Establishing a mediation practice is a simple and easy way to reduce stress and anxiety. It creates calm, balance, and peace while it improves mental and physical health. Practicing medication every day can improve your focus, attention, and mindfulness.
We’re so busy with the schedules and our kiddos that many working moms think meditation is not something they can fit in with everything else. Some people also believe meditation is an odd practice overall. Let’s break it down from a scientific and practical perspective.
What is Meditation?
Meditation creates focused attention and awareness. It’s a practice to calm the mind and help you be present. Meditation has many health benefits that come along with practicing it daily.
Merriam-Webster defines meditation as “to engage in contemplation or reflection” and “to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.”
It helps you develop mindfulness, awareness, and focus in your world. It’s an ancient practice from thousands of years ago. Nearly every religion has practiced some form of meditation.
How Does Meditation Work?
Chronic stress is an everyday occurrence among working moms. It’s impossible to remove all of the stress from our day, but we can practice different methods, like meditation, that reduce the stress while improving the quality of our lives.
One example is insomnia. Do you experience insomnia? Whether it’s you or your spouse, insomnia complicates every aspect of our lives. It reduces the quality of your work, develops daytime tiredness, creates anxiety about sleep, depression, and more. Meditation can be the remedy for insomnia if it’s practiced daily.
Meditation is an ancient practice that’s gained popularity in recent years. Research revealed that practicing meditation every day can have a positive impact on your mind and body connection.
- Reduces stress
- Decreases anxiety
- Boosts immunity
- Improves emotional wellbeing
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves memory
- Elevates your mood
- Improves sleep and reduces insomnia
- Helps with addiction
- Calms the nervous system
Research shows that just five minutes of meditation every day can boost your mood and brain function while it reduces stress.
Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing is the cornerstone of any meditation you’ll practice. Focus on each inhalation and exhalation to shift your racing thoughts to a peaceful mind. It’s a powerful way to reset what you’re thinking about throughout your day.
You’ll notice that meditation will always focus on your breath. If your mind wanders, always bring your mind back to your breath and let your mind focus on how you’re breathing.
Focused breathing is a way to help manage the ebb and flow of stress each day. As a result, you will shift ruminating thought patterns by slowing down as you focus on breathing.
You can find other helpful ways to prevent your mind from wandering during meditation.
Types of Meditation
Meditation comes in many forms. The key is finding what works best for you. There’s not a set of rules when you meditate. There’s no right way or wrong way to meditate. It’s a practice that you tweak and refine over time. According to Healthline, there are nine popular types of meditation:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Spiritual meditation
- Focused meditation
- Movement meditation
- Mantra meditation
- Transcendental meditation
- Progressive relaxation
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Visualization meditation
Don’t let all the types overwhelm you! Being open to the possibilities and exploring different kinds of meditation will help you find what works for you. You can also try a guided meditation to help step you through. I prefer this method for my meditation practice.
Start Your Meditation Practice by Eliminating Excuses
A commonly recommended time you meditate is 20 minutes per day. Gasp! How will I ever find 20 minutes every day?
Let’s break down some of the common reasons why practicing a daily meditation ends before it even starts.
- I don’t have time.
- It’s too hectic at my house to find a quiet place to practice.
- I’d rather spend the time doing cardio or some other form of exercise.
- I don’t know where to start.
- Who will watch the kids while I practice?
Get Started with your Meditation Practice in 5 Easy Ways
Meditation doesn’t have to be another task to fit into your busy schedule. There are many easy ways to meditate when you’re busy. Some of them just take about five minutes.
All of the excuses fade away when you just focus on 5 minutes at a time, especially as you get started.
- Rise and Shine Meditation – morning meditation is a great way to start your day and set an intention. Five minutes is all you need. It’s also an optimal time since you’re rested.
- Gratitude Meditation – reflection is a positive way to develop gratitude for the people and experiences in your life. Practicing gratitude restores calm and peace in your mind.
- Before Bed Meditation – quiet the mind and reduce your insomnia with a meditation practice before bed. You can try mindfulness, body scan, or guided meditation. Any of these options will help create calm and support better sleep patterns.
- Breathe Easy Meditation – intentional breathing is key to mindfulness and meditation. You can find many ways to practice mindful breathing exercises. An easy way to start is by sitting in a comfortable seated or lying position with your eyes closed.
Inhale 1-2-3. Hold 1-2-3. Exhale 1-2-3-4. Empty your breath fully on the exhale and repeat.
- Take a Walk Meditation – I never thought I’d enjoy walking and meditating together. It seems like you’d run into a tree, but it’s a relaxing and calming outdoor meditation. It feels good to be present with nature.
Here’s 5-Minute Guided Meditation to help you get started.
Pick your position. A common visual of meditation is a person seated, legs crossed, and palms up. That doesn’t work for me. I prefer to lie down with a pillow behind my head. Sometimes I’ll use a blanket for warmth. I always use my lavender-scented eye pillow.
Find the position that works best for you and what makes you most comfortable for your mediation practice.
Technology Can Guide Your Meditation
You’d think that technology is the thing to get away from during your meditation. It helped me get started with mine. I enjoy guided meditations with soft music and typically a female voice. My goal is not to sit in silence to practice self-guided meditation, although it’s possible to work up to that one day.
YouTube meditation is a great place to start and how I began my practice. I started with 5-minute meditations. I couldn’t slow my thoughts down during many of the sessions. Practicing yoga and meditation helped slow my thoughts while I focused on breathing.
You can find any kind of mediation when you search. Choices include:
- 5-10-15-20-minute meditations. Some you can set for the night while you sleep. The time options are endless.
- Male or female speakers.
- Music. This option also includes sounds of nature like the ocean, birds chirping, rain falling, wind blowing, and more.
- Voice-guided meditation.
Search on the topic that interests you and the length of time you’d like to meditate. Many options will appear. Topics can include abundance, anxiety, positive affirmations, chakra healing, mindfulness, body scan, and more.
You can also find the best meditation app for your needs by searching the app store. Some options include:
- Balance: Meditation & Sleep
- Chakra Meditation
- Healthy Minds Program
Many are free meditation apps that also offer a paid version. The key is to find what works for you. I’ve downloaded meditation apps on my phone, tested them, and removed them.
It’s ok if an app doesn’t work for you because you will find what you connect with if you search with an open mind.
Develop Your Meditation Practice
We “practice” yoga and meditation because it’s never final or perfect. The habit develops as it becomes something we do as part of our daily lives. That is why I started small and with no expectations.
Practicing a 5-minute daily meditation for a week was my goal. I loved it within the first couple of days.
Some days the practice is difficult because my mind is racing with the to-do list or work stress. I still lay down and meditate even if my mind is racing. By the end of the 20-minutes, I’m calm, less stressed, and ready for my day.
Start with a 5-minute meditation each day and build your practice from there. Generally, my typical meditation will last anywhere from 20-25 minutes. Some days I just squeeze in 10-minutes. I usually select 2-3 short meditations to create the 20-25 minutes of meditation I enjoy each day. I have a few longer videos I practice over a weekend when I have more morning time available.
Closing Thoughts About Meditation
Meditation is a practice that can bring peace, calm, and focus into your life. It helps support mindfulness and your mental health. It can become part of creating your holistic lifestyle. You will experience these benefits the more you try.
Take the challenge to practice for 5 minutes a day over the next week and become aware of how you feel. The first step is deciding to try. The rest will fall into place.