Travis Johnson wrote:
We were talking about how addiction and the mentally ill in our county typically lack housing, and that needs to be addressed first, but the group had no idea that our church never locks our doors. How could we not open our doors and our hearts to those who do not have a home??? And then as we talked, another woman mentioned she has a whole house that is unused and could house some homeless families. I piped up that I had two empty houses as well. In a group of about 10 people, there was three empty homes...how many others are out there? How many churches are out there that are heated all winter yet only open Sunday Morning!!!
Nicole Alderman wrote:
I'm wondering how to raise kids so that they are less anxious and able to deal with life's stresses.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
A bit about me. Like Jocelyn, I had a pretty privilaged upbringing. We were never rich, and actually rather poor when I was little. But, we always had what we needed, and I had a LOT of stability. And, because I had so much stability and a very calm mother, and lots of alone time, my anxiety never really debilitated/disabled me... Sure, I'd get overwhelmed, but I was able to work through it and have time to do the things I needed to do. It never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do.
But, then I grew up. And changes came faster than I was used to, and I had a hard time coping. But, it was still never really debilitating--I was able to say "No" to a lot of stuff and spend a lot of time at home being an introvert, spending time in thought/prayer, and recovering and processing.
Then I had kids.
Nicole Alderman wrote:And my husband had Crohns.
Nicole Alderman wrote:And now reading everything you guys have mentioned, I can really see my anxiety. When life gets busy and stressful (like now when my husband is picking up a bunch of shifts), my fight/flight responce kicks in a TON. It's reeeeeaaly not useful to have instant intense emotions when your kid repeatedly doesn't do what you asked. My brain really struggles to deal with life's stresses, and I often feel very much like a failure.
Nicole Alderman wrote:("Mommy guilt" is a big thing. I don't take my kids to library time. I don't arrange play dates. Most every day when my husband works, I either stay on the property or go for walks. I don't go shopping. I don't get involved in community stuff. Sometimes, if life is less stressful, I'll do some stuff like that...but most of the time eveyrhting seems way too overwhelming for both me and my kids to attempt that).
Nicole Alderman wrote:Sometimes I wonder if I'd not had such a sheltered and safe environment as a kid, would I have learned to deal with stress? Would I be a stronger person if my parents had pushed me more? Would I be more "successful" (what's success, anyway)?
Nicole Alderman wrote: son also probably has high anxiety. I tried SO HARD to make his life calm and stable. I left work while pregnant with him because I was worried what the stress of dealing with my boss would do to him. He still came out screaming. I held him and comforted him, even when everyone told me to "put him down and let him cry." It just seemed like such a bad thing for his emotional development to have a him crying nonstop, (which he already did), let alone to do that crying away from Mama.
Nicole Alderman wrote:And, it seemed to work. I kept life as less-stressful as I could, and really tried to make his day something he could succeed in. By the time he was two, he didn't have tantrums and was generally sweet and agreeable. And then I got pregnant. And then my husband got Crohns. And we weren't able to help him...and suddenly he was tantruming constantly and always high-strung and anxious. It's only in the last half year (Read: two years of a high-strung, destructive, tantruming child) for life to calm down enough for him to finally get back to where he was emotionally before all this stress.
Nicole Alderman wrote:But life HAS stress. How do I prepare him for it? How do I equip him with the tools to not become an emotional/mental mess when life gets crazy?
Nicole Alderman wrote: Because life DOES get crazy, and there are sometimes times when you just don't have TIME to do any of your coping mechanisms (someone shared this article on crucial self-care tips for introverted women, and I had to laugh and cry a little, because the only one of those I was able to do for 4 years was to be outside. I'm pretty sure that's the only reason I have any sanity left).
Lots of "Mommy guilt" here too :-) Mine is basically guilt from not being nice to my kids, having lost my nerves and shouted etc.
I basically gave up the idea of trying to get out of the house with my kids already with my first child. It was just too stressful for me and I didn't see the point of it. For a young child the backyard is as full of miracles as any "activity", I figured. Why would I add MORE stress to my life by trying to go to town with all the baby equipment and naptime rescheduling. There's plenty of time to go to the library and community activities when the kids are older. And that proved to be very true.
I think learning to deal with stress comes (ideally) from observing your parents dealing with stress positively. I don't think pushing children makes them stronger. I was pushed a lot and I don't think it helped me. I think helping children cope with whatever challenges life throws at them by providing a safe and stable home and letting them feel what they feel is what makes children strong. I didn't have a safe home and my mother could not calm herself or me, so I've had to try and learn this vital skill in my adulthood.
