Parents can use these on-the-spot strategies adapted from Noa Belling’s The Mindful Body to connect with and strengthen their zone of well-being.
Hand to chest
Place a hand on your chest to remind you to come from love. This is a great one to use in the midst of chaotic moments. Soon as you realise you are all worked up, pause for a few seconds, place a hand on your chest where it feels best and allow a good deep breath.
Touch releases oxytocin, our cuddle and intimacy hormone, quickly lowering our stress hormone levels and helping us think more clearly. This helps us feel kinder and more compassionate towards ourselves and those around us.
Soon as you feel a shift, release your hand and carry on with your day from this more connected, kinder place. Make this a family practice by teaching this simple strategy to your children and take a moment to do it together when they are stressed and overwhelmed.
Remember to breathe
Pausing to take a few deep breaths now and again can help oxygenate both body and brain. This can give us a boost of energy and remind us to release pent up tension.
Using a body scan with this can help, pausing now and again through your day to scan your body for tension and breathing nice fresh air through your body and being. This can be a quick reset that can help you feel more in control. Again, it’s a valuable strategy for children too.
Mark transitions lovingly
Through good eye contact and a habit of a hello and goodbye hug for those in your family. This is a suggestion by relationship expert Stan Tatkin that has mutual benefit to both people involved in the hug.
The body contact stimulates oxytocin to help us feel calmer in ourselves and more connected with each other. It also can help us change gears into our zone of well-being in just a few seconds, which can go on to last for a while after especially if we savour the feelings for as long as possible.
Orient to the present moment
The more we live in the moment instead of in our thoughts about the moment, the less we can complicate our lives with unnecessary worries. If you are feeling overwhelmed or mentally frenetic, pause for a few seconds to notice your surroundings through your five senses.
Notice the sights, sounds and smells as well as the taste in your mouth. Touch a couple of objects in your vicinity and place your two feet on the ground evenly.
Perhaps adjust your posture to be more centred and upright. In a matter of seconds you might find yourself more grounded and clear-headed as you return to the task at hand.