Feel like your anxiety levels usually run "up to here" (imagine my hand over my head) on most days?
Psychologist and parenting expert Michele Borba says that identifying our stress signals along with those of our children can help us "check ourselves before we wreck ourselves."
She says, "Stress signs are the most wonderful godsend you can possibly imagine because they're unique little indicators that tell you that your body is starting to get overwhelmed."
The signals are different for everyone, so you have to tune-in to your body and look for patterns.
"For instance, for some people, you start to feel a rush right before you start to feel really, really upset," Dr. Borba says. Other people clench their fists.
And, Dr. Borba says to watch your kids. She often sees children grind their teeth or rock back and forth when they are ramping up with anxiety or anger.
"As soon as you see that stress sign, that's your signal to say, 'I need to do something immediately. Tell myself to calm down,'" she says.
Taking deep breaths can often help the anxiety or stress to fade away too.