Stress is not all bad. Eustress is positive whereas distress is negative.
Eustress, or positive stress, has the following characteristics:
- Motivates, focuses energy.
- Is short-term.
- Is perceived as within our coping abilities.
- Feels exciting.
- Improves performance.
In contrast, Distress, or negative stress, has the following characteristics:
- Causes anxiety or concern.
- Can be short- or long-term.
- Is perceived as outside of our coping abilities.
- Feels unpleasant.
- Decreases performance.
- Can lead to mental and physical problems.
Life will always have stress so it is important to learn how to manage all types of stress. Rather than trying to take your child’s stress away, such as frustration with not getting what they want, try some of these suggestions.
- Discuss whether the stress can be viewed as eustress instead of distress so the child feels more powerful to make changes.
- Encourage discussion of all feelings while you resist blocking communication and you listen openly.
- Help your child solve problems and make them a normal part of life to not be avoided.
- Practice relaxation techniques together such as slow breathing, imagining a relaxing place, or even jumping to release tensions. Each of you pick what works best for you.
- Find your own way to manage your stress such as meditation, mindfulness, or chanting a mantra.
- Encourage good sleep hygiene and eating habits.
- Focus on the positive each day by sharing appreciation and gratitude statements.
- Point out your child’s past successes in overcoming challenges and say that you know they can do it again.
- Emphasize that we are all supposed to be imperfect. One person’s strengths are another person’s weaknesses so we fit together like a puzzle.
- Learn to brag about overcoming problems and stress and how they are making you stronger inside.
Learn how to help more and to determine if your child needs additional support.
©2016 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children.
To learn how Cynthia can help you solve your specific challenges, contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, , or 650. 679.8138 to have a complementary 45-minute discovery session. Why keep suffering? It’s time to change!