Mindfulness – A practice which allows you to notice your thoughts without judging them. Now a mainstream practice and not a touchy feely, woo woo thing, mindfulness has been scientifically studied and proven to be one of the leading factor in developing self-awareness, useful as a mum and as a partner.
- Improve your self awareness
Studies show that by practicing mindfulness we can?more easily control our reactions and allow ourselves to be in the moment.
The practice of mindfulness could be defined as paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, with curiosity and non-judgment. When you master mindfulness you start to understand how thought patterns affect your behaviour, on a day to day basis. This then translates into you being able to observe and be curious about others thoughts and behaviour. As a mum, not only having self-awareness, but an interest in others reactions is critical. It promotes connection and trust.
- Develop more effective relationships
As we change ourselves, the quality of our interactions with our families and our partner will improve. Research on mindfulness reveals that with practice, we enjoy an improved ability to express ourselves. In our key role as mothers, this allows us to foster an environment of trust and honesty quickly with our partners and our family, through honest, authentic communication. Effective communication is key to having the family dynamics work well.
A new found ability to truly trust each other promotes vulnerability, then allows you to discuss your ideas and express yourself more freely. Your decreased levels of stress will permeate through your family and a stronger sense of calm will prevail.
- No failure just learning
Mindfulness encourages us to stay in the present moment, without judgement. Therefore, your outlook on what would have been perceived failure, changes. By cultivating mindfulness, your curiosity and openness allows you to look at failed attempts or efforts and learn from them. If you allow yourself to learn from ‘failure’ you take ownership of the new way forward, then you feel empowered to try again.
- Be the MUM you want to be!
A happier, healthier, emotionally balanced mum who wouldn’t want that?
Mindfulness research shows that people who practice regularly have reduced anxiety, decreased depression and more positive emotions. It is also shown to improve your immune system. This is good for everyone, not just you and your family.
Have a look at the research here.
Research shows the profound physical and psychological health effects of mindfulness. Science has documented lower blood pressure and lower heart rate = Happier and Healthier.
- Create opportunity for connection
Your new found strength of self, becomes evident to your family. This is your opportunity to give back. Your family deserves to understand and connect with the benefits Mindfulness brings. Your role now becomes creating the connection between mindfulness and their day to day lives.
So now the How To!
You can learn mindfulness through practice. This can either be through intentions that you set or through a more formal practice.
For example: Decide this week that you will focus on how are you talking to the family?
Are you blaming anyone? Are voices raised? Is it calm? Is there any frustration?
Just watch first, without judgement this week, how you’re reacting to the family.
You’ll start to notice patterns or ways of behaving, don’t judge, just watch.
If you are structured and you have time, you might want to note the times when you might not be reacting like you would want to.
Next decide your intention. Maybe decide not to react straight away in a situation that you might normally, like the 15th Muuuuuum of the day! Now focus on how you want that reaction to go calm, empowered, assertive maybe.. now practice that for this week. Watch the situation, catch your reaction and act with intention.
That is being mindful in everyday life through intention.
Another way is to practice mindfulness mediation. There are lots of forms of meditation and some people really struggle with the standard, watch your breath and let your thoughts float by approach.
So you might decide to put 3 minutes aside each day to count back from 100 to 1.
Sit comfortably, again don’t be obsessed with crossing your legs and putting your fingers in a mudras.
However, having a straight back and neck is important, both to your alertness and your posture.
Close your eyes and imagine little signposts coming towards you on a road. 100, 99, 98, repeat the process until your 3 minutes are up.
It is NOT a competition, do it at your own pace, thoughts will come into your mind, note they are there and then let them float down the road with the numbered signs.
Alternatively, you might want to sit quietly for 3 minutes daily hearing the sounds around you, feeling the ground beneath your feet, feeling the chair you’re sitting on, smelling the smells in the place you are in, feeling the air move around you, tasting the taste on your tongue. Same as above,? note the thoughts and let them float to the floor around you.
A quick practice to get into is to really being in the shower, when YOU’RE IN THE SHOWER. According to research 90% of us are not present when we are in the shower, we are thinking about our children, our family, our appointments, the next task. So a simple practice is to focus on the water running over your skin, the smell of the shower gel, the temperature of the water, your feet on the shower floor?again notice thoughts and let them fall to the shower floor.
These are starting places for real mindful practice in everyday life.
Invest an Hour a Week in Yourself!
Article written by Bernie Cosby, founder of The Eden Collective set in the Beautiful Balinese Gardens in Terrey Hills
Berni is a professional life, career and executive coach who has spent 16 + years influencing hundreds of people to make change in their character, communications, leadership and general wellbeing. She craved more personal fulfilment, so became certified as a personal life and career coach, NLP and Reiki Practitioner and opened her own business in 2016.
“I feel fortunate to have found my calling as a coach and am passionate about making a difference in other peoples’ lives.”