The Mind TRACK to happiness process was designed to help parents change the way they think about the challenges and demands of parenting and alleviate stress in motherhood. It is the process used in many of The Parental Stress Centre’s products to help parents learn a step by step process to use in any circumstances
We often think that it is the events that we experience in our lives that cause us stress. For example, our child not listening, our baby not sleeping, an argument with our partner, not enough time out, loss of identity etc. Although these events are contributors to our stress, it is actually what we are thinking about these events that make us feel stressed, angry, guilty or any other emotion that we may feel.
When we learn to change how we view an event, we will also be able to change how we feel about the event. The Mind TRACK to happiness process will teach you a simple and effective 5 step process that will help you view all of the challenges of motherhood differently so that you can alleviate your own stress no matter what’s happening in your life.
You’ll still have challenges to deal with, because that is a reality of life. Your child will always be moving through developmental stages and with them come frustrating and demanding experiences for you, so in order to handle these difficult times without feeling stressed, depressed or anxious about them, you need to change the way you view them.
The Mind TRACK to Happiness process is easy to remember because it is made from the acronym TRACK. These five letters symbolise the following:
R – Reality
A – Aim
C – Choices/solutions
K – Know your plan.
This process is designed to send your mind on a journey away from feeling stressed, depressed or anxious about a situation. Imagine that on this journey you are climbing a ladder. When you are at the bottom of the ladder you are feeling stressed about a situation. You start at the bottom with your…
Thoughts – The story you tell yourself about the situation is what is causing you stress. By listening to the beliefs you have about the situation, you will see that it is these thoughts that are causing you stress, not the event. Furthermore what you will also find is that these thoughts are in conflict with….
Reality – For example, your trying to get ready to go out and your child is not co-operating. You have a story in your mind telling you that ‘He should be listening to me. She should stop watching TV. He never listens to a word I say. I’m sick of having to yell every time I want something done. If I don’t leave at this time, I’m going to be late and then I’ll be in trouble with my boss, or my girlfriends will think I’m unorganised.’ These thoughts are all in conflict with the reality of what is actually happening. You child is not co-operating, that is what you need to deal with right now. Any thoughts that are not accepting this reality is what is causing you stress. Stress is a conflict between belief (thoughts) and reality. Once you have accepted the reality of what is going on in real time, then you can look at your….
Aim – What do I want? The reality is that my child is not co-operating, so what do I want? I want my child to co-operate. I want to get out the door on time. This part of the ladder has moved you out of being in conflict with reality and started to get you thinking about the solution to your problem and what the desired outcome is.
Choices / Solutions – How can I get what I want? What options do I have right now that will move me in the direction of what I want? Well I could turn the TV off so my child is not distracted. I could dress them myself so I can get out the door on time. I could call my girlfriends and tell them I’ll be late so that I can teach my child to be independent. In this step you will also learn about priorities and how choices are governed by your priorities and what you consider to be important.
Know your plan – Finally, after considering what your choices are that will get you moving towards your goals you will establish a plan of action. What steps are you going to take to implement your plan of action. This is the final step that will get you feeling empowered and your mind back on track, focussing on what you want, rather than what you aren’t getting (being back in conflict with reality – down the bottom of the ladder again.)
This is just a snapshot of the Mind TRACK to Happiness process and how it can be used in its simplest form. In our products we take a look more in depth of the thoughts that create your stress and how they can be in conflict with reality and we apply this entire method to many different areas of stress for a parent. For example:
- Behavioural and Developmental Challenges
- Anger & Guilt
- Loss of Identity
- Time out and time management
- Marital Relationships
- Self-Esteem & Self-Worth
With this method you no longer need to feel stressed as a parent. You can learn how to feel differently about parenting and how to accept the challenges we face everyday with a relaxed frame of mind and a solution focused approach.