Focus: Mom Tips for Achieving a Positive Mindset
Moms have it tough. While children can be one of the most enjoyable things in life, it’s also a real strain on your mood. With sleep deprivation in the early months, guilt and the inevitable mom-to-mom comparison as real parenting skills kick in, achieving positivity can seem unachievable.
I’m here to tell you that it is possible to have a positive mindset. While stress is one of the top reasons for maternal burnout and negative thinking, even the slightest shift can make a big difference. Check out our tips on how to start taking those steps in shifting focus and mindset.
Whether it’s a gratitude journal, gratitude jar or even just a moment to breathe and be thankful that you are breathing, it can start to focus your mind towards a more positive light.
I like to keep a gratitude journal on my nightstand and make a note to write down three things I’m grateful for every day. This could be as simple as the sun shining or the kids are asleep. Even if the day was a total disaster, looking at what went right during the day can help form a positive mindset.
So you don’t like doing crafts with kids or like to take them on hikes on Saturday mornings, so what? Accepting what is instead of what could be or worse yet, what should be, is important and can free the mind from thinking negatively.
Accepting yourself for the woman and mom you are and believing that it is enough and just what your children need can seem like a tall order but it makes a world of difference in keeping a positive mindset.
Lead with Compassion
I notice when my kids aren’t at their best and acting out, it’s usually out of fear or frustration. While it’s easy to get swept up and get just as angry and frustrated, taking a deep breath and leading your reaction with compassion can go a long way.
At the same time, those deep breaths to calm your own emotions can help in clearing the fog to see the positive of the situation. Your children are acting out because they feel safe with you, feeling free to express all the emotions that are happening right now.
This concept can also be applied to your own emotions. When feeling negative, doubtful of your own abilities as a mom or even frustrated out of exhaustion, lead with compassion for yourself.
Do Something for Yourself
Part of the downfall of negative thinking is exhaustion and not having any time to focus on yourself. Take the time to find one thing that is just for you. That could be a yoga class at home while kids are in school, or even going on a walk after dinner and before bedtime by yourself.
Positivity has a lot to do with your mental state and keeping your glass full instead of making sure everyone else’s is. Do something for yourself that makes you smile.
Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t
I learned this lesson late in the game, but focusing on what you DO have instead of what you DON’T have can be a game-changer. Instead of thinking “if I had that” or “if the situation was different”, thinking positively about what you do have can shift the mind to a calmer, more grateful state.
So instead of feeling sad that family is another state (or country) away, think about the family of friends that you’ve built around your life. Even if it’s not ideal or how you imagined it would be, it can still be pretty great.
Being present and in the moment can be a challenging task for moms who are always thinking of a multitude of things at any given time. However, being present allows the mind to savor the moment for all it is, with the good usually leading the way.
The next time the kids beg you to play with them and you know you have emails to catch up on or phone calls to make, take a step back and enjoy the moment. Take in their smiles, curiosity and longingness to be next to you. It’s those moments that really count.
Studies have shown that having a positive mindset can have an impact on children’s development. As you go throughout your day and think about the interactions that you have in the world, remember that you’re not alone. Moms all over the world are struggling with the same thing on a daily basis. Motherhood is hard. You’ve got this.