The benefits of practising meditation with your family
15 May 2017 | beando_admin
We often say at beanddo ‘you are happy’.
We know that right at this minute it might not feel like it, but you are happy. You see, happiness is an inside job. You can’t become happy, you can only be happy.
It’s the same with families. Happiness within families is an inside job too. But many families make it hard for themselves. How many times does that family get together trigger arguments, stress and upset – fuelled by expectation and resentment and pain? Families obviously love being together but sometimes it can get very complicated. As the saying goes, you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.
Some ground rules are sometimes useful like; don’t mention Brexit, politics, religion, sex, money or whose turn is it to walk the dog? You know the sort of thing!
No need to be perfect
Most parents are great at teaching their children how to clean their teeth, get dressed, to eat properly, to brush their hair, to switch off the smartphone and get enough sleep. But these days it’s also important to help children, in fact the whole family, to nurture and manage mental health too.
Setting out to teach and cultivate inner happiness together as a family is also vital. We are not talking here about being a perfect family. That is far too much pressure – and anyway, they don’t exist and for many the expectation of being the perfect family is a source of frustration, guilt and resentment.
There is no denying that families can be hard work, so instead of trying to change others, let go and be with your family as they are. That’s the key – acceptance not expectation.
A daily dose of meditation
A daily input of modern meditation moments from the start will really help develop connectedness and empathy. These are the natural forces that bind families together and help them thrive. Nurture them. Make them grow like you would with strong bones and teeth. With practice the ‘why me’, ‘me first’ or ‘I want’ will not have chance to grow. The result is reduced family stress and as everyone gets older more and more family gatherings are not marked by some pointless argument or misunderstanding.
The key here is not to make a big thing about ‘stopping’ for a moment or two and just ‘be’. Take your daily dose of family meditation in microform.
Here are some ways you can introduce the practice:
- At night time after the bedtime story count 10 deep breaths before getting under the duvet
- Take a time out moment. Just stop still – stand and breathe when things get too overwhelming
- Eat together (without the TV) and pause before the first mouthful
- Walk in tandem and practice a little moving meditation
- Try to listen, giving each other space which also creates space for you too
The point is there are many things you can do to nurture that family space. You don’t need to try too hard. In fact the less you try, the easier it gets. Letting go (with purpose) is key and vital to keeping parents sane and children free and loved.
It seems obvious but if you can help make the family a peaceful place, it stands to reason that everyone in the family (even the dog) will be happier.
If you’d like to learn how to make happy work, find out more about our programmes.