Nope, this is not an article that guilts you by pointing out all the shortcomings you’ve committed as a parent. We know parenting isn’t something that is easily accomplished as soon as you’ve finished all “parent duties” in a day. It takes a lot of physical and mental energy to fulfill every task and responsibility. As much as you’ve prepared yourself for this, it would mostly feel as if your preparations weren’t enough to make yourself capable of handling the things you’ve just encountered during the day. Parenting is commonly advertised as something that is represented by feelings of happiness and excitement, but behind all that are the struggles of parents keeping themselves in check while catering to the demands of their babies.
So, while the entire parenting process is both a daunting and an overwhelming experience for you, you do not have to succumb to the stress through practicing meditation. Many parents have adopted mindfulness meditation because this technique contributes to building peace of mind while still being aware of the surroundings. Yes, you heard right. Of course, you don’t do it while your child is wide awake, playing with their toys and crying for milk. Since the meditation technique itself does not require you to do much aside from breathing and concentrating on paying direct attention to everything around you. The whole point is to be fully aware and conscious of the environment as of the current moment. Furthermore, the goal of mindfulness meditation is to allow yourself to develop feelings of acceptance and avoid being prejudiced towards people and situations to produce the appropriate reactions. This will not only help you calm down in situations where unexpected problems arise but also, assist you in thinking the right course of action to carry out. There are times when you are tempted to do something that you know could only worsen the situation, however, mindfulness meditation could train you to make the right decisions while maximizing your observations of the situation. Above all, mindfulness has its positive effects on our bodies such as better sleep quality, reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and improved well-being.
Below are some of the exercises you can practice to kickstart your mindfulness meditation session:
1. Breathing exercises
As parents, sleeping beside your infants is one of the most comforting and at the same time, challenging moments. At one point, you see your baby sleeping comfortably, and then at another, they kick your face and start crying. But, I believe we can all agree that feeling the baby’s breath while sleeping produces a calming effect on us. You feel at peace and the sense of protection over them strengthens. However, you do not have to stick to sensing your baby’s breathing during sleep just as it is distressing. We stress the importance of adopting breathing exercises as a form of mindfulness meditation. This could be done by matching your child’s breathing patterns or you can focus on your breathing. Notice the small details such as the time for you to complete an inhale and exhale, the reaction of your body during breathing, the environment around you, and the overall feeling.
2. Walking exercises
If you’re looking for a bit more physical type of exercise, then doing a bit of walking is best for you. You can practice mindfulness meditation even while in motion. Walking back and forth while carrying your baby in your arms could be one of the ways to apply such a practice. You feel your baby’s warmth while at the same time being aware of your surroundings by observing your foot movements. Notice the ground you’re stepping on, the pace of your walk, and the sound your steps make. You do not have to stick with one walking pattern. You have the freedom to change your pace or your feet movements to pique your interest in whatever changes you’ve noticed. By then, all the smallest details you’ve never bothered to notice while you’re busy taking care of your baby’s needs have come to your attention. This allows you to shift your awareness to the atmosphere your surroundings bring.
3. Speaking exercises
If you have a quote that’s super close to your heart and has been your life mantra for so long, use it as the word for your speaking exercise. This kind of exercise falls under the mindfulness meditation technique too. Your words are powerful and are huge influences in developing your daily thoughts, particularly, what you say to your kids. It is a common instance to see adults when burdened with very many responsibilities, tend to blurt out hurtful things that can emotionally damage others. Of course, we do not want to hurt our children by the very things we say. Even when the infants could not fully understand what you say, they can sense your emotion and that can greatly affect them. Take the time to repeat the words and sense the area around you. Visualize scenarios where you could have said better things to others. Think of all the good things you’ve noticed about others and yourself. Repeat those words and let these flow through you. This would help you ensure a positive mindset and lessen the tendency to judge others. Instead, you will learn to compliment others and monitor what you say to people.
No one is perfectly prepared to be a parent. However, that does not immediately mean you leave the responsibility of providing necessary care to your child. This also does not only account for the basic physiological needs of the child but also their emotional needs. This only means that a parent should be making the right decisions and maintain their body conditions in raising their kid. That being said, it is required that you are mentally and physically capable to handle everything that your kid demands, and mindfulness meditation can be your guide to a peaceful mind especially when things go awry. You can check the MD Mindfulness website to check for resources that you can use to apply meditation to the improvement of your parenting skills.