Kaizen in the New Year for Adoptive Parents

Dear Parent,

Happy New Year from The Attach Place

I know how hard it is to raise up a meditative, self care practice when your kids are tugging at your sleeves and stepping on your nerves at the same time.

Let’s get this year off to an uplifting start by inviting neuroscience into your life.  How about a neurochemical blast of stress reducing, happy inducing, and life boosting deliciousness in easy, one-minute chunks the Kaizen way?  One minute chunks of goodness are doable, right?

Kaizen is a Japanese business practice espousing great results from everyone doing better, every day, one minute at a time.  In that way, big results come from everyone (in this case in the whole family) making many small improvements over time.


A New Year’s Proposal, Not A Resolution

Our brains have amazing, positive neurochemical factories built right into the structure. Oxytocin, for example, is a naturally occurring neurochemical that acts like emotional happy glue within, around and because of human connection.  We can actually increase our oxytocin good juju by doing Kaizen–every one in the family doing one-minute of oxytocin producing activity every day.

Just one minute a day can help you produce enough oxytocin to keep your lid on when you are most in danger of your marbles blowing right out.  If it can do that for you, think what it can do for your kids’ lids.

Here is a list of ways to increase Oxytocin in one minute bites.

-Polar Bear Hugs: Hugs with close ones boosts our immune systems, while also giving us that dreamy, lovey-dovey feeling of “being in love.”  Yummy.

-I’m only whispering this with a loud voice–Orgasms: Let’s face it; we do it because it feels good (and of course for procreation sometimes.)  That feeling good part is an Oxytocin cascade, which is significantly increased when doing it with someone you already love.  Just sayin’.

-Being in the Great Outdoors or Indoors with Our Animals: Going outside; looking up at the sky; taking in a sunrise or sunset; breathing crisp, salty, balmy, or just plan old outside air perks up that sense of being one with the Universe.  That’s Oxytocin, baby. The feeling of connection is not limited to connecting with other humans. It also works when we connect in nature (with our bunnies, horses, dogs, and cats, I might add). We even have some very friendly squirrels outside our office that have been somewhat domesticated.  They give many in our new neighborhood an Oxy hit every day when they come to work.

-Play, Play, Play: Cooperative play; free silly time; art outside the lines; and fun games are also shown to increase Oxytocin. Cooperation is the key word there.  Being over challenged can release cortisol rather than oxytocin, so win/win play hits the Oxytocin button.

-Living Out Loud: Humor, not sarcasm, allows us to feel a sense of connection and safety. Playful humor is an attachment and bonding “must have” for a life long sense of connection.

-Regulation Breathing:  We can train our brains to be in a state of connection and safety just by learning to slow way down with mindful breathing.
-Social Media: I don’t usually recommend Facebook to people as a therapeutic tool; however, there is some great stuff there and on YouTube that are uplifting and lead to Oxytocin release.  Steer clear of the political, negative news, terror, chaos, mayhem, and cynical and toward the sappy, funny, lighthearted, warmhearted, generous, loving kind things.  Yep, that’s me saying one-minute of social media could lead to feeling good.

-Trust: There is a shortage of trust in the world.  One minute of letting down your hair, so to speak, and making yourself vulnerable to someone safe ups your Oxytocin.

-Generosity: When you give, you get.  People who are generous figured this out a long time ago.  That sounds weirdly selfish, but it is just a fact that giving of yourself or to someone else in big or even very small ways releases Oxytocin.  My favorite Mother Teresa quote:  We cannot all do great things. We can only do small things with great love.  I think she figured it out.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

-Soothing Everything: Think about yourself once in a while.  Drink honeyed-up tea or a nice specialty coffee.  Read something uplifting, spiritual, pleasing.  Crank up some old music you love or seek out new music you have never heard before.  I received some mango scented soy candles for Christmas. They smell delicious and make me feel delicious when I light them at bedtime.  Yep, Oxytocin.

-A Good Whole 30 Meal: Eating compulsively to feel good actually stresses our bodies and minds.  Eating organic, healthy, life sustaining meals alone or in the company of others uplifts and pleasures on a variety of levels–taste, touch, smell, health, wellness, enjoyment, sharing, service, accomplishment, creativity, and self and other compassion.  Good food is an experience of enlightenment with an Oxytocin night cap.  Ta da, back to orgasm.

Get the whole family involved in one-minute Oxytocin Kaizen events (not including the orgasms) and experience the love grow.  Happy New Year in 2017!

Love matters,


Join our monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group!  Open to all adoptive parents at no cost. Support group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6pm to 8pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Child care provided at no cost.

Get your discounted copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT. Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.

Follow us on Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

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