Sunday, 18 November 2012

Snap, Crackle & POP! Live Life~Love Life WK47

Why are we describing life as a bowl of cereal? Possibly because so much is going on in our lives at any one time, a mixture of ingredients all stirred up together and full of mini explosions. Inevitably some of this is down to our genes in the first instance as they are responsible for our basic characteristics... and let’s face it; physical appearance often does have a direct affect upon our personal experiences. It’s not only children who can be cruel, some of us will hold very biased views as adults and this often shapes our initial opinions of others and dictates the way we treat them. It is frequently the unexpected that causes life’s little explosions- the occasions when we haven’t had time to prepare mentally. If we focus on learning some coping mechanisms this may help with our overall communication especially with regard to stressful situations.

SNAP... we all reach breaking point at times. Ideally we need to use our internal barometer to measure stress and be careful not to take on too much. There are times when stress is unavoidably piled on top of more stress. You may need to be able to identify what makes you feel the most stressed and find the best strategies for coping. No action = increased stress. A problem becomes larger when it is left to its own devices, causing us to feel out of control which exacerbates the challenges. Certain situations in life are major stress factors and these are often life changing events. Changes in marital status, having children or moving home are all in this category. Where possible, try to plan changes in ways that cause minimal disruption and encourage ease of transition. Try to take whole family needs and feelings into account; it is worth remembering that young children are usually more adaptable than we give them credit for when it comes to changes such as school. Obviously there are children who require additional help to cope with change and routine.

CRACKLE... Sometimes we don’t quite know what’s going on in life. There may be covert agendas bubbling away that need to be brought out into the open. Quite often we are unsure when deciding our next move. Write your options and reasons for them down... find a way to score and make decisions! The usual battle here is head verses heart and getting the balance right is crucial. Decisions leaning too far in one direction are usually unsound however we must always listen to gut instinct and not ‘reason’ it away.

POP... Pop is a great way to describe achievement and celebration... sounds like releasing a champagne cork! When things go well how much attention do we pay to them? Why did they work? How can you apply this process to something that is not going so well? What rewards will you use by way of celebration? How does success make you feel? How does it affect family/friend relationships? Being pleased for others is a gift and is far better than being resentful of their achievements.

When children are young we are often very encouraging. Most of the things they are learning we are in agreement with. Problems may occur later, especially when a teenager wishes to follow a different plan to their parents mental map. It can be difficult celebrating achievements that do not match up with your expectations. If you wish your child to go to university and study engineering and they go off of their own accord and are offered an apprenticeship at a hairdressers you may feel deeply unhappy. Ultimately we recognize individual choice as a basic right and it is better for your child to enjoy their career choice. Flexibility in your approach shows understanding and openness making it easier for children to seek your advice.

Achievements can be regarded as retrospective carrots!! They should spur us on to the next step and are meant to be enjoyed. We often reward children with stars and adults with pats on the back! You can always manufacture a small reward for yourself based on the things you enjoy and it may be helpful to keep a record to act as a positive springboard.

Are you ready to wake up in the morning to the snap, crackle and pop of your life? If you take a more relaxed view of these ingredients and accept them you are more likely to stay afloat rather than feel as if you are riding and crashing the waves! A few minutes peace or meditation are good mental preparation for the day and simply a way of taking stock and seeing the overall picture.

Jaz McKenzie

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