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Are you constantly trying to figure out how to stop overreacting as a mom?

Perhaps you have blown it a time or two—okay, more than that, but who’s counting?

The yelling, the tears, the exhaustion – it all adds up, doesn’t it? Juggling multiple responsibilities—school, church, household chores, and possibly maintaining a career—can leave a mom frazzled.

This constant state of high alert (fight or flight) can impact the ability to enjoy and cherish the precious moments you should be experiencing with your kids.

It’s time to put an end to this cycle and regain control of your emotions.

While this post will give you ways to cope with your triggers, understanding and addressing the root of your triggers is also a crucial step toward fostering a healthier and more balanced life as a mom.

So, before you snatch your kids bald-headed, take a step back…relax. (Relax?! Really?) I can help you deal with mom anxiety.

How to Stop Overreacting as a Mom and Calm Down

Anxiety often stems from focusing on what we can’t control. Instead, focus on what you can control and take actionable steps in those areas.

These 12 actionable steps are proven ways on how to stop overreacting as a mom:

1. Stop

  • Pause: Pause briefly to collect your thoughts. Quietly count to ten to give yourself a moment to calm down. (Do this in your head. You’re not counting for your kids to hear.)
  • Take time out: It takes 20 minutes to calm down the amygdala, the flight or flight part of your brain. Do some of the other calming activities below to reset your brain. (Yes, you’re putting yourself in time-out! Ha!)

2. Drink 4 oz of Water

  • Drink (*not alcohol!): Drinking water forces you to pause and take a break from a stressful situation, which can help interrupt the cycle of stress.
  • Swallowing Mechanism: The act of swallowing can have a calming effect on the vagus nerve, which plays a role in the parasympathetic nervous system and helps induce relaxation.

This is an unusual way to learn how to stop overreacting as a mom, but it works.

*Drinking alcohol every night, even after the kids go to bed, is not a healthy coping mechanism. (You’re setting an example of how you deal with stress in your family.) Find more constructive ways to deal with your stress and triggers.

3. Look Up

  • Perspective and Space: Looking up can create a sense of connection toward God, which can help alleviate feelings of being trapped or overwhelmed. Go outside and look up! It’s even better.
  • Neurological Effect: While looking up isn’t the same as EMDR, the change in eye movement direction can still have a calming effect by influencing brain pathways and processing in a more positive direction.
See also  How to Make Mom Friends Even If You're An Introvert

RELATED: Best Solutions On How to Trust God with Everything

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 Are you dealing with marriage or family issues? Purchase your ebook or paperback on Amazon or buy Marriage Interrupted or Estranged at your favorite digital store.

4. Look Down (Within)

  • Reduce Stressors: Minimize exposure to known triggers when possible. (And, no, you can’t get rid of the kids!)
  • Reflection: Consider what situations tend to trigger your reactions and why.
  • Understand the Roots: Reflect on past experiences or traumas that might be contributing to your triggers. Go back and work through those painful situations of long ago and forgive. (What’s hysterical is usually historical.)

RELATED: Supercharge Your Life When You Forgive Those Who Hurt You

5. Change Your Thinking

  • Positive self-talk: Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel stressed and that you can handle it with God’s help. You are not alone.
  • Challenge Negative Thoughts: Identify and challenge irrational or negative thoughts (fear) that arise when triggered. Stop catastrophizing everything. (I mentally start planning burials, social ruin, or financial disaster within minutes. How about you?)
  • Reframe Situations: View the triggering situation from a different, more positive perspective. (What is God teaching me right now? How will this situation root out unwanted behavior?)

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Each day, write down three things you are thankful for. This practice can shift your focus from what is causing anxiety to the blessings in your life.

Remind yourself that you can trust God, especially when things look grim.

RELATED: How to Overcome Parental Anxiety as a Mom

6. Prioritize the Relationship

  • Refocus: Focus on what’s truly important (the relationship!) and let go of the rest.
  • Use self-control: Respond with self-control. Don’t retaliate or react. Remember that your child will mature in time. In the meantime, you need to be the mature one. Be patient, as you would wish others to be patient with you.

This is definitely how to stop overreacting as a mom! Patience.

RELATED: How To Fix An Estranged Relationship with Family [Video]

7. Develop Healthy Coping Strategies

  • Problem-solving: Take a moment to think through the situation. If it is a significant issue, talk it over with your spouse (if you have one). Listen to your kids before you respond.
  • Journal: Keep a diary of moments when you overreact to identify patterns. Once you stop overreacting, the focus will be off of you and on to the issue. This step is vital!

