Mindfulness can be defines as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, without judgement, and in the present moment.” How can you live more mindfully as a mother? And why should you?
Pay attention to your senses
Bringing mindfulness into your daily life doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. You are being mindful when you pay more attention to what you see, smell and hear when you are doing a mundane activity. For example, let’s say you’re walking to you car after dropping off the children at school. Notice your surroundings, the people, the trees, the birds, the sky, the ground. Notice the smell of the air, notice the sounds of the cards, the people, and anything else you can hear.
Mindfulness is not just about sitting down with a meditation app for 10-20 minutes at a time. Mindfulness is a way of living. It helps align your mind and your body. It brings out awareness to the present moment, where the body is. Mindfulness is also about bringing a gentle, nonjudgmental attitude to your experience. For example, on your walk back to the car if you notice sounds that are unpleasant, you can just notice that and let it go. You might even say, “oh I’m having a feeling that I don’t like the sounds” and you move on.
You don’t have to hold on to or analyze your experience. Neither should you go on an internal never-ending rant about how inconsiderate people, or how annoyed you are, or that the sounds remind you of an annoying colleague from five years ago.
A wandering mind makes you a human being
Whenever your mind wanders off or you get distracted, bring yourself back to the present moment. You will do this over and over again. It’s the nature of our mind to wander off. It’s OK to redirect yourself a million times. That’s perfectly normal. You’re not failing at mindfulness.
This way living daily needs to and can be practiced. Pick one activity that you can do more mindfully every day. It can be cooking, being with your family, driving home, brushing your teeth. Mindfulness is a welcomed break in your busy life! If you forget, set yourself reminder. Schedule yourself a daily “mindful lunch” or “mindful school pick up”.
Dr. Ava Ghasemi (Holdich) is a licensed Psychologist with 11 years experience in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East. She has a practice of individual and couples therapy at the MapleTree Center in Dubai.