Episodes

  • Choose one option and be consistent with it! Consistency over time is what yields results. Each of these take only a few minutes a day and have long lasting results without the side effects.

    These examples all came from a study called "The Science of Gratitude" in 2018 by Dr. Summer Allen from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley.

    1. Count blessings - gratitude journal.
    2. Three good things that happened for you AND the cause of them.
    3. Mental subtraction - Imagine what life would be like if a positive event/experience did NOT happen.
    4. Gratitude letter to another person or visit a person and express gratitude.
    5. Death reflection - study showed undergratude university students that were asked to imagine their death experienced more gratitude than those asked to reflect on typical day. Yu can do this through writing your own obituary (a practice that Donald Miller explains very well).
    5. Experiential consumption - spend money on experiences rather than on things - studies shows people felt and experienced more gratitude when they spend money on experiences (meal, concert tix, sporting event) rather than when purchasing material goods.

    Which one will you choose?

    We will go more into detail on another gratitude practice next week that is shown to be the most scientifically effective practice that not only changes how you think and feel, but the changes your brain circuitry as well!

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  • "I'm not doing laundry; I'm raising kids." - Jessica Smartt Memory Making Mom

    What if you aren't simply washing the dishes, doing laundry, driving...and all those other mundane tasks that come along with being a mom?
    No one told me all the other extra "stuff" that goes along with being a mom! The piles of laundry, the amount of dirt and grime in my house, brushing more teeth than my own, becoming an a Uber driver...an unpaid one at that!

    What if these aren't mundane tasks that you loathe though? What if these tasks are actually raising your kids? What if doing the dishes is raising your children?

    How you think about something creates your reality.

    If you think doing the dishes sucks...then it sucks.
    If you think doing the dishes helps raise your children...then that's what it does!

    There is a story about a father that would bring his sons along with him to purchase cows for their farm. He would involve his kids in the whole process. When someone asked why he involved his young sons in raising the cows he answered, "I'm not raising cows; I'm raising boys."

    Change how you think of the seemingly mundane tasks:
    "I'm not doing dishes; I'm raising kids."
    "I'm not an unpaid Uber driver; I'm raising kids."

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  • We're about to get a little sciency here...but not too much!

    Gratitude is linked to the your Medial Prefrontal Cortex (PFC), the front part of your brain.

    Your medial prefrontal cortex sets context, defines the meaning of a situations and is extremely linked to gratitude. The PFC allows us to take experienes and frame them as positive or take the same exact experience that we are forced to do or don't want to do as negative.

    Think of a hard training session - your PFC sets the context as to whether you are doing this for something more or a larger goal, or it just sucks to do it. Gratitude is a mindset that activates the PFC and in so doing so sets the context for your experience!

    So much so that you can get amazing health benefits and truly enjoy more activities.

    It won't happen right away, but you can change the circuitry in your brain to frame experiences to be more enjoyable and to have an overall higher disposition to gratitude.

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  • Helping people out, acts of kindness and good deed are awesome; but there's more to it than that!

    What affects whether a person feel gratitude or not? If the they feel more gratitude or less gratitude.

    There are 2 factors that affect how you feel gratitude when others perform good deeds:
    1. Perceived intention of the benefactor (the one doing the good deed)
    2. The perceived value, or the cost to the benefactor

    So if you are out there doing a "good deed" that is really to benefit you - people know that, including your kids!

    For a person to feel the most gratitude for a good deed they need to know the intention of the person was pure , they really are trying to help and not simply for selfish reasons. And there is a value to the good deed or cost to the benefactor; whether that be time, money or energy.

    The next time you do a good deed - evaluate how the person receiving it will look at the intention and the value.

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  • Is there something that your kid does that bothers the sh*t out of you?

    Do they constantly complain, whine, yell, make a mess?

    This may sting....but it's most likely on YOU!

    I know you are doing your best and being a mom is no easy task and you already have so much do and now you not only have to teach your kids but you have to look at your actions and change too!?! Damn, that's a lot!

    But here's the good news. You are in control of YOU and therefore you have the ability to change not only yourself, but your kids too! You have the power to create your "I AM!"

