deep breaths, others drink water, count to 10, go for a run, sit by themselves for a little while, dance to some music…and the list goes on.
It was so inspiring to see Mimi notice her feelings and run to find something that she knew would help her come back to her body and regulate on her own before she took out her big feelings on anyone else. For the record, this is not how is always goes! There are many times where she yells or storms away, but slowly our children learn and get better as we show and talk to them about different ways of working through their feelings.
What helps you to find your calm?