Before you read this, I want you to know that I am not a psychologist, I am just a mum and a life coach with a deep curiosity into the human mind and emotions. I believe that if we can understand ourselves better and our children better life is going to be easier all round.
Last night in my newsletter and I talked about how Sir Isaac Newton says that energy is neither lost nor destroyed, it is merely transferred from one to another.
Everything we are is energy. We are vibrational beings interacting in a vibrational universe. Everything we feel is energy. Anxiety, insecurity, fear, sadness. These are all bad energy, but what I didn’t say in my newsletter last night is that just because it is bad energy we don’t need to feel it, just like we experience the good! Only by truly allowing ourselves to feel the bad energy can those vibrations, your e-motions surface and release.
Have you ever watched a toddler laugh away at something carefree, only to stub their toe a minute later and drown in tears, but once they’ve cried them they are back to laughing again? If you let this flow of emotions run its natural course. If we allow them to feel the emotion as they go through it, allowing each one to surface and release, they come out the other side OK. It’s so easy to rush in and try and fix whatever has made them cry or, like I do without compassionate sometimes because it’s the tenth time the tears have come, try to dismiss the emotion to make it go away. Children will be taught quickly enough by us adults and society to unlearn their natural response to an emotion and replace it by the expectation to “get over it” and move on. Even if we don’t mean to teach them this the screens, the pressure to hurry from one thing to the next, the pressure from school and friends, will teach them to be less mindful. And in this loss of mindfulness is the time their bodies need to be in their emotions and work them out.
When a child takes a razor blade to their veins and cuts they are forcing themselves to feel something. As the blood leaves the vein the feeling releases. They are not releasing the problem, but to them the relief of releasing something is enough.Could it be as simple as a general lack of mindfulness in our society is leading our children to this? I don’t know, but as a teenager who took a pair of scissors to her arm way back when and knowing what I know now about myself that kind of makes sense.
As a mum I have already talked about how we expect way too much of ourselves in the time that is available to us, so this inevitably leads to punishing feelings of guilt and failure and makes us stressed and feel overwhelmed.
And then it’s terribly hard to be mindful when you are a mum. In my Design Your Life blog series I talk about how we are constantly rushing and multitasking, which means that we are not allowing ourselves to be present in any moment because we are constantly rushing on to the next. What do you think this does to the bad energy that accumulates from the guilt, the failure, the stress and overwhelm? Where do you think it goes? How do you think it gets released? Well, it doesn’t.
It manifests. If you ever feel overcome by guilt and anxiety for what seems like no reason, that is a good sign of accumulating negative energy. One of the things I noticed in my journey with anxiety was that it would be at its worst first thing in the morning. Really before I had even opened my eyes! I could never figure out what that was about. I realise now in retrospect that there was nothing else to busy my mind at that time, so the negative energy got its chance to start surfacing. And when it surfaces we feel it all over again, but when we have felt it, we can release it. Instead of feel because it was painful I got up and quickly busied myself again.
Another common time for people to experience this overwhelming onset of guilt and anxiety about what they can’t quite put their finger on is at night; having difficulty sleeping. I have previously recommended highly sedative essential oils to people and they just haven’t worked because the problem is in the mind. Essential oils to calm the mind and the anxiety then help, but the cure is in releasing the negative energy for good.
In a child stagnant bad energy might manifest as them being especially cranky and irritable. Whether we like to believe it or not our children experience stresses. As we begin to understand our children’s personality profiles we can better understand exactly what stresses them out. For example, Eden needs a lot of structure and routine and likes the detail of things, so my being completely the opposite can naturally stress her out. She’s also dealt with a lot in her short years – her bad health and my anxiety and depression. I am learning to give her better expectation of the day in front of her, more routine and have more patience in order to help her feel less stressed now, but maybe I need to work on helping her release the stagnant bad energy of the past.
When we are under stress our emotions react differently. Eden has always had very high emotions. It doesn’t take much for her to “tip”. However, hubby and I have noticed that her emotions have got much, much worse over the last few months and this morning it suddenly dawned on me that she is probably holding onto a lot of negative energy. Maybe she has even entered into a constant “fight or flight”. There seems to be no balance in her emotions at all. She is snapping at the slightest things, her fuse with her sister is short, she’s irritated far too easily and Craig and I have been struggling to know how to respond. I have realised that we have undoubtedly been handling the situation all wrong. Instead of disciplining the “bad behaviour” (time out, “don’t hit your sister”, taking away the toys as they fight, we should be supporting her to release the trapped energy. Maybe through expression, creativity, music and movement; all the thing she likes. I found some really great ideas on pinterest that I am going to try.
And you know, similar applies to us as adults. We can help ourselves to feel our emotions and move through them quickly. And we can help our children to do the same; let them be in their emotions and then do something to help them surface and release.
Did you ever see a dog physically shake after a shock? They shiver and shake for a while. This is them physically shifting their negative energy out. We can learn a lot from this. Next time you notice a negative emotion, do just that, notice it, feel it, experience it. Do the same with our children, allow them to experience the emotion. Then do something to help the emotion surface and release. Move, grab a pen and write about what’s going on, talk to a friend, get straight out in the fresh air and walk, jump on the trampoline with the kids, maybe even physically shake or make yourself laugh so hard that emotion is going to bounce right out! Just don’t let it sit and sink.
Much Love x x
2 thoughts on “What’s in a tantrum?”
I love the example of the dog shaking all of their negative emotions out. What a great visual! I think as adults we’ve forgotten how to sit with our feelings, which makes it so much harder to help our children. There is also pressure for parents to fix children’s negative feelings when our presence is likely all they need. Like you talked about with the quick switches between laughter and tears – children are born knowing what to do, we just have to work hard not to teach them otherwise. Not that I’ve got that sorted. We are works in progress. Best wishes to you xx
Thank you Meg! Maybe the answer really does lie in ourselves and improving our own mindfulness, so that our children model our behaviour. I love the idea that our presence is likely ll they need ❤ What a weight off for parents to know that! And I think we are all works in progress xxx