When the “S” on Your Chest Stands for STRESS
(How it effects your children and ways to handle it!)
By Camille McDaniel, LPC, NCC, CPCS
Wife, Sister, Friend, Aunt, Employee, Employer, Bottle Warmer, Diaper Changer, House Cook, Tear Wiper, Taxi Driver, Comforter...
There are so many titles that moms have today, it’s no wonder a little stress (or A LOT) may fall your way. I frequently meet moms who set rather high standards and goals for juggling all the titles they posses, in order to make sure everyone else is happy. After all, that’s what moms do right? Hmmm. When they are not able to meet these monumental goals, they are disappointed and stressed.
Stress can come from many sources, in addition to constant high expectations of yourself. If by chance you are a mom that doesn’t have a strong support system to lean on then you may experience increased amounts of stress.
The University of Rochester completed a study. They followed 169 diverse children for 3 years. The findings of their study were published in a journal called Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. The researchers discovered that continuous parent and family stress can increase strep infections and other illnesses in children. It also appears that children effected by chronic parent and family stress experience and increase in their natural killer (NK) cell function. NK cell function is the part of the body’s immune system that prepares to kill germs that don’t belong, unlike adults, whose function is decreased with chronic stress.
So maybe chronic stress is good for my child since the immune system increases those natural killer cells right? Well let’s put it this way, using the heart as an example. When you get into a situation that frightens you, your heart may start racing, pumping blood to all the organs needed to help you flee danger. However, if that heart doesn’t stop racing, over time it starts to exhaust it’s strength and wears down. That is true for the immune system functions too.
So how can you turn the S on your chest from STRESS to SERENITY? Well let’s try these 5 steps for starters: