When you’re a busy parent, finding time for yourself can be really difficult. Meditation for parents might sound like one more “to-do” you don’t have time to cram into your already packed schedule. But what if I were to tell you that the rewards of starting a meditation practice are totally worth the effort?  And what if I told you that you can start reaping those rewards in only TEN minutes a day? It might make meditation for parents seem less like a chore, and more like a necessity.

Why Meditation For Parents?

Parenting is a ridiculously emotional job. You can become frustrated, angry or impatient when your kids don’t meet your expectations. You can also feel some serious guilt if you fail to measure up to your own parenting ideals. Meditation can help. If you feel stressed, emotional, or reactive in your day-to-day life, taking some time out to meditate and center yourself will (over time) help you become more patient and focused around your kids.

Meditation Benefits

How can meditation help you become a better parent? In a nutshell, meditation does the following:

  1. Promotes Calmness
  2. Increases Self Awareness
  3. Develops Compassion
  4. Improves Creative Thinking

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four benefits and see how meditation helps develop them.

First, a regular mindfulness practice helps cultivate feelings of calmness. You learn to observe thoughts, but not act on them, which increases your emotional control. This helps keep you from blowing up when little things go wrong, and it can help you control your reaction to your environment, however chaotic it might be in the moment. This is a great skill for parents to have!

The second benefit of meditation for parents is that it increases your self awareness. Everybody has certain habits. Some of these are beneficial, whereas others don’t really serve you. These patterns may have been formed back when you were a kid and can only be changed once they’re identified. Through the increased awareness of meditation, you start to see these old patterns. You then have the power to determine which patterns are getting in the way of you being the kind of parent you want to be, and you can start taking steps to change them.

Meditation also helps develop the critical parenting skills of understanding and compassion. Sometimes when kids are upset or emotional, they can seem like irrational crazy people. This might cause you to not look deeper and try to understand why they feel the way they do. Mediation encourages a framework of open-mindedness, which helps you empathize and take the time to try and see things from your child’s perspective. Kids generally have a reason for acting the way they do. With empathy, you can connect with your child to see what the reason is, and then respond with true compassion.

And finally, research has shown that a regular meditation practice (as little as 5-10 minutes a day) leads to more creative thinking. Mindfulness makes our brains less rigid, and therefore open to new ideas which can translate into you dreaming up more creative and fun activities to do with your family. I’ve noticed some of my best out-of-the-box ideas come after my morning meditation practice. Isn’t that worth a few extra minutes a day!?  

Simple Meditation Practice

  • Sit or lay down in a quiet, comfortable space.
  • Become “present” – How do you feel? What are your thoughts?
  • Focus on your breath.
  • Feel each part of your body. Start at your toes and work your way up. If your mind wanders, come back to your breath.
  • Practice 5-10 minutes every day!

What are your thoughts on meditation for parents? Have you tried it? How was your experience? Share your thoughts and comments in our Health Community!

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