In a quote by Sharon Salzberg, she said, “Mindfulness doesn’t have to be hard. “We just have to remember to do it.” And this couldn’t be more true when it comes to starting or maintaining a regular mindfulness practice. Many of the parents I speak to are passionate about mindfulness. However, they have difficulty prioritizing it and practising consistently. They simply don’t know how to make mindfulness a habit.
What are some reasons why you should make mindfulness a daily habit? Because mindfulness is an effective emotion regulation strategy that can help us be calmer, less reactive parents. By practising mindfulness regularly, we can reduce stress, reduce nervous system reactivity, and learn how to respond rather than react to our children. If you practice the strategy consistently, you will benefit yourself, your family, and the community.
As busy parents, life can get in the way of our intention to make mindfulness a daily practice. So if you’re having trouble making mindfulness a habit, check out these tips.
Note: These tips are useful for both beginners and experienced users.
Also Read: Relationship Counselling for Couples – What Is It?
Here are 15 tips for making mindfulness a daily habit:
1. Understand your “Why”
Whenever I ask clients to begin something new and potentially challenging, I ask them to consider why this is so important to them. What are your biggest reasons for wanting to practice mindfulness? How do you envision mindfulness helping you or changing things for your family? How do you see mindfulness affecting your parenting? How do you envision it affecting your values?
The more we stay connected to our deeper, purpose-driven reasons for doing things, the easier it becomes to stick with things. Even when they become challenging.
2. Set realistic goals
To set clear, realistic goals aligned with your values after considering why mindfulness practice is so important to you and how it helps you live your best life, think about the SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. It may not be realistic for you to meditate 30 minutes a day when you have 4 small children and a job.
You don’t have to be perfect with your mindfulness practice! So take the pressure off and just have fun! You can practice 10 minutes a day for the next month.
3. Schedule it in
After you’ve set a clear goal, schedule a time to practice every day in your planner. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day if that’s not convenient for you.
If you can, schedule your practice whenever you can based on the availability you have. I love ticking off tasks in my planner, so if it is written in there – it’s getting done Planning and scheduling ahead of time make it less likely for me to forget about it or put it off.
4. Create a mindfulness space
Setting up a comfortable space in your home where you enjoy spending time can help you build a consistent meditation habit. Perhaps find a spot in your house that already feels comfortable to you or that you enjoy spending time in.
Put some cushions, a candle, or a blanket in it! The idea is to make it comfortable and inviting, so you WANT to use it. It doesn’t have to be inside either. You can also set up a little meditation space in your garden if you enjoy sitting outside and meditating in nature.
However, mindfulness is more than sitting still and meditating. If you can’t or don’t want to practice mindfulness in a mindful space, that’s ok too!
5. Habit stack
Stacking habits is an effective way to establish new habits. Adding your new task to an existing habit or part of your daily routine is known as habit stacking. As you brush your teeth, take a shower, or drink your morning coffee, you can meditate.
You will be more likely to remember these things since they are already well-established habits. And before long, your mindfulness practice will also become a habit.
6. Create visual reminders
It is a great idea to have visual reminders around your home, or anchors, to remind you to stop and be mindful. Use post-it notes, and affirmation cards, or take 10 deep breaths every time you pass an item or spot in your home. For years, I kept a mindfulness rock in our house.
When I walked past it, I used it as an opportunity to practice mindful breathing. Additionally, you could practice a 2-minute breathing exercise every time you do a specific action or task – like washing your clothes or vacuuming. Set an alarm on your phone instead if you tend to ignore visual reminders. You’ll know when it goes off when it’s time to stop, drop, and meditate.
7. Use transitions
Transitions are a regular part of everybody’s day and tend to be something we think of as wasted time. The time you spend walking from your car to the office, driving to and from work or school pick up, waiting for the bus or train, waiting for the lift, on the phone, or in the line at the post office or grocery store.
These are all transition times that we tend not to think too much about. We sometimes spend these times on our phones, scrolling social media, or impatiently waiting for it to be over so we can get to the main event!
But these moments are great opportunities for practising mindfulness. They turn an otherwise boring and mundane moment into something much more valuable! Why not listen to a short meditation while you wait to pick the kids up from school, or practice a 2-minute breathing exercise while you wait for the lift? And for more tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life as a parent, check out this blog guide.
8. Get the kids involved
Many parents tell me they can’t practice mindfulness because they can’t get alone time to meditate. But who says you have to meditate alone? Mindfulness is great for all ages and can be lots of fun for kids!
