Mindfulness for mums
Many of you will have experienced your children having learnt about mindfulness at school, lots of schools are offering it nowadays to help children combat exam pressure and anxiety generally. It works really well and children are really found to be benefiting from these experiences in school. But, mums need mindfulness too!
So how does it work?
Imagine you are standing at a bus stop. Buses go past. Each one is a thought; worried thought, planning thought, happy thought, shameful thought, angry thought and so on. Normally we jump on a bus and it takes us somewhere. It may not be where we want to go. It may take us where we've been before. It may take us full circle, not getting anywhere. The point is that you are choosing to get on it and it's taking you away from the present, where you can just sit and be, and watch those buses go by.
When we practice mindfulness we focus on our breathing and on our body. From time to time we will get distracted by thoughts (buses) but when we just notice each one, name it as a 'worry thought' or whatever, and return to our breathing as an anchor, we stay calm and strong.
Do this for a few minutes each day in a quiet place on your own and without your phone. Sit down with your back upright, feet on the floor. Look down or close your eyes and count your breath in (one, two, three) and out (one, two, three). Become aware of each part of your body as you focus on your breathing. Build the time up if you can, to around 30 minutes.
Your thoughts will still be there, problems don't disappear but from the calm place you will get a different angle on them and be more able to decide what to do. Mindfulness trains you to respond actively rather than reactively. Instead of automatically reacting to what your children are doing you can train yourself to choose how to respond rather than getting caught up in your thoughts. Get in the habit of taking a mindful two or three minute break when you know you're going to need it. A good time might be before the hurly burly rush to school in the morning or straight after the school run in the afternoon.
There are mindfulness books, apps and courses all over the country. Get in touch if you'd like to know more.
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