Your stress affects you. That is a given. It not only keeps you up at night and anxious during the day, but also weakens your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to illness. However, that’s where it stops; it doesn’t extend beyond you. And so your motivation to take a deep breath, step back and calm down is fairly limited. Unfortunately, so is your understanding of stress.
When you had children, everything that used to apply solely to you – your paycheck, your habits, your wellbeing – stopped applying solely to you. Everything you did, and now do, began affecting them and that includes your stress. A study of 169 children and their parents found that the kids with the most emotionally anxious parents were more likely to become ill and more likely to have an increased number of immune cells in their blood. They were made less healthy by the anxiety teeming within their parents.
How’s the motivation to de-stress now? Are you ready, for the sake of your kids, to find better management methods and a sense of serenity? If you do, it’s likely that the toll your stress has already taken on them will dissipate, as children are extraordinarily resilient. And as they get healthier, so will you.
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