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a quiet activity – you can do anything mindfully, including running, skipping, jumping, dancing and crafting. So if you are struggling to find quiet moments in your day to practice, try getting the kids involved instead! Not only will you get some mindfulness practice in, but it’s also a great opportunity to connect with your kids, and teach them some self-regulation strategies too!
Check out this blog post for tips on introducing mindfulness to kids see this blog post for some fun ideas for practising mindfulness with your toddler.
9. Join a community
It’s easier to establish a new habit when you’re surrounded by like-minded people with similar goals. A group provides you with the accountability of course. But it also provides you with support and inspiration.
The success of other people can be a huge motivator, and when you run into challenges you have a community of people who have been there before and who can empathize with and support you.
If you’re looking for a supportive community of like-minded parents, we chat about all things mindful parenting (including mindfulness for both parents and kids ) inside of my free Facebook community, Raising Mindful Little Minds.
10. Complete a challenge
Researchers suggest that practising mindfulness for 10 consecutive days can reap the benefits of mindfulness. So, challenge yourself for ten days and stick to the same.
11. Start small
The first step to making mindfulness a habit is to start small. If you want to make any change in your life, you have to start somewhere. You don’t need to go out and buy a $100 meditation cushion or spend hours meditating each day. Just pick something simple that you can do right now.
Maybe you can take five minutes at work to focus on your breath. Or maybe you can sit down after dinner and just breathe for 10 minutes. Whatever you choose, try to stick with it for a week. After seven days, you’ll notice that you’re starting to develop a pattern of mindfulness.
12. Be consistent
Once you’ve started practising mindfulness, you should continue doing it consistently. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the things around you. Keep your mind focused on what’s happening inside your body and in your environment.
When you find yourself getting distracted, bring your attention back to your breathing. Try not to judge yourself if you slip up once in a while. Instead, use those slips as opportunities to practice again.
13. Find a routine
As you become more comfortable with mindfulness, you may decide to incorporate it into your daily routine. You might set aside time to meditate before bed or while taking a shower.
Or you could even schedule a specific time to meditate each morning. Once you establish a routine, you’ll feel less stressed and more relaxed throughout the day.
14. Add Variety
If you’re feeling bored with your current routine, add some variety. Try meditating in different places, such as a park, coffee shop, or library. Or try meditating with friends or family members. By adding variety to your routine, you’ll keep your mindfulness fresh and interesting.
15. Reward Yourself
When you complete a session of mindfulness, reward yourself. Whether it’s a cupcake or a massage, treat yourself to something special. Your reward doesn’t have to be big; it just has to be something that makes you happy.
5 Benefits of Being Mindful
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can be used to improve your overall well-being. Find out why it’s so important!
Definition – Mindfulness helps people cope more effectively with life’s ups and downs as well as reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
#1: You’ll Be More Effective.
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, mindfulness can help you feel more relaxed and focused. Studies show that practising mindfulness can make you less likely to suffer from certain illnesses, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.
#2: You’ll Have Better Relationships.
Mindfulness helps us become aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment. It allows us to notice when we’re getting caught up in negative thinking patterns and helps us learn how to respond differently. This means that we can better manage our emotions and relationships with others.
#3: You’ll Feel Happier.
If you’ve ever tried mindfulness meditation, you know it works. Research shows that people who practice mindfulness regularly report feeling happier and more productive than those who don’t.
#4: You’ll Live Longer.
There are many benefits to being mindful, including improved sleep quality, reduced stress levels, increased productivity, and better relationships with others.
#5: You’ll Become a Better Leader.
If you’re looking to become a more effective leader, mindfulness can help. It helps leaders understand themselves better, as well as those they lead. This allows them to make decisions based on what they truly believe, rather than what they think other people expect them to do.
Mindfulness meditation/ mindfulness definition/ mindfulness is
Practising mindfulness means paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings, with a gentle, nurturing perspective.
- “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
- “The perfect moment is this one.”
- “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
- “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention.”
Mindful Eating: Mindful Eating is an easy way to eat mindfully. It’s about being present when we eat, rather than thinking about what we’re going to have next or worrying about our weight.
How to Eat Mindfully?
Be aware of your hunger levels.
If you find yourself constantly hungry, then you might not be mindful enough when you eat. You need to learn how to recognize when you’re feeling hungry and when you’re just bored or stressed out.
Pay attention to how food tastes.
There’s no one right way to eat, but there are some things you should pay attention to when eating.
- First, try to focus on the taste of the food you’re eating. This will help you notice when you’re actually hungry and when you’re simply bored or stressed out.
