We are continuing to discuss Growth Mindset versus Fixed Mindset as well as Stress and Worry! For fun, we gave the staff a “Finish the Picture” worksheet to work on improving memory as well as perception. Just like the Cloud activity we did with the children a couple of weeks ago, we all perceive things differently and that’s what happened with this activity, one of us saw a horse while another person saw a phone.
Like we said before, perception and Growth mindset go hand in hand. You need to have an open mind (Growth Mindset), understanding and becoming aware by using your senses.
Improving your memory, like the Finish the Picture activity, helps with your mindset. Some other activities that are helpful with your memory that you can do at home are crossword puzzles, Sudoku, chess, memory card games, jigsaw puzzles as well as meditation.
Speaking of meditation, we also focused on reducing stress in our lives. Under stress, people can say and do things they would otherwise not—sometimes even things they regret. The issue is not that they have no filter or are uncaring, but rather that they’ve reached an unhealthy capacity (emotional limit) due to stress. The energy needed to “tame” their emotions, and not react to things that may frustrate or upset them, is at a low.
Like a car low on gas, it’s important to refuel in order to find the energy you need to keep going in a positive direction emotionally. Nobody likes “blowing up” or “flipping out” on the people they love—it’s embarrassing and hurts our relationships. So what can you do if you find yourself in such a place?
These are just a few ways you can begin to combat the stress in your life. Try them out, and see if your capacity begins to grow. If so, you will find you’ll be more likely to relate in healthy ways and be more present for the people you love and those who love you.
Here are a few tips:
• Breathe — When you find yourself at capacity, find a calm, quiet place for a few minutes and practice deep breathing. It will help you relax and does wonders for stress tension.
• Pray or Meditate — Express gratitude for the relationships in your life. Take five minutes to be silent, and pray/meditate on a few things you are grateful for. Gratitude does wonders for the heart.
• Exercise — Sometimes you just need to work it out. Start an exercise routine so your body can release endorphins—your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters. These endorphins are also known as the body’s natural pain killers. If you feel better physically, you will be able to handle stress better when it sneaks up on you.
• Sleep — If you find you are simply cranky and cloudy, chances are you may be sleep-deprived. Try going to bed at an earlier time, and seek to get at least eight hours of sleep. The more rested your body feels, the more capacity you’ll have when it comes to managing the stress sneaking up on you.
• Do Something Fun — Laughter and fun are essential ingredients to growing healthy relationships. Shared activities have a way of creating the right kind of atmosphere for both.
Lastly, we sent this home to our families and encourage you to print this, hang up on your fridge or wall and use it daily. The teachers have been using this in the classrooms and with the children daily!
Be sure to come back next week as it’s our last week focusing on Mindset, Stress, and Worry!