Whether you are expecting or are a new mom, engaging in a regular mindfulness practice will benefit both yourself and those who interact with you daily. The ability to be mindful in stressful situations is so important in keeping your anxiety levels down.
Have you ever met someone who just can't seem to let things go? Something happens to this person and no matter how minor the situation, they let themselves ruminate for longer than they should; days, weeks, even years. I know that I've had the tendency to do this at times.
The word, "mindfulness", is a bit of a buzz word right now. However, I was introduced to it about nine years ago when I was in grad school. One of my professors talked about meditation on our first day of class. From that very first day, I was confronted with the challenge of being mindful. I remember it being so incredibly challenging to do what he asked: be present in the moment. However, as each day passed and my professor had us practice more and more, it got easier.
One of his most memorable (and humorous) pieces of advice he gave us for our practice was in describing an itch. He said as soon as we try to be still and quiet, we suddenly have so many places we want to itch! Yet, the funny thing about an itch is that if we ignore it, it goes away. So his advice was: if we feel an itch, first recognize it without judgement, then say to yourself, "Hey, I have an itch", and then let it go. Try not to give the itch any more attention than needed.
His advice goes along with a 2014 article I read in Psychology Today. The article summed about the process of being mindful in three steps: Letting Things In, Letting Things Be, and Letting Things Go. I love this. It is so simple, yet so impactful.
Try to put this in to practice. The next time you're feeling overwhelmed, whether it is because your baby is not nursing well, or your partner is not pulling his or her weight, try these three steps. In the end, being mindful will not change another person's behavior, but it will change the way you respond to that person.