Sometimes in life, we must follow the lead of others even though we are ultimately in charge of the situation (i.e., a parent playing with a child). We practice the skills of listening and following the lead of others, eventually without anger and /or resistance, so we can interact IRL-N, with people who aren’t kind to others (i.e., a demanding partner, a criticizing partner). During these situations, controlling our emotions will lead to the internal peace (i.e., reduced mind chatter) that people seek.
It may be hard controlling our emotions around those who are physically closest to us. Maybe we imagined a different life, and here we are, stuck with something we didn’t consciously ask for. The hard part is where the work begins.
Using our PRIDE skills shows children appropriate behaviors through modeling, but it also teaches us ways to love ourselves and be in the moment. Studies report that when people are in the moment, they think clearer and report less stress (1). Being in life's moments (i.e., not thinking about the past and future) helps us to reduce constant mind chatter and relaxes our bodies. Data reports that 8 of 10 people experience daily stress, which puts us at high risk for heart disease, stroke, and many other illnesses (1).
Relating PRIDE skills to reducing in the moment stress:
Praise: Saying kind things to others for being around and behaving in a way that makes everyone feel like they want to be there, increasing everyone's dopamine (neurotransmitters in the brain that helps us experience joy).
Reflecting: Reflecting helps us become better listeners and enhances our vocabulary.
Imitating: Do what others do helps our neuronal pathways develop (i.e., when we learn, we develop new neural connections).
Describing: Describing helps us understand the situation and again develop more brain connections/pathways.
Enjoying: Here we are, in this moment of life. Would we rather be on a beach, across the globe, at home, or whatever, but we are “stuck” in this situation. Why torture ourselves wishing we were somewhere else when studies have shown that once we accept the problem and relax, it usually turns out to be better than expected.
A way to experience joy, without much effort, is to think about something terrible that could be happening right now to us. For example, instead of being in this moment, what if we were locked in someone’s basement? Or what if we were starving? What if we didn't have anyone? Being grateful for all situations can help us experience moment-to-moment joy and better mental health outcomes.