By Barbara McRae, MCC
Parents of teens often feel worn out. When your frustrations accumulate without releasing negative emotions, it becomes much more difficult to make wise parenting choices. To decrease anger, anxiety or sadness, reconnect with the loving kindness contained in your heart.
The easiest way to return to love and stay in your heart space even when you’re feeling challenged, is to do this relaxation exercise.
1. Sit comfortably in a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed and close your eyes to shut out any external distractions.
2. Connect to your own heart by using your inner vision, imagine a beautiful shade of green emanating from your heart. See the color green flowing into your entire body. Notice the warmth and love you feel.
3. Take a few conscious breaths; inhale the color green naturally and exhale slowly. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing it “right”. Stay calm.
4. Now deepen the connection by focusing on something you can appreciate about yourself. Select something that helps you feel great about yourself. If this feels difficult, select a word or phrase that is meaningful to you like joy, love or hope.
5. Stay in this peaceful place for at least five minutes to calm yourself and release tension. Then work your way up to 20 minutes a day by extending this exercise in 5-minute increments. Open your eyes and give yourself another 30 seconds before standing.
This is a wonderful exercise for experiencing more loving kindness for yourself, toward your teens or another person you find troubling. Parents report that they experience their heart opening and their anxiety disappearing.
While exercising the mind and body is important to our well-being so is exercising the heart. When you do, you’ll be kinder to yourself and your parenting will become more open, flexible, and confident.
P.S. To learn more about connecting to your heart – one of our 7 simple steps – see “Coach Your Teen
to Success.” (www.amazon.com)
~Barbara McRae, MCC
Teen Parenting Expert, Campus Calm