Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Parenting Pointers: Have a Mindful Day

A recent study from Cornell University reveals startling differences between how much stress moms experience versus their dad counterparts.

Moms report:
  • Less happiness.
  • More stress.
  • More fatigue.
Fellow mom and mindfulness expert Julie Potiker offers some tips for moms who want to reduce stress and increase their experience of inner peacefulness.

“Drop into mindfulness throughout your day,” Julie says, “and do it EVERY day. Even the busiest moms can carve out one minute! The more mindfulness you create in your life, the more you will rewire your brain to easily tap into that sense of calm.”

For example:

  • Brush your teeth mindfully: “For me, brushing my teeth is a great mindfulness exercise. It’s something I do twice every day, and now I consciously brush my teeth mindfully. I close my eyes to limit visual distractions, which makes it easier for me to think only about the feel of the brush on my teeth and gums — the taste of the toothpaste, the sound of the electric brush in my mouth, the feeling of my teeth when I am finished. And I carry the mindfulness through flossing my teeth. So there are three minutes of total, in-the-moment awareness. What a nice break for my brain!”
  • Drink your morning coffee or tea mindfully: “If you are feeling the warmth of the mug in your hands and smelling the coffee and paying attention to how it tastes when you take your first sip — this is all mindfulness in practice. You might want to drink the entire cup like that, savoring each swallow!”
  • Walk to/from your car mindfully: “Walking to your car is another time that can be a mindfulness exercise. I love to open all my senses, feel the air on my skin, and hear and see the different elements of the scene around me. I feel my body walking, concentrating on different parts of my feet, legs, and arms, and then switch back to focusing all my senses, taking everything into my awareness.”

P.S. About the Author: Mindfulness expert and author Julie Potiker is an attorney who began her serious study and investigation of mindfulness after graduating from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of California, San Diego. She went on to become trained to teach Mindful Self-Compassion, and completed the Positive Neuroplasticity Training Professional Course with Rick Hanson. Now, she shares these and other mindfulness techniques with the world through her Mindful Methods for Life trainings and her new book: “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos.”

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