It sounds quite typical behaviour for a first born child trying to cope with the new sibling who is coming and "stealing" attention away from him. My first born was like that too for three years. And I've heard the same story from many others, so I believe it's quite common when there's small age difference between the first born and the second child.
I have another tool that's pretty weird, but it really helps me: earplugs. I am hypersensitive to sounds so the kids screaming really makes me nervous. I find if I just put earplugs on it helps me to remain calm. The difference is unbelieavable. I recommended earplugs to my brother too, he's not hypersensitive to sounds but he still finds they relax him. I can still hear the kids and converse normally with them. The earplugs I wear just turn the volume down to a manageable level.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
But life HAS stress. How do I prepare him for it? How do I equip him with the tools to not become an emotional/mental mess when life gets crazy? Because life DOES get crazy, and there are sometimes times when you just don't have TIME to do any of your coping mechanisms (someone shared this article on crucial self-care tips for introverted women, and I had to laugh and cry a little, because the only one of those I was able to do for 4 years was to be outside. I'm pretty sure that's the only reason I have any sanity left).
Lucrecia Anderson wrote:
The third aspect was the epiphany part for me, something lots of other people may take for granted, but something I didn't grow up with and never thought about consciously before. And that was being actively intimate with the other, meaning spending time with them where YOU fully enjoy the experience and revel in their company as individuals. You aren't in the role of mother/caretaker/teacher/wife etc...but just enjoying the moment and fully appreciating your time with this other awesome being and having fun while doing it.
It was an epiphany for me because I wasn't raised that way, my parents were devoted and very responsible caretakers. Intimacy or sharing activities with us as individuals that they enjoyed as much as we did wasn't a part of that, they made sure we had fun but it was a separate thing. I realized that I followed the same pattern, I was always in caretaker mode and hardly every just stopped to really enjoy the others company.
Just throwing that out there as even people that do actively enjoy their kids and other loved ones can forget that aspect when life gets too hectic.
Successful intimate relationships have a balance between positive and negative feelings and actions between partners. According to relationship researcher John Gottman, the magic ratio is
5 to 1. What does this mean? This means that for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions.
make darn sure you aren't engaging in patterns that are "feeding the beast" inadvertently. It is really really easy to do especially if you are tired/stressed and just want to have some peace. It can take many forms from validating his fears which causes them to increase, to giving him more attention when he is anxious/stressed, etc...
Nicole Alderman wrote:Thank you SO MUCH, Nina, for your post. It really helped me today.
Lots of "Mommy guilt" here too Mine is basically guilt from not being nice to my kids, having lost my nerves and shouted etc.
You're not the only one losing your nerves. I would call it the "rage" when I'd yell, because I'd feel such strong emotion...only to realize after reading this thread that it's the flight reflex turning on. Man, I hate that reflex. The more I use controled voice when not in that state, the easier it is to not yell when in a fight response...but it's still hard. How do we train our minds to not respond with the fight reflex and anger?
Nicole Alderman wrote:I feel so weak and useless for needing help (when I'd given birth to my son, and he was colicky, my husband stayed home for a month with paid paternity leave...then went back to work for almost 40 nights in a row. No one came to help, and when I'd hint about needing help, I was just told that they'd managed everything by themselves when they had kids, so I shouldn't need help. Needless to say, I ended up with Postpartum depression). Anyway, I feel rather useless and like a broken person that I can't DO MORE without becoming a pile of depression.
Natasha Abrahams wrote:
People accuse us of romanticizing the past but I am a historian by training and all my researches teach me that life actually was pretty good.
Nicole Alderman wrote:So, when we think of our parenting, we've really got to create situations that we can have those positive interactions with our kids, so that when we have to tell them "No," they listen.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
An example: Life's been busy with making presents, my husband working more, making fairies, etc. So, I hadn't been able to keep up on the cleaning as much as I'd like. And the kids had decided that the bathroom was the place to bring all the toys. It was a DISASTER. My brain was freaking out because it was WAY too messy and overwhelming and I didn't know where to start and my husband was working so much so there wasn't even anyone to work on it with me. I finally mustered the energy to tackle it, and asked my son to help by putting all the toys on the floor into a bin. He sensed my stress, and said no and started kind of freaking out. I pleaded with him to help me. That made things worse. Needless to say, the whole thing ended with us both in tears and him having a horrible evening because it got him in a bad state of mind. He really picks up on my stress (or my husband's or anyone else's). I can usually keep myself calm so he stays calm...but that time I just couldn't, and as one can expect, it had some really horrible results!
