4 Tips to a More Mindful Perspective
As a stay-at-home-mom and former full-time teacher I have learned from experience that much of my attitude and perspective originates in the mind.
That challenging student could ruffle my feathers, then I would allow that to completely ruin my day, week or month. Basically any little thing could frustrate me. Early in my teaching career my husband and I talked about how people feed off your emotions, respond to what you’re putting out. This was a hard pill to swallow, because this meant I had to do some hard work to change what I was projecting.
On the good days, when I choose to positively interact with students, smile, make jokes and simply enjoy the ups and downs that inevitably come with teaching, I had good days. On the bad days, when I let every little thing set me off, I had bad days.
Now, as a stay-at-home-mom it’s even more obvious how much my mood, affects my day and my kids. Ugh….ok, so what do I do about this??? To be real, it’s still a struggle and I don’t have it all figured out, but I do feel awareness is half the battle. Here are a few tips that hopefully will help you to be more grateful.
I use the Head Space app, which is focused on mindfulness and isn’t overly spiritual. As a Christian, meditation often gets a bad rap, but I truly believe the idea of meditation goes back to the Bible, and is focused on finding the peace of Christ. Until recently the idea of inner peace, or the peace of Christ seemed so unattainable. People would tell me to rest and I immediately would think, but HOW!?!?!
I realize the idea of meditation may not seem appealing, but think of it this way....
- When was the last time you sat in silence for 10 minutes?
- When was the last time you didn't allow your "to-do" list to rule your actions?
- When was the last time you felt calm, in the mind?
Even meditating, taking a few deep breaths for 3 minutes, can have a profound impact on your stress level, as well as the stress level of those around you.
I’m a big journaler, have been since high school. It’s therapeutic, helps me process my own emotions and thoughts. It helps me to remain grateful, I try and name 2-3 things I’m grateful for EVERY DAY!
3. Serve & Encourage Others
If we are too focused on ourselves, we definitely find ourselves in this cycle of “my, myself and I” which is internally focused and doesn’t help you to project gratitude, because if you’re always focused on yourself, you aren’t able to be grateful for anything outside of yourself. Honestly, isn’t that where most things we are grateful for is….our kids, spouse, family, friends…..that is all outside of the realm of “me, myself and I."
Our words are a product of our thoughts. If we are constantly critical of others and judging their actions, this is the dialogue we are having internally. Typically more extreme because most people filter their thoughts before they share them. Find ways to encourage others.
- Write a card with encouragement to a friend.
- Tell them you love them.
- Give a hug.
- Do an act of service, dishes, bring a meal or go grocery shopping.
4. Negative Self-Talk
This is a HORRIBLE habit that most people fall into. We are our own worst critic. The more negativity we allow to become part of our story, the more we start believing it.
Meditation has helped me incredibly in this area, because the Head Space “self-esteem” pack walks you through how to distance yourself from your thoughts and feelings and to find that place of quiet confidence. This teaches you to begin changing your internal dialogue about yourself, which I didn't even know was going on, until I slowed down enough to sit still.