Links to Think

Links to Think: 13.03.18

March 18, 2013

13.03.18.ltt

CHANGE YOUR SLEEP. CHANGE YOUR LIFE. – Really, I think this is much of why we tend to think “I’m not a morning person.” The choices we make in the day (plus the health consequences of poor sleep hygiene over the course of a lifetime), I think, are more to blame for giving us a “second wind” at night than we tend to think.

“We tend to think of insomnia as the constellation of symptoms that we experience just before sleep or during the night when we awaken with our mind racing and the bed sheets twisted. The process of insomnia actually begins much earlier in the day for most of us.

How?

Through the choices we make about how we spend our time.”

Blue light from many of these devices is as bright as daylight and activates the nervous system sending the brain and body into “wake up mode”.

And what about the emotional responses that are triggered by these late night, last minute, urgent communications?

Life in the twenty first century is stressful and fast paced. A full, zoom-zoom workday of 8-12 hours is often followed by a long commute and sometimes a cocktail or a glass of wine to take the edge off. We eat late, do a few more email or text messages; watch a movie, read or log on to Facebook in an effort to wind down. Unfortunately very few of these activities actually promote relaxation and set the stage for a good night’s sleep. Most of them tip the nervous system far in the other direction to a state of hyper-arousal.

Hyper-arousal is a chronic over-activation of the body’s stress-response mechanism. There’s no instant ON/OFF switch. When these pathways are repeatedly excited, they become the default setting. We essentially travel a well-worn path leading us in the direction of elevated blood pressure, holding our breath, clinching our jaw and lifting our shoulders, without respite. Many of these sensations fly below the radar of our self-perception and become the background noise of our busy, over stimulated lives.

What to do?

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down”.

–Lily Tomlin

On the one hand, we can increase the quality and duration of a good night’s sleep simply by making better choices. Following a good sleep hygiene program is an empowering start. For more detailed information about sleep hygiene refer click here.

We also need to hit the pause, re-set button during the day to get off of the cortisol/ adrenaline high that many of us associate with feeling good and being productive. Functioning under the influence of stress hormones is not a sustainable practice. Biological systems thrive with ebb and flow. Metabolically speaking, we need to interrupt the cycle of prolonged excitation and dial things down to a more balanced, calm and functional neutral.

Learning to move more fluidly between states of stress and relaxation is key. It is positive motion in the direction of re-establishing the natural biological rhythms of exertion and recuperation. Think of it as self-regulation with applied intelligence. When we develop the capacity to meet the demands of a stressful moment and the flexibility to return to a state of equanimity in a relatively short amount of time, not only will we sleep better, but we’ll also be a kinder, gentler, version of ourselves.”

Read the rest of the article for a more in depth examination.

debunking the myth of consistency – Sometimes hearing this mantra makes me cringe, for a number of reasons. This is a good perspective. (Good stuff-I’ve quoted almost the entire post below with this one!)

“Good parenting comes down to one thing: you just need to be consistent.”

How many times, before becoming a mom and since, have I heard some variation of these words? They used to petrify me.

What if I wasn’t consistent enough? Would my children be forever doomed–would they be unruly brats? Would the eyes of other moms everywhere look at me, shake their heads and say “if only she’d been consistent.”

To me consistency meant responding to the same offence with the same response. When they do x, I do y. When they do x again, I do y again. If I fail to do y, I’ve failed–period.

Having been a mom for over eight years now, let me tell you: That is not what consistency means!

Being consistent means being there. It means responding when you need to respond, in the way you need to respond. It means taking the time to figure that out, to address each child as an individual. It means treating our children the way we hope they will one day treat us. It means acknowledging that we can’t solve our kids like mathematical equations, we must relate to them from the heart.

Please don’t let the myth of consistency confuse you. Good parenting may come down to one thing, but it isn’t consistency.

Good parenting comes down to relationship.

15 Things I Want to Tell My Third Culture Kids – My husband grew up with several chunks of his life as a “Third Culture Kid,” and I hope that at some point my children will also have that experience. I know I have friends in this situation, or those who will be. May this encourage.

I don’t know what it is like. I know what it is like to parent a TCK but I don’t know what it is like to bea TCK. I’ve read books and listened to talks and attended seminars but you are forging a path I have not walked. I’ve got your back and I’ve got a box full of Kleenex and an ache in my belly from our shared laughter. I do not know what your particular journey is like but I will hold your hand, fierce, until the very end.”

 am thrilled for the things this life has given you. Adventure and a wide-cracked-open worldview. The opportunity to trust God when nothing around makes sense or when everything around makes sense. Friends all over the world of diverse faith and languages and skin colors and food preferences and economic levels. Multiple language fluency. Creativity and the intrinsic ability to look outside the box, to see from another person’s perspective. Real gratitude, stemming from an understanding that things are fleeting, gratitude for relationships and for time spent in togetherness. Adaptability. Courage.Courage. Courage.”

 

 

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