- Second, make sure you’re chewing each bite at least 20 times before swallowing.
- Third, avoid foods with lots of added sugar, salt, fat, or preservatives.
- Fourth, drink plenty of water while you’re eating.
- Finally, don’t skip meals.
If you find yourself constantly feeling guilty after eating, then you might need to learn how to eat more mindfully. Try these tips to start eating more mindfully:
1) Start by paying attention to your hunger cues. Are you really hungry or just bored?
2) Make sure you chew your food thoroughly. You’ll feel fuller faster if you do.
3) Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
There’s no doubt that mindful eating has been proven to help people lose weight. Research shows that people who practice mindfulness while eating tend to eat less and weigh less than those who aren’t as mindful.
Enjoy every bite.
If you’re trying to lose weight, one of the easiest ways to do so is by eating more slowly. This means taking your time to savor each mouthful of food. You’ll also enjoy the meal more because you won’t be distracted by thoughts about how much you should eat or whether you’ve had enough.
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? These mindfulness exercises will teach you how to relax and fall asleep naturally!
Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation is an ancient practice that teaches people to focus on the present moment without judgment. It helps us become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations to gain control over them.
Take A Deep Breath.
Try these simple breathing exercises before bedtime to help you sleep better.
Focus On the Present Moment.
If you find yourself thinking about what happened during the day, try focusing on the present moment instead. This helps you stay calm and relaxed, so you can drift off to sleep easily.
Count Down from Ten.
Start by counting down from ten. Focus on each number as you count down. As you do, focus on the sensations you feel in your body. Notice any thoughts that come into your mind.
Imagine Yourself as an Animal.
Next, imagine yourself as an animal. What kind of animal would you be? How does that make you feel? Now, think about what you would need to survive as that animal. What would you eat? Where would you sleep? What would you wear?
Visualize Something That Makes You Happy.
Once you have identified these things, try to visualize them in your mind. Imagine yourself as that animal, and see yourself doing those activities. This exercise helps you focus on something positive, and it also helps you relax.
We all have busy lives. It’s easy to fall into bad habits when we don’t take the time to be mindful. These five mindfulness activities will help you stay focused on what matters most.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is an ancient practice that helps us focus our attention on the present moment. This simple exercise will help you become more aware of how you spend your time and energy.
Mindful Activities for Busy People:
Take Time to Reflect.
One of the easiest ways to start being more mindful is by taking some time each day to reflect on your life. You might choose to write down three things you’re grateful for or think about something you’d like to improve.
Being grateful helps us focus on the positive aspects of our lives. Research shows that people who practice gratitude tend to feel happier than those who do not.
Meditation is one of the easiest ways to become more mindful. You can meditate anywhere at any time, even while driving! There are many different forms of meditation, so choose one that works for you.
If you’re feeling stressed out, try slowing down. Take a few minutes each day to do something that’s not work-related. This might mean taking a walk outside, reading a book, or just sitting quietly with no distractions.
Connect with Nature.
Being connected to nature helps us feel more grounded and less stressed. Research shows that spending time outdoors has been linked to improved mood and reduced stress levels.
By being mindful, you’re keeping a careful eye on your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment from moment to moment.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR was designed to help people suffering from chronic pain and illness learn how to cope with their symptoms and live happier lives.
The program consists of 8 weekly 2.5-hour sessions, each session includes meditation, yoga, discussion, and group work.
In addition to helping patients deal with physical ailments, MBSR has been shown to improve mental health and reduce anxiety.
You can learn about the program here: Guided Meditations
As a type of meditation practice, mindfulness involves paying attention to what is occurring at the moment, without interpreting or judging it. To reduce stress and relax the body and mind, mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices.
Through a gentle, nurturing lens, mindfulness entails maintaining moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
The goal of mindfulness therapy is to increase our awareness of the thoughts, feelings, and actions that impede our progress.
Apps that promote mindfulness are in vogue right now. Here are four we recommend.
#1: Insight Timer
Available for iOS, Android, and web
Entry price: Free
#2: Smiling Mind
Available for iOS, Android, and web
Entry price: Free
#3: UCLA Mindful
Available for iOS and Android
Entry price: Free
#4: Healthy Minds Program
Available for iOS and Android
Entry price: Free
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Anxiety, Depression & Stress
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based treatment for depression and anxiety disorders. It is effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
MBCT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping people learn how to pay attention to their thoughts and feelings to reduce negative thinking patterns and improve mood.