8. Relaxation techniques

  • Breathing exercises: Deep, slow breathing exercises can help calm your nervous system.
  • Engage with nature: Engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you, such as nature walks and grounding (bare feet in grass for 30 min.). We love to go camping!
  • Engage your senses: Take a bath, listen to music, stretch, or engage in a hobby. I listen to encouraging podcasts and YouTube videos. I love Priscilla Shirer, Rebekah Lyons, Lysa TerKeurst, etc.
See also  23 Powerful Words of Encouragement For Moms Who Need Hope

RELATED: 40 of the Best Christian Podcasts For Women [2024]

9. Self-Care

  • Physical Health: Ensure you get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly.
  • Routine: Establishing a predictable daily routine can reduce stress for you and your children. (You can download a FREE editable schedule below.)
  • Organize: Keep your environment organized and tidy to eliminate confusion. Teach your kids to clean up when they leave a room. This is how to stop overreacting as a mom.

RELATED: How to Multiply Your Time with a Daily Family Schedule

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Get your FREE FAMILY SCHEDULE PRINTABLE right here and make more time for those you love!

10. Set Boundaries

  • Know Your Limits: Understand what situations or behaviors are unacceptable to you and communicate this to others in the family.
  • Assertiveness: Learn to say no and protect your personal time and emotional well-being. You don’t have to be the room mom, design the costumes for the play, and work in the library. Spread out your commitments!

RELATED: How to Set Boundaries with Family Members the Right Way

11. Create a Supportive Environment to Be Alone with God

  • Safe Spaces: Take a moment to escape a stressful situation. Create spaces in your home where you feel safe and can retreat when needed. (Hello, bathroom!)
  • Pray: A few minutes daily talking to God can make a big difference. You can even practice talking to Him all through the day; it’s more impactful.
  • Read scripture: Take time to feed your soul with scripture. The Bible will guide you in how to stop overreacting, especially when you are triggered. Capitalize on verses about trusting God to remind you that He is sovereign over every aspect of your life.

Remember God’s promises and His faithfulness. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

RELATED: 25 Ways to Have a More Powerful Prayer Life

12. Communicate

  • Express feelings: Talk to your spouse, friends, or a therapist about your feelings as a mom.
  • Label Your Emotions: Simply acknowledging and naming your emotions can reduce their intensity. Many times, you will find others who feel the same way.
  • Ask for help: If you can’t calm down and put away your anxious thoughts, don’t hesitate to seek support from family, friends, or professionals. Talk to other moms.

Join a MomCo (formerly MOPS) group. They now have groups for moms with elementary school-age children too.

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how to stop overreacting; mom and daughter playing in make up.

How to Stop Emotional Triggers and Anxiety

The daily demands of parenting and the pressures to meet the expectations of those around you often lead to overwhelming stress. If you constantly yell and feel triggered, it is a warning sign that things need to change. 

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And the changes start with you. You have the power to make your life more manageable.

Stopping or reducing your emotional triggers involves understanding their roots, developing coping mechanisms, and practicing self-care. Doing all this takes time, so don’t get discouraged. 

Finding your sweet spot may involve changes in workload, schedules, and care responsibilities.

Remember, you are not alone in this. God is with you every step of the way, and there is a community of fellow moms ready to support and pray with you. Take one day at a time, and lean into the grace and strength that God provides.

Ultimately, by prioritizing your emotional health, you can better enjoy the rewarding aspects of parenting and foster a more harmonious family life no matter what household drama has unfolded that day.

Did you learn how to stop overreacting as a mom? What do you do to keep from overreacting?

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Is Your Marriage Struggling? Do You Want to Change Your Spouse?

Get Marriage Interrupted: How to Deal with Unexpected Conflict as a Couple and Stay in Love on Amazon or any digital platform. This book is filled with both humorous and impactful insights for anyone experiencing marriage conflict.

Included is biblical advice to help couples develop new behaviors and strengthen their marriage with healthy boundaries. With over 30 years of marriage experience, there are practical tips to overcome old patterns of behavior and rekindle a marriage relationship rooted in God’s love.

family estrangement

Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or an estrangement? Do you feel shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement (and reconciliation) from my Christian family but also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family so you have more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule, too. You can get it at your favorite digital bookstore.

Join the group Christian Family Living on Facebook

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the Christian Family Living group. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!

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Author

Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.

4 Comments

  1. I love the tips you shared here. The breathing and relaxation techniques most especially. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ufoma, I have strarted practicing deep breathing and it helps calm any kind of anxiety! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Julie, this is exactly what I needed to read as we plunge into summer break here. I’ve been using strategies to activate my Vagus Nerve for several years, and you added a few more to my list! Thank you!!!

    • That vagus nerve is something else. It goes from the gut to the brain. I am definitely being more intentional about targeting that. Thanks for the comment.

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