“The psychologist used a thing called Mindfulness that we practised in our sessions and she gave me a sheet to bring home and that just helped me sort of conquer things that I knew were troubling. I still do it now, it just relaxes the mind. It’s great!”

An automatic reaction to blame yourself or someone else for your child’s injury can lead to stress and negative feelings towards yourself or them. This can have a negative impact on relationships. This internal stress also adds to the external stressor of the injury itself.

A mindful approach would involve being aware of the changes in your body when you notice thoughts about blame or any feelings of distress. The application of curiosity to these changes (for example, you might notice that you cannot make eye contact, an increase in your heart rate, tensing of shoulders…) helps you to choose how you respond to the situation. Recognising the negative thoughts that arise allows you to direct your attention elsewhere, for example, to your breathing.

A breathing exercise can help you to relax and prevent the development of further stress within yourself. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises can help you to calm your mind and reduce tension in your body.

Regular mindfulness practice and use of the relaxation exercises can help to develop your ability to bring your awareness to the situation in the present moment. Sometimes it may not be apparent that sitting and breathing is making a difference but when a testing time comes along you will notice how, like a tree with a strong root system, you can stand strong during a storm. You might be blown about, but you will not be blown over.

Below is a mindfulness exercise that you might find helpful.