by by Keith Miller, PhD
1. Share a mindful commute. Take a moment to silently notice three sights while taking a familiar route together. Next, share what you noticed before reaching your destination (e.g., a mural on a building; a majestic oak tree; a mailbox that has been painted your favorite color; the way the shade makes the car dark while going down a certain street; a nest next to a power line)
2. Practice the appreciation exercise daily. Create a routine of taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to point out three things that you appreciated about your partner or child during the past 24 hours. The more specifically tied to a behavior the better!
3. Ask three new questions. Power down the cell phone. Turn off the screen. Take out the ear buds. Attune to your partner or child and learn something new. Take turns asking each other questions about your past, present, or future that you have never asked. Make it a game you regularly play over dinner, while doing chores, or while in the car.
4. Notice, name, and share your thoughts and feelings. Take time to share your internal experiences with your child or partner. Practice using statements such as: “I am having the thought that _______”; “I notice that I feel _______ when I have the thought that ______.” This will grow your child’s emotional intelligence and increase intimacy with your partner.
5. Locate your emotions. Talk about where you experience emotions in your body. You could use the formula: “When I am (insert emotion), I feel (insert sensation) in my (insert region of body)”. As an example: “When I am anxious, I feel tension in my forehead.”