Siblings fighting. House messy. Dealing with yelling and tantrums — maybe some of your own! Mindful Parenting Educator Michelle Gale specializes in helping parents break habits that aren’t helping their families, and find greater compassion, forgiveness and presence through mindfulness. In her new book, Mindful Parenting in a Messy World, she shares some simple practices that can help parents shift out of stress and connect with themselves and their kids:
- Commit to practicing awareness — This simply means intentionally noticing what is going on around and inside you throughout your day. Start observing your own thoughts and feelings with curiosity, especially in response to the people around you and the situations you face. Notice how your thoughts come and go, how your emotions rise and fall, and which sensations are most alive in your body. As this becomes a habit, you may find that you can see emotional reactions coming on before you feel overcome by them.
- Try this 1-minute centering practice — Sit in an upright, dignified posture. Take a few deliberate breaths, focusing on your breathing as you inhale and then exhale. Allow your body to feel gravity. Notice your weight on the chair or the ground. Allow your jaw to relax. Now, have your mind ask your body a question: What would it be like if there was a little more ease in my being right now? Repeat this practice as many times as possible throughout the day or when you are feeling stressed or frazzled.
- Create and practice family rituals — This can be as simple as pausing to hold hands and express gratitude with your kids before a family meal, or taking a moment to connect and take a deep breath together before leaving the house for work and school.
For more information, visit Michelle's website.