Positive Mindfulness is a new approach to mindfulness which combines traditional mindfulness training with positive psychology. It is a programme first devised by Dr Itai Ivtzan which not only reduces anxiety, stress and depression but also increases happiness, positive emotions & wellbeing. This approach has many benefits for the pregnant, soon-to-be mother.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means being present, completely aware and curious about your experiences including your thought, emotions and bodily sensations. It became well-known through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn.
What is Positive Psychology?
Positive Psychology is a new area of Psychology and is the science of what makes life better. Positive Psychology as suggested by Martin Seligman to move away from fixing problems and dysfunction by designing and test activities which make life worth living.
10 Benefits of Positive Mindfulness on Pregnancy and birthing
- Increases self-awareness – as a new person grows inside you, increased self-awareness allows you to understand better your thoughts, emotions and the bodily sensations which come with pregnancy and childbirth.
- Increased positive emotions – Positive emotions are building blocks of happiness. When you intentionally bring more positive compared to negative emotions into your day, you not only open yourself up to happiness but whatever you desire. Perhaps an enjoyable pregnancy, relationship, easier birth, or positive parenting experience.
- Increased awareness of your parenting strengths – As humans, we tend to be blind to our positive qualities and strengths, because they are part of our everyday existence. A cornerstone of positive psychology is strengths use, development and spotting in self and others.
- Reduced Stress & Anxiety – A pregnancy whether planned or not can bring significant stress into your personal life. Stress around finances, your relationship, preparing for parenthood. The most common anxiety experienced in pregnancy focuses on the impending birth. Positive Mindfulness not only reduces stress & anxiety but increases your confidence about childbirth and your parenting ability.
- Reduced depression – We commonly hear about postpartum depression which affects 20% of new mothers. However, depression during pregnancy is just as common.
- Self-compassion – You may not consider this something that is important during pregnancy however the ability to love another living being, begins first with the capacity to love and give yourself what you need.
- Increasing your positive self-image- You will start to notice everyone has an opinion about your pregnancy and eventually how you parent, this outside pressure from others feeds your inner critic. Positive Mindfulness increases your belief in yourself as you are and your ability to parent.
- Increase your use of meaning – Meaning is another cornerstone of happiness and well-being, parenthood increases our meaning in life however the benefit of meaning can become lost in the day to day routine of life. By setting our intentions for pregnancy, birthing and parenting we significantly influence the outcomes.
- Increased Positive relationships – Positive relationships and social support are imperative in pregnancy and new parenthood. However being pregnant and becoming a parent can negatively affect our relationships and can lead to isolation.
- Increased bonding with your child through engagement- When everything comes together you can bring positive mindfulness into your everyday life, allowing you to be and do what is needed at that moment increasing your responsiveness to your child which not only makes parenting easier but also seals the bond with your child.