No one is completely immune from the stresses of daily life. Let us remember stress affects children as well.

There are incredible talks on YouTube given by Dr. Gabor Mate regarding the relationship between stress and illness. The other day I felt validated in my position that high levels of stress contribute to childhood illness. He calls it an uncomfortable truth. If you care to listen, I will put the link below.

And of course, this holds true for adults. Anyone with a condition that worsens under stress knows this to be true.

There are personality factors at work and there are ingrained belief systems and there is mental and emotional duress that contribute.

He mentions the value of someone noticing and caring enough to listen as a tremendous relief for most people. A person who says, “You seem upset. Do you want to talk about it?” These are powerful words and show the importance of talking as an antidote. Rather than remaining isolated, a loving interaction can soothe our discomfort.

Children need you to notice and listen to hear what they are needing behind the actual words they may or may not say.

I want to add one more thing.

Children need hugs. Not only multiple times a day, but for longer periods of time.

Hugs release a hormone called oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, which reduces levels of stress. And the best hug is one that lasts for 20 seconds. That doesn’t seem too long, but it is not the norm.

At first, it may seem odd and even a bit too intimate, but if you linger, they will feel it. Hugs have an amazing ability to decrease stress in us all. Please try this with one person you love today.

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