Welcome to the Parents, Take Charge! ™ Blog
This is my first blog for the Parents, Take Charge! ™website and so I would like to say to anyone that is reading this, Welcome! I hope we are going to have a lasting and meaningful relationship!
My intention with this blog and those that will follow regularly is to inform, educate and inspire my readers and to hopefully provide a viewpoint that is both practically useful as well as life-enhancing. You may find some of my information and perceptions challenging and different, for which I make no apology. I am also very interested in your viewpoints and hope that we can have a great conversation about something that matter to us all, namely, our own health and the health of our children and grandchildren.
Parents, Take Charge!™ Program
The Parents, Take Charge!™ program is about teaching parents to reduce and manage their stress because stressed parents create stressed children. Stress is such an overused work! So, to begin with I would like to share my interpretation of stress with you. Let’s begin with an analogy. Our cars are meant to be driven with good wheel alignment. This is what keeps the car ‘in balance’. When the wheel alignment goes out this places stress on the tires which begins to show on the way the tread wears. This, in turn, shortens the life of the tires. And in addition, driving with this kind of wheel tread imbalance is unsafe. If we do not correct the wheel alignment, eventually something will give and this may be a burst tire or an accident, which could hurt or kill us or others.
Think about it this way. The body’s natural tendency is to be in harmony, or in balance, from head to toe, inside and out. Then something happens that creates a state disharmony and imbalance in the body. It is this disharmony or imbalance that I refer to as stress.
This means that stress can be caused by our emotional reaction to something happening in our lives or it could caused by something physical going on inside our bodies that we are, or are not, aware of.
Two Important Facts
Two vitally important facts that you need to know.
- The first is that we cannot be emotionally stressed with being physically distressed and vice versa.
- The second vitally important fact is that stress causes inflammation in our bodies which then affects the way our brains function.
Let’s use an example. Perhaps things are happening in your life today that you consider to be stressful and you are emotionally affected by this. If you do not deal with this and reduce the stress it is creating for you, then this emotional stress will become physical distress. The way this begins is that stress causes inner inflammation which, if not reduced, is increasing day by day. Eventually this inner inflammation starts to weaken your immune system and disturbs the balance of the chemicals your brain needs to remember things and be alert. Now you become tired easily, you are low, forgetful, have foggy thinking and maybe catch cold easily.
The shortest way to say this is that everything that happens to us and within us is inter-connected. We cannot isolate our emotions from the way our bodies and brains function, nor can we separate physical dysfunctions from our emotions. Why is it critical for us to understand this? Well it’s because when we know this we can look for solutions that address ‘the whole of us’ and not just some parts. When we discover and address those inflammatory factors unique to us, our chances of feeling great, being excited about life, reaching out meaningfully to others with the true spirit of whom we are, and of being truly healthy, are greatly increased.
Six Major Causes of Stress
There are six major causes of stress?
- Emotional reactions to people and events in our lives.
- Poor diet.
- Lack of exercise.
- Infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites.
- Allergens from food or the environment.
We all know whether points 1, 2, or 3 apply to us. This is a yes or no answer. But points 4, 5, and 6 can often be hidden, with the result that we are unaware of the fact that any one or more of these issues is causing distress inside of us.
So what could you do after reading this blog?
I recommend starting with some personal reflection before beginning any steps of action. You could have the courage to ask yourself 6 confronting questions:
1. Do I consider myself to be stressed? If the answer is ‘No’ you don’t have to read further. If the answer is ‘Yes’, ask,
2. Have I reached the point where I am prepared to say, ‘That’s it! I don’t want this anymore! Or am I still okay with carrying my stress around for now? If the answer is, ‘That’s it! It’s enough! ask,
3. Am I honestly ready to make some real changes?’ Do I truly believe that if I continue doing what I am doing I could be working towards ‘a burst tire? If the answer is ,’Yes’ ask,
4. What ‘tread damage’ am I starting to display? What symptoms of inflammation am I already showing?
5. Then ask, ‘What could happen if I ignore this and continue coping with the stress rather than reducing, managing or removing it?’
6. And this final question is such an important question …’Who, other than myself, am I hurting with my stress?’
I would love to know your thoughts about this way of interpreting stress and whether it rings true for you; or if you have seen this happen to others in your life?