Updated: Mar 9
"Mindfulness" is just noticing what you are doing, feeling, or thinking in the moment you are doing, feeling, or thinking it. For the Christ-Follower, since God is part of our daily lives, paying attention to Him and being grateful for His gifts and blessings is a basic practice of being mindful.
One popular practice that focuses on the development of mindfulness is a breathing awareness. The concept is simple: Feel your belly rise with the inhale and feel it fall with the exhale. When your mind drifts, just notice it, then bring your attention back to your breathing. Continue to build your focus and awareness around the sensations of breathing, thanking God for the breath in your lungs that He alone gives you. When practicing this grateful attention to breathing on a regular basis you can greatly reduce stress and anxiety. However, another important goal in improving your focus in the moment is to eventually bring this same focus into your everyday activities.
Anytime you can be more present in a moment, you are going to be more connected with others. And, since CONNECTION CREATES COOPERATION, Being Mindful = Better Parenting.
Here are some everyday activities that can help develop a consistent mindful gratefulness rather than just paying attention to your breathing alone:
This is a daily activity (ok, well that is the goal anyhow) to become mindful of your body and it's sensations. Whether you are showering yourself or bathing your child, pay attention to the feeling of the water. Notice the temperature and the pressure. Thank God for this moment you get to enjoy a shower. Thank Him for the water to clean yourself and your family. Notice out loud for your child: “This water feels warm on my skin! Do you feel it dripping down your back? Do you see all these bubbles the soap makes? They look fluffy! They feel soft. Thank you, Jesus for this soap to get us clean!”
Whether you are vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, or dusting, cleaning is another great daily activity (again, that is the goal, right?) that we can practice doing more mindfully. Thank God that you have a home to clean. Be grateful that you have enough food there are leftover crumbs on the floor! Turn your mind toward the motions of your body. As you pay attention to the movements in your legs and your arms, thank Him that you are able-bodied enough to clean your home.
What else do you notice in your body? Do you notice any discomfort? Strength? Areas of stress or tension? Ask Jesus to heal any areas of pain or stiffness in that moment!
Eating is another very useful daily activity (ok, now I know we do THIS one every day!) to which you can apply a mindful gratefulness. First, recognize that you have this food because of God's provision, and ask Him to help you stay in this moment to enjoy the food He has provided.
Pay attention to the actual physical sensations of chewing, tasting, and swallowing as well as the temperature and texture of the food you are eating. How often do we eat and...watch TV? Or eat and...talk on the phone? Or eat and....read?
How about let's just focus on eating and enjoying and thanking God for our food?
Applying this grateful attention to eating will most assuredly help you enjoy meals more, eat slower, and consequently eat less because you are more observant of when you feel satiated. Mindful eating can indeed reduce food intake and improve flavor – because you’re more likely to savor every bite and feel more satisfied.
I would love to hear about which of these activities you have started - or others you have implemented - and how it has changed your parenting!
Please, leave a comment here or on my YouTube Channel after you watch the videos!
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate to connect with them!