Want to learn an incredibly effective, scientifically proven way to improve the mental well-being of your kid AND make parenting just a touch easier. It’s called “mindfulness”.
You’ve probably heard of mindfulness before and might even have tried some form of it: taking a pause, living in the moment, taking inventory (without judgement) of what’s happening around you, and checking in with how you are feeling.
Sounds simple, right?
It often isn’t, at least at first!
It is easy to get caught up in the cycle of “more is more”, but to accomplish all the amazing things you do every day you might be putting things important to your health and wellbeing on cruise control, ignoring them to feel focused and efficient.
As a parent, you have a list a mile long of “must do”, “should do”, and “want to do” things that can constantly keep you living in the future, focused on what’s next.
Your kid is likely much more naturally tuned to living in the now, which is even more reason to introduce them to mindful practices while they are in that space.
But back to you.
To create mindfulness (you’re going to love it), what is a trigger you can use to stop everything you’re doing for a minute or two? Maybe you are a planner, and you want to have mindfulness check ins at certain times every day? Maybe you want to be more reactive and commit to practicing mindfulness when you start feeling those first pangs of discomfort or stress?
Whatever your trigger for mindfulness is, try stopping everything you’re doing the moment you feel it (trust us, everything will still be there in a couple of minutes).
Now… What are you feeling? What’s on your mind in this moment? What is happening around you?
Can you go a level deeper? Do you know “why” those things are on your mind and how you feel about them?
You accomplish a few things with this mindfulness exercise (yay, multitasking!); you’re pausing whatever emotional or mental autopilot was driving you forward subconsciously, you’re introducing a natural reset in that process, and you’re creating space to consider how much of what you are feeling in the moment you want to carry forward.
Like anything new, practicing and building habits is the path to achieving a zen-like state (although congratulations to you if you knock it out of the park the first time). Being truly and productively mindful will take time, but the gift you give yourself is worth it, and being able to pass those habits on to your kid is priceless.
Curious to learn ways to introduce mindfulness to your kid?