Meditation (something I’ve practiced irregularly since 2016) has been a key component in helping me cope with not only the stresses of life but the stresses of motherhood.
Without meditation, my brain (which, I’ll admit, has taken a beating since having children) simply wouldn’t function how I need it to.
And I wouldn’t have the mental bandwidth to be writing to you today. That, I know for sure.
And just so that we’re on the same page, I’m going to assume that if you’ve decided to take a few minutes to read a post titled “3 Reasons Meditation is Oh, So Good for Helping Moms Cope with Stress,” then you’ve probably already decided that meditation is something to seriously consider adding to your own life.
Certainly, there are numerous reasons why meditation is great for you – not just three. And while I’ll be the first to admit that even I still struggle with being consistent with it, meditation still remains a helpful tool I use to help me cope with stress.
Today, I want to speak (err…write) to the meditation benefits I’ve experienced in my own life as a stay-at-home mom of four.
But before I begin, I need to share a little back story.
I started my meditation practice when I was at what I consider my “rock bottom,” a time when I felt deflated, unmotivated, and (dare I admit it) a little depressed.
I’d undergone years of stress while solo-parenting (two and a half years, to be exact), and, at the time, I didn’t quite understand that my lack of stress management and self-care contributed to the decline in my mental and physical health.
I simply didn’t know any better.
But my life changed once I started meditating.
And because adding meditation at that time of my life became a pivotal turning point in my own journey towards stress healing, in this post, I want to share 3 reasons why every stay-at-home mom out there should consider using it as an effective coping strategy, too.
Reason # 1: Meditation gives you a break.
How often do you take a break, mama? I’m seriously asking because there is this cultural message that says that we stay-at-home mamas just go-go-go and never get to rest.
Like, it’s expected that when someone asks us how we are doing, that we’ll respond with words like “busy” or “tired.”
While it’s true that certain stages of parenting are busier than others, that doesn’t mean we should be productive during all our waking hours.
In fact, it’s counterproductive. Without breaks in your long days at home with your kids, you’ll only lead yourself to exhaustion – which means less energy to tackle that ever-growing to-do list.
A quick meditation break during your day (no matter when it happens) would allow your brain the chance to recharge and recover.
Because when we aren’t giving our brain something to focus on, it can perform subconscious tasks that aid with memory retention and alertness.
The world is a very stimulating place, especially in today’s world. Breaks give your brain a chance to catch up and process everything that it’s been absorbing.
If we don’t give our brain those opportunities, it can lead to exhaustion, burn-out, and brain-fog.
(Side note: Remember, I’m not an expert. These are just things that I’ve learned and noticed while trying to understand how my body handles stress.)
Reason # 2: Meditation reduces anxiety.
According to Anxiety.org, “anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations.”
Normally, I feel anxious when the future is uncertain. If you get anxious often, you totally understand, as I do, the countless “what if” thoughts that tend to spiral in your mind.
So often, when we’re anxious, we walk around thinking about what just happened or what potentially could happen (and we always think up the worst-case scenario).
With meditation, it might seem like you aren’t dealing with your feelings of anxiety head-on, but your brain is absolutely doing some rewiring to help.
The act of constantly bringing your attention and focus back to your mantra, breath, or whatever your guide is asking you to focus your attention on (if it’s a guided meditation), that is the meditation practice. You are rewiring your brain to think and behave differently.
You might feel like a failure for letting your anxious thoughts pop up during your meditation, but as soon as you acknowledge their presence, you are setting habits into motion that will ultimately translate into less anxiety when you aren’t meditating.
One day, you’ll notice that you don’t allow yourself to go down the rabbit hole of “what if” scenarios for very long before catching yourself. Then, you’ll consciously choose to pivot to focus on the present (instead of thinking anxiously about the future).
Having this play out in my own life has been remarkable. I’ve noticed a major shift in my mindset, and I have meditation to thank for it.
3) Meditation better prepares you for handling stressful moments.
Here’s what happens after practicing meditation enough times that your brain has rewired itself enough: you’ll feel like you’re able to mentally bounce back quicker from stressful moments and react to them more calmly.
It happens because you’ve put in all the practice of bringing your focus and attention back (bringing it back, and bringing it back some more). Suddenly, as you go about your day and something stressful disrupts it (say your toddler dumps out the entire box of Cheerios on the pantry floor (true story)), once the stressful thing is dealt with or the “danger” has passed, you’ll be able to bring your focus and attention right back to carrying out the rest of your day. Your body will be able to return to normal quicker because there’ll be a shorter blip of cortisol pumped into your system due to spending less time thinking about the stressful event.
Before I started meditating, I’d have a difficult time recovering from the stress I’d just faced. It could possibly take days or weeks for me to come down from the adrenaline overload.
However, whenever I keep up with my meditation practice, I can dive back into life quicker, which helps me feel happier and much less bogged down.
Okay, let’s quickly recap the 3 reasons why meditating is good for moms:
- Meditation gives you a break.
- Meditation reduces anxiety.
- Meditation better prepares you for handling stressful moments.
I know that when I first started out, I was skeptical, but remember: I was at a point in my life where life felt heavy. For me, meditation was the only thing that seemed like it would require the least amount of effort.
I mean, you just sit there with your hands on your legs and do nothing! That sounded easy enough!
I’ll never regret starting my meditation practice in 2016. It’s done wonders for helping me master the stresses of being a mom and I’m pretty dang sure that a meditation practice can help you in a similar way, too.
My hope is that this post has helped you come to a better understanding of how meditation can benefit your life as a mom.
Love & light,
PS I hope you enjoyed this post! If so, let me know! Also, feel free to share this with fellow mama’s! You never know who might be looking for this information.
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Markus + Micah says
Cannot agree with your more, Lauren. Meditation helps us so much. It is like an instant reset switch, and more people should take advantage of it actually. Just a few minutes already makes a difference. Well done for having such a healthy practice.
It absolutely is like a reset switch, but I think for people starting out, it doesn’t always feel instant. Over time, I started noticing a difference right away. Feeling calmer and more focused, more aligned. But in the beginning, I didn’t always feel like anything changed after a meditation session – although I knew that something good was happening to my brain that I couldn’t see. I think if more people knew that as part of the normal experience, then more people would keep practicing. 😊