    Now you may not be the only parent here. I get that. But here's the thing...there's a few studies that show that your disposition and example of gratitude weigh much heavier than that of the Dad.

    More responsibility and onus put on the Mom!?!?

    Especially when it comes to gratitude (this month's theme) it was show that the mom's disposition to gratitude greatly impacted the biological child's. The dad's actually had no bearing at all!

    I'm not trying to put more on you, I'm letting you know the facts. But this is actually great news too, because since you have control you can change it!

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  • Are you tired of hearing your kids complain that they want more? Fee like they aren't grateful for what they have?

    Here are 4 simple steps to grow gratitude in your kids!

    Andrea Hussong did a study with focus groups of parents to determine how parents think of their childrens' gratitude and how to cultivate gratitude in their kids. She then postulated that gratitude experience has 4 parts:
    1. notice what we can be grateful for.
    2. Think about WHY we have been given those things or experiences
    3. What do you feel about what you have been given (where do you feel it)
    4. Do something to express appreciation for these actions

    Practice these 4 steps with your kids:
    For example:
    1. What are you grateful for? Food on the table.
    2. Why have we been given the food? People made/farmed the food and parents worked hard to have money to buy the food.
    3. What do you feel? I feel so happy to eat and I feel connected to my family because I get to spend time with them over this meal.
    4. Do something to express appreciation - We can donate food to a local food bank.

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  • “Motherhood angst usually means I’ve lost my way somehow – forgotten or stopped doing some of the rituals that mean the most to our family. And so we bring them back.” - Jessica Smartt Memory Making Mom

    When you are feeling like something is missing, that feel of anxiety or dread comes over you; we often look for the next NEW thing that will help us. What's the cool new product or program to help us feel happier, more, fulfilled?

    But Jessica Smartt offers a new way of challenging motherhood angst. Instead of looking for the new, look at the old. What are some of the rituals or traditions that have worked in your family that have slipped out of your lives? Bring those back!

    Today think of a memory, tradition or ritual that has worked for your family in the past. Bring it back to life!


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  • Do you find it difficult to pump yourself up some days? Link you just aren't in a great mood and are unable to snap out of it?

    Well, it isn't just you! Don't worry!

    As humans we have a greater propensity for unhappiness than happiness! But why is that. It's evolutionary. Back in the day we had to be on the lookout so you didn't die.

    Even though we are wired for be unhappy and look for the bad and the threats all around us, the good news is you can change the wiring in your brain. Circuits in your brain are plastic meaning they can change…no matter your age. You can in fact teach an old dog new tricks!

    Its been shown that gratitude practice performed regularly can shift the circuitry in your brain so you are happier on average...even outside of those time you are not practicing gratitude.

    Replay that moment of gratitude that you did yesterday. Feel how you felt in your moment of gratitude. Now notice if that extends to other parts of your day.

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  • How powerful is gratitude when it is used in the correct way?

    Gratitude has been shown time and again in studies to have beneficial affects on your physical, mental and spiritual health. It can not only help you feel better, but it can do so without the side effects that come along with many drugs!

    *Disclosure - I am NOT telling you to stop taking an medication. This is simply to show that gratitude can be a powerful practice. Always consult your medical professional.

    In studies it has been shown that a gratitude practice can have the same effects as some pharmaceuticals as well as exercise. AND the effects seem to be longer lasting than those of some pharmaceuticals and exercise. Meaning that a short gratitude practice can have long lasting effects.

    Today think of a recent time when someone made you feel grateful. Replay the moment and FEEL the emotions your felt then.


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  • The two MOST powerful words are "I AM..."

    Anything that follows those two words need to be carefully planned out because that will become your reality.

    "I AM" creates your beliefs on a conscious and subconscious level. What you tell yourself you will begin to believe and being to make choices and act into those beliefs.

    Many people are not aware of how powerful saying "I am..." truly is. Whether you say the words out loud or to yourself.

    Become aware of what you are demanding of yourself after those two words.

