Emotions can run strong in all of us, and that is OK. Showing mental strength is about learning to deal with emotions in a positive way. To do that we are going to claim them, name them, and tame them.
- Claim them: It is important to own your emotions. “Yes, I am feeling mad right now”. We need to own our emotions. Everyone has strong emotions; it is part of being human. But we own them — other people are not responsible for how we feel. Someone might have done something to make you angry, but it is your anger. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can decide how you are going to react to things.
- Name them: After we realize that we are in control of our emotions, we need to name them. “I am angry at my brother,” “I am afraid of going back to school,” “I don’t believe I can do this new skill.” I think we all know that just sweeping our emotions under the rug is a bad idea — they are still there.
- Tame them: After we establish that we have these emotions, and that they are ours, we can do something about them. Walk through situations with your kids after they make a bad decision. “Yes, you got mad at your brother, but what would be a better thing to do with that?” “We are all a little nervous about going back to school, but let’s use our smart brains and go over the safety precautions.” Talking about how to deal with our emotions is how we help our kids gain “mental strength.”
Thanks, and we will see you on the mat!