MBCT also helps people cope with stress more effectively.
MBCT teaches participants to focus on the present moment by noticing what they are doing, feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking. This practice helps them notice when they are ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. They then learn to let go of these thoughts and return to the present moment.
MBCT is based on mindfulness meditation practice, which involves paying attention to one’s experience in the present moment with acceptance and curiosity. The goal of this therapy is to help people learn how to live mindfully and cope more effectively with their emotions.
MBCT was developed by Dr Mark Williams at the University of Oxford in England. He found that patients who participated in MBCT had fewer depressive episodes than those who did not participate in the program. In addition, he found that patients who completed the program were less likely to relapse into major depression after having recovered from a previous episode.
Learn about the history of MBCT.
MBCT is based on mindfulness meditation practice. This type of meditation involves focusing attention on one thing at a time while being aware of thoughts and feelings without judgment. Through mindfulness meditation, people learn how to focus on what matters most in life, such as relationships with family and friends, work, and hobbies.
Understand the basic principles of MBCT. This includes understanding what it means to be mindful and why it is important to develop an awareness of thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
In addition to learning mindfulness skills, participants also learn cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help them cope with negative emotions and stressors. These techniques include identifying unhelpful thinking patterns, challenging negative beliefs, and practising relaxation exercises.
Practice mindfulness exercises. These include sitting meditation, walking meditation, body scan, and loving-kindness.
MBCT teaches people how to focus attention on the present moment by noticing thoughts and feelings without judgment. This helps reduce rumination and worry, two common thought processes associated with depression and anxiety.
Here are a few examples:
- Pay attention. We live in a busy world where it’s hard to slow down and notice things. Slowing down once in a while to notice your surroundings, etc., is one way of paying attention.
- Live in the moment. Every action you take should be characterized by openness, acceptance, and discernment.
- Accept yourself. You should treat yourself the same way you would treat a good friend.
- Focus on your breathing.
There are theorized benefits of mindfulness, including self-control, objectivity, affect tolerance, enhanced flexibility, equanimity, improved concentration and mental clarity, emotional intelligence, and the ability to relate to others and oneself with kindness, acceptance, and compassion.
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Mindfulness Urgent Care
Here’s your guide: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Mindfulness meditation training involves paying attention to what you’re feeling and sensing at the moment, without interpreting or judging it. To reduce stress and relax the body and mind, mindfulness practitioners use breathing techniques, guided imagery, and other practices.
Mindfulness Breathing for Beginners
Mindfulness Breathing is a simple technique that helps you focus on your breath and relax. It’s a good way to calm yourself down when you feel stressed or anxious.
How to Start?
Close your eyes.
There are different ways to do mindfulness breathing. Try one of these three variations:
1) Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your knees. Inhale deeply through your nose. Hold your breath for 5 seconds. Slowly exhale through your mouth while counting backwards from 10 by 1.
2) Lie down on your back with your arms at your sides. Focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly release the air through your mouth. Count backwards from 10 by 1 as you inhale.
3) Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your spine tall and shoulders relaxed. Inhale through the nose. Hold for 5 full seconds. Slowly exhale while counting backwards from 10.
Start with 5 minutes.
You can do mindfulness breathing anywhere at any time. Just sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths through your nose. Inhale slowly through your mouth. Hold your breath for five seconds. Then exhale slowly through your nose. Repeat this cycle four times.
Focus on your breath.
This simple technique will help you focus on what’s happening right now. It’s a great way to calm yourself down when you feel stressed out.
Repeat as needed.
Start by sitting comfortably with your back straight. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths through your nose. Inhale slowly through your mouth and exhale slowly through your nose. Continue breathing until you feel relaxed.
Sit comfortably with your back straight.
You can practice mindfulness breathing anywhere at any time. If you find yourself feeling stressed out, try taking a few minutes to focus on your breath. This simple technique will help you relax and reduce anxiety.
Researchers have found that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being by responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy, and understanding.
Read here: Health and Wellness Meditations
Mindfulness music/mindfulness with music
Through techniques such as mindfulness meditation, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy teaches people to consciously pay attention to their thoughts and feelings without judging them.
Mindfulness Meditation Guides
Mindfulness: Meditation 1 – Mindfulness of Body and Breath
Mindfulness: Meditation 2 – The Body Scan
Mindfulness: Meditation 3 – Mindful Movement
Mindfulness: Meditation 4 – Breath and Body
Mindfulness: Meditation 5 – Exploring Difficulty
Related: How Do You Define Holistic Health?