    Are you a person that says things like:
    I am... stupid, overweight, overwhelmed, incapable, stressed out…

    If so, change those words! Try some of these on:
    I am... resourceful (I don't know how know, but I will figure it out)
    I am beautiful
    I am powerful
    I am awesome
    I am a hard worker
    I am an amazing mom
    I am a patient mom
    I am an attentive mom
    I am grateful

    Pick an "I am..." statement that speaks to you and repeat to yourself ever single day this week. See how your actions, choices and decisions start to adapt to who you tell yourself you are.

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  • Do you encourage your kids to say "thank you?"

    If so you are in the company of about 85% of other parents. And yes, "thank you" and "please" while we're at it are extremely important, kind words. Especially when you are trying to express gratitude or receive something from another person.

    But is "thank you" really enough to express gratitude and to feel gratitude?

    To take it a step further about 39% of parents encourage their kids to experience gratitude in other ways - such as volunteering, helping other, acts of kindness.

    What makes us remember things is how we FEEL. Not what we say.

    Today instead of having your kids only say "thank you" ask them how it felt to receive an act of kindness. Or how it felt when someone said thank you to them and expressed gratitude.

    Do this yourself as well. Really tap into the feeling of gratitude, beyond saying "thank you."

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  • “What do my kids love to do that I never do with them?”
    - Jessica Smartt The Memory Making Mom

    Traditions and memories are such a precious part of childhood as well as adulthood! There's something about saying, "we always do that!"

    There are probably plenty of traditions you love and maybe some you don't!

    If you are looking to create some of your own, new traditions with your kids, this quote is a great place to start!

    Ask yourself, or even ask you kids what it is they really love to do, but you just never seem to do it. The answer may be right in front of you, or it may surprise you!

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  • Are you tired of your kids not appreciating what they have? Do they keep asking for more and more no matter how much you (and others give them)?

    I think most parents know this feeling well! You aren't alone and your kids are totally messed up either!

    You want the best for you kids and you want them to dream and achieve their goals, but at the same time you want them to be grateful for what they have as well.

    You can show gratitude for what you have now and still want more in the future.

    So how do you get your kids to be more grateful? It starts with you!

    There was a study on 4th and 5th graders and showed that the biological child's disposition to gratitude was related to their mother's gratitude. It did not show a relation to the fathers! Crazy! This means that your disposition and practice of gratitude affects your children's where their father's has little to no bearing on it.

    What this means is if you want your kids to show more gratitude. Start with yourself. What is one thing you can do today to be an example of gratitude for your kids?

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  • Gratitude. Many people use this word. You probably have tried a "gratitude practice." Asked your kids to say "thank you."

    All the gurus tell you to practice gratitude, it will make you healthier, happier and overall a better person....but what is gratitude?

    Is it an emotion, virtue, behavior? Something you're supposed to do? Something you have to practice? Some elusive unicorn?

    A number of Psychologists now recognize 3 types of gratitude:
    1. An affectionate trait: your overall tendency to have a grateful disposition or manner.
    2. A mood: the daily fluctuations in gratitude
    3. An emotion: a more temporary feeling of gratitude like when you get a give or someone does a kind favor for you.

    There's basically short term (emotion), medium term (mood) and long term (trait).

    Today take notice of the different types of gratitude and how it can be extremely short term AND long term.

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  • You probably used to be pretty fun and cool before kids!

    You know those bumper stickers, that you usually see on minivans, that say, "I used to be cool?"

    Well, you are still cool and you are still fun!

    Often we can get wrapped up in all the things we need to do, take care of and where and when we need to be places that we forget to have a little fun along the way.

    On this Halloween Day remind yourself that you ARE fun! I AM FUN!

    Have fun today! Dress up, get some candy, dance, play a joke on your kids. Whatever makes you feel fun!

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  • Do you want your kids to have more self-control?
    Do you want them to be able to sit through a 5 second YouTube ad without freaking out?
    Do you want them to grow up being able to put off immediate satisfaction in order to achieve long term goals?

    Here's 5 ways (and a bonus) you can help cultivate self control in your kids now and for the future:
    1. Distraction strategies to help with distress. When your kid is super upset they have to sit through a 5 second YouTube ad while watching Blippi you can distract with a toy or song.