Nina Jay wrote:Travis, I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. What a tragedy that you have to fight "catch22" situations, as if fighting cancer isn't hard enough... I'm a bit at loss what to say really. I wish you luck and I really hope things turn out for the better for you and your family. Keep us posted on how things go.
S Bengi wrote:Food As medicine
Mood and cortisol responses following tryptophan-rich hydrolyzed protein and acute stress in healthy subjects
This amino acid really does work wonders on mood.
Milk kefir (and kefir cheese, sour cream/etc) have a ton.
Koji fermented products. I think this is the best ferment there it, it release so many enzyme. Look it up and let me know what you think of it
Lee Gee wrote:I am blessed to have many, many teachers, and I include you all among them. Thank you for your honesty, your wisdom, insights and courage. May I put in a ballot for “good enough?” Good enough mothering/caretaking/you fill in the blank. And I vividly remember my dad acknowledging and apologizing for his short temper for instance. A great lesson. We are all walking each other home. I am honored to be walking with you.
I prefer my herbs extracted in alcohol – I think they hold their medicinal properties better. Herb Pharm makes a high quality product. (Not a share holder.)
St. Johns Wort – well documented herb for depression.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:
Herbs extracted in alcohol are called tinctures and while they do hold the alcohol soluble compounds quite well and for extended periods, this form of herb medicine is not going to have the same effects as a decoction or tea since many compounds that are water soluble are not alcohol soluble.
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch - recommended by my N.D., this book blew my socks off. It explains how if your gene has a variation to it (from poor diet, exposure to toxins, etc.) it's considered "dirty" and, in some cases, your body uses up certain things too quickly (like dopamine or seratonin) and then uses up excesses of other things to compensate. This, IMHO, goes underneath the nutrition component, yet is tied to nutrition, and more. When some genes are "dirty" they increase anxiety. This just seemed really huge to me! It also explained in ways that finally made sense to me, how stress eats away at things inside you that your body needs. Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson - and now, this last book, is tying together the nutritional and physical and brain chemistry aspects with a mental aspect of dealing with stress.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:
We teach about our traditions and we explain why we do things the way we do.
Our society is one of caring for each other and for providing for those who have needs, we care for the earth mother and always have, we care for the animals, never killing just to kill something.
We feel that we must use all of any animal we take so that we can honor that death and the spirit of the animal will be pleased with how we treated the gifts given through their loss of life.
Lee Gee wrote:Thank you Jocelyn, awesome post.
I'll start at the end of the video with '. . . .we need more love and more compassion, not less." True all the time for all of us. How we treat ourselves, and others. We all have our challenges, none can be compared or judged. No one to be considered crazy for how they feel in a world with many values out of order. I loved the part in video - 'to have a sense of hopefulness about the future" - I am paraphrasing. To belong, to have a sense of community, shared values, respect for each other and all sentient beings.
Lee Gee wrote:Just that we have this 'place' and each other, to explore, to share, to grow, to change is wondrous and hopeful. Thank you, thank you, thank you all.
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
In Hardwiring Happiness, Hanson distills down the hierarchy of needs to three aspects:
--safety/reptilian brain/stress response - the brain chemistry most related to something-choline (was it - acetylcholine?) as well as cortisol
--rewards/mammalian brain/achievements, recognition and nourishment - the brain chemistry most related to dopamine
--connection/primate and human brain/connection, intimacy - the physical chemistry most related to oxytocin
John Weiland wrote:
The part of her research that was quite interesting is the following that appears as a Q&A in the article:
"Q: What’s the biggest misconception about suicide in tribal communities?
A: A lot of times, the media and journal articles highlight high rates of suicide. But even in my own state of New Mexico, there were different varying rates. One study found that the more acculturated tribes had higher suicide rates than the more traditional, less acculturated tribes. [Acculturated means tribes that are more accustomed to the Western way of life — having jobs, paying bills, etc.]
But the tribe that I come from [Kewa Pueblo] had zero suicides. Some tribal nations have very low suicides, while others have very high suicide rates. So when you really look into tribal-specific numbers, you can get a very different picture amongst different tribal nations."
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Yes, support and compassion for how others might struggle - and the hopefulness. Some might truly need pharmaceuticals; others might choose not to use them.
Lucrecia Anderson wrote:Even if it doesn't cause you to off yourself, life is too short to lose years of your life (and cause your loved ones to suffer along with you). Big pharma may be evil but some of their stuff really DOES WORK! IMO a good old school antidepressant (I am very wary of the newer drugs, but prozac is pretty good) makes as much sense as using an antibiotic when an infection is killing you.
Long term severe depression is not just about attitude. It changes the structure and function of your brain, and antidepressants actually correct it and cause the lost areas to grow back.