I have known for a long time how beneficial meditation is for mental health and overall wellbeing. There is a large body of research on the topic and various studies have suggested that meditation is helpful in managing symptoms of a number of diseases and disorders including depression, anxiety, stress, cancer, chronic pain, sleep problems and high blood pressure. Studies have found beneficial effects on the immune system and on fertility and brain scans have shown evidence of changes in brain activity through meditation.
From a psychological perspective, one of the most beneficial aspects of practicing meditation is learning to quiet the mind and calm the body. This doesn’t mean that our minds will be void of all thoughts but that we can learn to observe our thoughts and bodily sensations (including breath) without getting involved in them. This skill is extremely useful for people who experience a wide range of mental health issues. I have shared some more information on the benefits of meditation along with a gorgeous kids meditation here.
As with everything in life there is no one size fits all approach. There are many different forms of meditations, not all of which involve sitting in the lotus position for hours chanting ‘Om’. This post has been inspired by a series of 4 meditations designed specifically for mothers by the very lovely Amy Taylor-Kabbaz from Happy Mama. When I was given the opportunity to try these Happy Mama Mindful Meditations I said “I know how beneficial meditation is but I just can’t do it myself”. I do yoga which is a form of meditation, integrating breath, mind and body, but when it comes to savasana (the lying down and relaxing pose at the end of the class) I have always struggled. I have learned various meditations and mindfulness exercises over the years and tested out numerous meditation apps but have just figured that I wasn’t cut out for it! So when I tried the first of Amy’s meditations I was pleasantly surprised. Not only could I sit through it and fully engage with it but I loved it and felt wonderful afterwards.
I want to make it clear that I am in no way affiliated with this meditation pack and don’t benefit in any way from any sales but it was too good not to share. Finding something that worked for me, that was short (each meditation is only 11 or 12 minutes) and targeted beautifully to the needs of mothers was something I couldn’t keep to myself! This package contains 4 different meditations: Loving Kindness, Rebuild and Reconnect, Empowerment and Joy. Each starts with a guided meditation and ends with 5 minutes of breathing. Amy’s voice is lovely, the music is lovely! My personal favourites are Joy and Empowerment. I have practiced them in the morning or at night. I actually love my kids seeing me meditate (or telling them I am meditating in another room) and find that most of the time they respect that and try to be quiet(er)!
Why something specific for mothers?
Meditation of any form that suits the individual is beneficial for absolutely everyone. Mothers often spend their lives putting the needs of their family and other work first and themselves a distant last. They often feel that this is the way to be the best mother they can be. But in reality, if you don’t take care of yourself, you are not going to be of much use to anyone else!
Taking 12 minutes at anytime in your day to look after yourself, de-stress, calm your mind and body will improve your mental and physical health and allow to you have more to give to those you love and to what is meaningful in your life.
I encourage you to try and it see what happens.
Amy’s Happy Mama Mindful Meditations can be found here.
It would be great if you let me know what you think of these or leave your meditation recommendations in the comments of this post.