When a challenging situation presents itself such as baby being awake during the night or crying for long periods of time, it can help us if we develop an attitude of acceptance and surrender to the situation as it presents itself. Once it has happened you cannot change it, you can only change how you react and respond to it. Acceptance does not mean that you have to like the situation or that you have to remain passive to it. It simply means that you have come round to seeing things as they actually are rather than how you want them to be.
With acceptance we can also develop a patient and calmer attitude towards situations such as a baby teething. Many things in life happen at their own pace and in their own time. The gestation period of a baby from conception to birth is 9 months. This 9 month period is for a reason: for the baby to be properly formed and developed. Similarly, when a baby’s teething it happens at its own pace and in its own time. Patience is one of the many different forms of wisdom. We can in times of stress with our children wish that the moment was different, perhaps quieter or calmer and we may wish to feel less stressed. The truth is that this is the reality of your life in this moment. So, instead of trying to rush through this moment in order to get to a calmer one it may help you to be open to the moment with a sense of curiosity. You may say to yourself ‘It is what it is’ so as to be more accepting of the present moment.
Also, during stressful times we may find ourselves judging our experience. One of the many powerful benefits of Mindfulness is that it develops our awareness to our mind’s constant habit of judging our experience. By developing our awareness and by paying attention to our inner experience we can rapidly discover that the mind is forever labelling and categorizing every experience we have. With practice we can become an impartial witness to our experience and can observe our troublesome and agitated thoughts without reacting to them. This can really help us to remain calm when our children are distressed and be a comfort to them when they doing their best to cope with illness, agitation, tiredness etc.
MRI and EEG scans have shown growth areas in specific areas of the brain after practising mindfulness meditation, mainly in the pre-frontal cortex which is associated with empathy and compassion towards others. Mindfulness helps us to see situations from a clearer perspective with less fear and anxiety.