    2. Attachment experiences: sensitive to needs, provide support and also encourage autonomy odds will be better than those you overcontrol children.

    3. Consequences - teaching and experiencing consequences for their choices.

    4. Work with on enjoyable but challenging tasks that become increasingly difficult; piano, legos, climbing, etc. The real challenge for you is to provide support but also let them work on own.

    5. Growth mindset.

    6. Keep your word – when promise delayed rewards give it to them. As well as consequences.


    Focus on one today and little by little you can grow both your self control and your kids'.

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  • How can you make the best decisions now to reach your future goals?

    Ask yourself, "What would future me do?"

    Have a clear idea of what future you wants. Who she is.

    When you come to a crossroads and you aren't sure what decision to make, ask yourself what would future you do? The future you that has reached her goal, that is the mom and person you want to do be, what decision would she make?

    When you really connect with your future self, you make decisions now that that benefit you in the future.

    When you don't have a clear goal or picture of who you are in the future, you tend to make decisions that only benefit you in the now. You are taking the short term pleasure at the expense of the long-term benefit because you can't see what that benefit it.

    Ask yourself today, "What would future me do?"

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  • If you want you and your kids to practice more self control here are the 3 things you need:

    1. Keep your goal in mind
    2. Think of future you
    3. Ability to distract

    These are the 3 features of executive function (mental skills that help you get things done) needed to cultivate and practice self control.

    Keep your goal in mind. You know what you are working towards. That future goal and reward is worth the short term consequence now.

    Think of future you: You are able to take your tempting goals of now - that Halloween candy is going to taste delicious and shift it toward the future goals - future me is healthy. Ability to think of future you.

    Ability to distract: The Halloween candy may be sitting right in front of you, but you decide to have some water instead.

    For today do a Marshmallow or Treat test with your kids! Put their favorite treat in front of them at a table and tell them you will be back in specified amount of time. If they wait for you to get back, they get 2 treats and if they don't then they get the 1.

    Ask them why or why not they were able to wait. You can even set up a camera. Kids tend to be very good at the distraction part!


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  • Do you want to retire with enough money to travel the world, spend time with your grand kids, take up new hobbies and not have to worry about money?

    The more your can connect with your future self, say "retired you", the better decisions you can make now to become that future you!

    There was a study done on saving money for retirement and one group saw an avatar of themselves at retirement age, think wrinkles and all. And the second group was shown an avatar of themselves now. The group that say the avatar of their retired selves saved 30% more than the group that saw their current selves!

    What this tells us is that the more you can connect with your future self, the more you can move towards her.

    Retired you may feel a little far off, but the more you can emotionally connect with her the more likely you are to become her.

    Connect with 80 year old you today! What is she doing, feeling, saying? What does she look like? Get a clear emotional picture of her so you make the choices today that will benefit her.

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  • What does future you look like? What is she doing?

    I'm talking like 80 year old you!

    Do you connect with your future self? Her desires, her wants and needs?

    If you can connect with yourself in the future - the woman and mom you want to be, you can make better decisions now to get you to where you want to be.

    There was a study done about saving for retirement. One group was shown an avatar of their current self and the other was shown an avatar of their future self (retirement age). Then they were asked how much they would save for retirement.

    The group that saw their future selves put away 30% more for retirement than the current group!

    When you are more emotionally connected to your future self, you will incorporate that more into your current life.

    Take action today -
    Who is future you? What does she want, what does she do?
    Paint a picture of who you are in the future so you can emotionally connect with her and make decisions now to become her!

    Examples:
    Future you weighs less and is healthier - you start making healthier eating choices.
    Future you is patient and present with her kids - you practice more patience today.
    Future you is living in her dream home - you make choices to save money.


    Repeat, repeat, repeat!
    An affirmation (or MamAffirmation) is used to embed self esteem and a positive mindset in those that repeat and believe it.

    Take a look in the mirror today, Mama and repeat the above MamAffirmation.



    More on today's MamAffirmation: Mama's Daily Dose Podcast

    Have a grea

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