The days are jam packed with going here and rushing there, packing water bottles, grabbing sports gear, and getting to where we need to be by the skin of our teeth. And, it can get the best of us (of all of us). But, there’s hope! Enter the three breath hug–a little bit of magic to transform your day.
Sometimes all you need is 30 seconds to shift the family’s mindset to a more peaceful place.
The three-breath hug is a habit that allows you to connect you with your kids, create peace and space in your daily routine, and it takes less than 30 seconds to do!
You Need A Three Breath Hug
My little one does NOT like to be rushed. Deadlines mean nothing to him. Despite constant reminders, despite getting things prepped in advance—this child always manages to push the envelope when it comes to time.
On the other hand, my oldest is highly sensitive and the most unusual issues can tip the balance–he’s my wild card. So, on any given day, we can all end up frazzled and irritated when we’re just trying to get to school.
Despite all that you accomplished in completing your task for the morning (or day), that look of crazy or unhappiness on your kid’s face can make you feel like a total failure.
It’s THE WORST.
That feeling can undo all you think you completed—because none of it really matters if your kids are stressed and cranky.
Best Parenting Hack Yet
There’s a little secret floating about mindful parenting and meditation circles out there—the Three Breath Hug. The famous Zen master Thich Nat Hahn, created this habit to combine a practice from the East (meditation) and a practice from the West (hugging), and the resulting baby is a game changer for parents.
Hahn’s depiction of the beauty of the Three Breath Hug is simple and beautiful. He claims “When someone hugs you with all their heart and presence, you feel it. When someone takes your hands in mindfulness, with their presence, their concern, you feel it. So hug like that—make life real and deep.”
Here’s the nuts and bolts:
First, while holding hands with your kiddo, take a couple of deep cleansing breaths together. Get connected.
Then, give each other one of those really good meaningful hugs (you know—the ones you carry with you all day). BUT instead of letting go after the first squeeze, stick around for a few seconds. Take 3 good deep breaths together while hugging.
That’s it. In less than 30 seconds, you’ll be feeling connected instead of frazzled, and your kids will, too!
It took a Zen Master to create the best parenting hack ever, and it may be wise not to squander this genius trick. Put it to work!
Pick the most disconnected, rushed, or disheveled times of the day with your kids. (Mine are ALWAYS in the morning!) And, before you start to lose it (for the 3rd day in a row)—take 30 seconds and hug it out.
Better yet, make it a habit. You don’t even have to tell your kids what you’re doing. Just take them by the hands, and they’ll follow you’re lead. Make it a ritual before they head out the door to catch the bus. Everyone will leave the house feeling a little more grounded.
Also, it’s a great way for kids to let you know when they don’t have the words to express what they’re feeling. My oldest knows all about the three breath hug, and he asks for it on those extra emotional days.
How much can a hug really do?
Three breath hug. Seems silly. I know. But, I’m telling you—it works. It works like freaking magic. Such a simple, workable thing to do, and the payoff is huge.
If you’re trying to incorporate some mindfulness habits into your parenting routine, or if you’re just desperate for some relief and don’t know where to start—then this is a good trick to try first.
The only skill set you need to do this practice is the presence of mind to do it! Hold tight. Breathe. That’s it.
ADDED BONUS: Hugging may also keep your kids from getting sick—so maybe this hugging practice is actually magic after all.
When could you see yourself hugging it out with your kid?