Four years ago when we had our daughter, little Laura, the world as I knew it came to a screaming halt. It was loud, constant and at the time seemed relentless. It was hard to think, let alone be mindful. Let me save you the long version and say she was a particularly difficult baby! LOL. It was then that I turned to Buddhism, as nothing I did or tried seemed to fixed it, so I choose to focus on myself instead.
At the time I was reading every baby book ever written, spending hours on the phone to Tresillian help line and trawling every parenting website I could find looking for a way to help her, and me! Then someone recommended the book Buddhism for mothers by Sarah Napthali, and it completely changed my mindset. No longer did I need to fix her, it was just a matter of accepting the situation and becoming mindful of the present moments.
I started practicing mindfulness and breathing techniques as she was screaming in my arms. It sounds a little odd, but I found a place in my mind that I could use and build, it gave me back something I could control, when it seemed like everything else was so far out of control. As time went on, and I learned more about Positive Psychology, I found there was much overlap in the two disciplines. Buddhism has essentially been preaching about positive psychology for years, it is, quiet simply, a way of life. Only now do we have the scientific backing to say it really does work.
Sara Lazar explains the science behind what happens in our brain when we meditate, or practice mindfulness. It’s a quick clip, but hopefully will show you the power of mindfulness, and positive psychology, in our everyday lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8rRzTtP7Tc
Essentially, our brains change when our behavior changes, and with mindfulness that means we become more compassionate, less stressed, more resilient and more empathetic with others…. Not to mention we become happier and live longer. Mindfulness certainly changed my experience of parenting and I hope you’ll think about creating more mindfulness in your home too.