As a Mindfulness Life Coach for moms, I’m not only teaching and coaching my clients with my tools, but I’m also using these tools in my everyday life, which is why I want to share the top 10 mindfulness practices I use in my life, in hopes that they’ll help you, too.
Here’s a look at my top 10 mindfulness practices:
1. 10 Minutes Of Silence
Sitting in silence, intentionally, for 10 minutes every day is a grounding practice that I absolutely love because it helps me get centered in my body. I tend to live in my head on default, so this practice helps me consciously shift into my body and feel my feelings, which has the effect of grounding me. I show up more present and connected with my family when I use this practice consistently because it keeps my nervous system regulated.
Click here to learn how to practice 10 minutes of silence.
2. “I won’t let you”
When I’m parenting, there is so much that I’m teaching and using boundaries for. Instead of saying “you can’t” I say “I won’t let you.”
For example, if RJ wants to put a candle in his mouth, instead of saying “don’t do that” or “you can’t do that” I say, “mama won’t let you put that in your mouth” and then I remove it.
This is a subtle but crucial shift because the responsibility is on me as the mom, instead of expecting my child to behave in a way that either they developmentally can’t, or simply they don’t want to. It separates the agency clearly.
3. Separating thoughts from facts
Whenever I’m facing a challenge (big or small), I know that approaching it from clean thinking is the most beneficial to me. For that reason, I coach myself using the Self Coaching Model, which starts out by separating thoughts from facts. (To get the full process, join Grow You, my mindfulness community for moms).
There are sentences in your head right now that you think are facts but they’re not. They’re thoughts. Thoughts are optional interpretations that either help you or hurt you. When you change your thoughts, you change your life.
This is a life long practice of conditioning your mind. It’s the difference between doing one push up and doing 10 push ups every day for three years. It’s the daily practice that gets your brain into shape.
Click here to listen to the podcast on separating thoughts from facts.
4. Mindful Journaling
Mindful Journaling is a specific journaling practice I created that helps you identify your current limiting beliefs, have compassion for yourself, and live into your future, so you don’t repeat your past. It’s a four step process that I use regularly in my morning routine as a way to get my mind in the right place. I absolutely love this practice, and it’s a Grow You member favorite, too.
To get the Mindful Journaling Course, click here to join Grow You.
5. Top three feelings during nighttime routine
To increase my own emotional awareness and to practice emotional awareness as a family, every night during our bedtime routine, each person in my family goes around and names their top three feelings and the thought creating the feeling.
For example, I might say “I felt connected today because I was thinking, ‘I love being home with RJ.” Naming the feeling and attributing it to my thoughts is core to doing the inner work. When we do this as a family it helps everyone with their own awareness and emotional regulation, too.
6. Talking with emotional responsibility
When I talk about feeling a certain way, I attribute it to my feelings. For example, if I’m feeling upset, I might say something like, “I’m feeling upset because I’m thinking that shouldn’t have happened.”
Talking this way means that I’m taking emotional responsibility for how I feel. I’m still human which means I’m going to feel negative emotions. But the better I can get at seeing I’m the creator of my feelings, the better I’ll be at processing them, without reacting or avoiding them. This helps me show up as my best self.
Here are several mindset resources to learn more about thinking on purpose:
- Three Default Mindsets (Podcast)
- Thinking On Purpose (Podcast)
- 10 Mindset Shifts For Moms (Podcast)
- What Is Default Thinking (Podcast)
- What Are Fixed And Growth Mindsets? (Blog)
- How To Improve Your Mindset (7 Steps To Take Right Now) (Blog)
- How To Develop A Positive Mindset (Blog)
7. Hand on heart + “I can cope with this”
As someone who has a pretty harsh and mean inner critic, I’m constantly evolving my practice of finding compassion and gentleness for myself. In this practice, I place my hand on my heart (a form of physical connection to myself) and I say “I can cope with this.” It doesn’t matter what it is; I can always cope with it. We all can. Whatever the challenge of the day is, the worst part is how we talk to ourselves about it. Learning how to stop beating yourself up is a skill worth practicing.
8. Repairing when I make a mistake
When I make a mistake, I practice “repair” which is an intentional form of making things right. To do this I communicate and acknowledge whatever I did or said and make an apology, and I incorporate compassion for myself and for the other person.
For example, the last time I yelled at RJ, I looked at him and said “I’m so sorry I yelled. Mommy felt angry and is working on not yelling and reacting to that anger.” This is taking full responsibility without any blame (I didn’t say “I’m having a hard day” for example).
I think repair is a secret skill that works miracles in motherhood. If there’s one thing to get good at it’s this.
The biggest reason for not repairing more is our own ego. It’s thinking that we’re somehow bad or wrong if we repair. We want to avoid this (avoid shaming ourselves) so we dismiss the behavior and don’t repair. This is a huge mistake. It takes vulnerability, courage, and connection, but it is 100% worth it.
9. Living in the “and”
Allowing two things to be true helps navigate challenging moments without having them overpower the day or season.
For example, I might say, “this season is so challenging and I know I was made for this.” Another example is if you hear about a tragedy on TV that you want to feel devastated about, you might say, “I’m feeling devastated and I give myself permission to enjoy the day with my family.”
10. Adopting a family mindset
As the mom of the household and self-proclaimed house manager, there are a lot of logistics that I’m in charge of. Because of that, day to day life can feel really serious and cold sometimes. One mindset shift has been hugely helpful for me to bring more warmth and play into my day: “we’re on the same team.”
Before taking action at home, I remind myself “we’re on the same team.” Suddenly my tone is softer and I show up more loving.
For example, if I notice that we’re running late, instead of saying “hurry up we need to go” I pause and remind myself “if this was my teammate how would I respond?” Then, I respond more in a more caring way, maybe with something like, “hey are you ready? I notice that we’re running a bit late.”
This mindset helps me lead from a place of love and respect instead of from a place of “I’m all knowing.”
Click here to listen to the podcast episode, Family Mindset: We’re On The Same Team”.
A Final Note
While there are many tools and practices that you can use in your mindfulness routines, try one that sounds interesting to you and see if you enjoy it. If not, move on to something else. These tools are for you to use, not for you to use them against yourself. Enjoy.