Life is hectic, with or without kids in our lives. But parenting adds a different kind of stress and our kids often pick up on it. Did you know children can "catch" their parents' stress? Finding simple ways to ease the thick layer of tension in your life becomes even more important. Meditation expert Karen Maezen believes that finding quiet time on a daily basis can help parents find a calmness that can benefit the whole family. She tells Away We Grow host Diane Mizota why even five minutes of quiet time is essential to handle the stresses of every day.
"Paying attention to life as it is -- right now -- you learn how to handle the stress of ever day," says Maezen Miller, who is also a mom and Zen Buddhist priest. Before she became a parent, she felt she had the "perfect life," but she didn't know how to be happy. Meditation changed her world.
Maezen Miller knows first-hand how difficult it can be for parents, especially moms, to carve out alone time. She says, "If you feel like as if you don't have one minute, you need to change the way you think about time. If you think that time is something that you don't have, you'll never find it."
Start with five minutes of quiet time. "If you can't find five minutes, start small. Even 60 seconds will do. Little by little, you change things. And you always feel better," says Maezen Miller.
Sit. Create a quiet place to retreat. "You always get to make a choice about what you're going to do. If I were over my head, stressed out, about to lose it, I can go to my room and sit in my chair," says Maezen Miller. "Put all of your attention into your breath. Watch your breath. It's a very powerful tool to focus your attention" It's also critical that you block out the exterior noise, otherwise known as your kids whining or knocking on the door incessantly. "Expand the time where you don't react. It's a self discipline to let people learn hout to work things out without mom"
Cry. A good cry of happy tears helps release and refresh emotions. And according to Maezen Miller, it can "change your state of mind."
Walk. Not only is walking an excellent form of exercise, it's a basic form of meditation. "Focus your attention on your steps and environment. Put the attention in the awareness into the process of walking," says Maezen Miller.
Sing. Tune out negative feelings. Sing loud and sing strong! "You cannot think that critical thought in your head when you are signing the words to a song. Music has that calming, mind altering meditative use," she says.
How do you find quiet time in your life?
Also on Shine:
VIDEO: Clean your house in 15 minutes
6 mistakes all new parents make
PHOTOS: How to look hot in a minivan (mom makeovers!)