Introduction to Meditation for Moms
Meditation seems to be the new rage nowadays. Maybe You have tried it, maybe you have only a vague guess of what it is, or maybe it is a major part of your daily ritual.
For many of us, we don't know where to start. Do you just sit here in the middle of the room? Do You need to listen to someone talking soothingly or chants or nature? Do you need candles? Should you keep your mind blank or let your thoughts come and go freely or focus on an intention? When is the best time of day to meditate and how long should you do?
We have great news for you...the answer to all of the above is a resounding YES!!!....You really can't go wrong.
Meditation is a practice for You. You should experiment and see what works best for you. But don't let anyone tell you that there is only one way or one correct way to tap into your inner self and energies.
We know every Mom is at different points in their spiritual journey so we want to have some wide-ranging introduction posts that are perfect starting points for those Mamas new to mindfulness practices but have helpful info for even the most monk-like of us.
First, before we cover the basics of meditation...
Why Should Moms Meditate?
Great question. What are the benefits of meditation and is it even worth the time to learn?
We get how busy you are Mama. But too many of us go through the day operating at 60%. If you can take 10 mins of time to meditate and that boosts you into a higher flow state, it is a great investment.
You want to bring your best version of yourself everyday, but life can sometimes drain even the most positive and vibrant of us...UNLESS we are taking care of ourselves. This is what Mom Brained is all about, recharging to bring our true high-energy selves. Meditation is a tremendous tool to achieve that goal.
Here are 10 of the top benefits of meditation and we even linked one study for each to save you having to fact-check us.
Top 10 Benefits to Meditating Mamas
1) Reduced Stress: Mental/emotional stress increases cortisol which leads to the release of physical inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. But let's be foreal Mama, you know what feeling stressed is. Meditation is a great way to destress.
2) Increased Attention: We know the feeling of having your brain go a thousand places a minute. Heck, we named our site to try to reclaim Mom Brained as a positive because of this stereotype. Meditation helps you to calm your brain more easily and over time you are able to hold your attention.
3) Higher Will Power: O, how many diets have been ruined by snacking. (We still believe that the diet industry is in cahoots with the lunchbox industry since none of our kids lunches have a section large enough to fit a full sandwich, but that is a theory for another day). Meditating creates a stronger connection between your conscious and subconscious self, leading to more conscientious decision making and a stronger will power as you practice discipline.
4) Better Sleep: Who doesn't want better deeper sleep. Practicing meditation allows you to hone into a parasympathetic state (your rest and recovery) as well as access the same deep sleep brain waves you need at night. The same methods you use to meditate can be used to quickly relax your mind and body at night. Meditation has been shown to be even more effective than sleep aids in curing insomnia.
5) Less Anxiety: There is truth the stereotypical 'wooo-saaa' meditator. You learn to vibrate at a different frequency and observe the world without needing to react immediately.
6) Improved Mood: This goes hand-in-hand with many other items on the list, but a better rested, more mindful, less anxious, and less stressed state of being is going to elevate your baseline mood.
7) Less Pain: It seems impossible, but lowered cortisol from emotional state leads to lower physical inflammation and inflammation is a main cause of pain. Additionally, your mental state controls your overall perception of pain where the more tense you are the higher your pain response is. Meditation leads to a decreased pain body making you more resilient.
8) Lower Blood Pressure: Think of someone with high-blood pressure. You probably imagined someone who is stressed and on the verge of erupting. Meditating has been shown to lead to a lowered blood pressure.
9) Increased Compassion: Meditating on positives, using positive affirmations, and using reframes to flip negatives into positives all lead to increased compassion and kindness. When you radiate with affirming positive energy the universe rewards you with increased positivity.
10) Enhanced Self-Awareness: Save one of the best for last. Meditation helps you discover your true authentic self and bring your best self out. Neuroplasticity is the concept of 're-wiring' how you think and through meditation and affirmations you are able to resonate on a different energy.
Introduction to Meditation (Meditation 101)
If you feel yourself getting anxious at this point and don't want to finish reading this whole post...well first off Mama, you probably need some more woo in your life and are the prime person for meditation....but second off, meditation can be boiled down to just sitting and focusing on 1 chosen thing. It can be controlled breathing where you focus on inhale and exhale to a specific number count. It can be a sound (your stereotypical 'ooohhmmm'), or it can be to focus on your thoughts with no distractions - just letting them come and go while you sit as a conscientious observer.
You can alter your consciousness, achieve piece, and find awareness through meditation.
There is a myriad of ways to meditate, the subtle differences are too many to have a complete listing in this post, but here are some of the major differences:
Guided Meditation or Unguided Meditation
Guided meditation aims to use various techniques to reach or amplify the meditative state. The most traditional is with a human guide (whether in person or in a recording) who will talk you through a series of relaxing visualizations or exercises to help you get deeper and deeper into meditation.
Unguided meditation is an experience you get to completely own by yourself and choose what to focus on or visualize. It is a process you can do at any time and whenever you please.
Which one is better?
Both!!! You really can't go wrong with your meditative practices as long as you are using them.
There are many types of meditation, each of which can be done guided or unguided. Since the world doesn't have enough top 10 lists, we will include another...
10 Types of meditative practices
1) Mantra Meditation:
This is used heavily in Eastern traditions and is the 'oohhmmm' that everyone thinks of when you mention meditation.
For people new to meditation who have a hard time sitting with a peaceful mind, the mantra gives you something to refocus on when you feel your mind wander.
2) Mindfulness Meditation:
Mindfulness Meditation is one of the most used in Western cultures although its origination can be traced back to Buddhist teachings.
Mindfulness meditation is sitting and letting your mind wander, while you envision yourself as a passive observer separate from your thoughts. You allow your thoughts to pass through and you observe without judgement or involvement.
For instance, if your mind goes to something you wish you didn't say during the day, you don't judge yourself with "oh that was so silly of me, why did I say that", you let the thought pass by unopposed.
3) Focused Meditation:
Focused meditation is one of our favorite forms. You use one of your 5 senses to focus on. For instance, you can focus on your breath, either the sound or the feel.
This meditation lends itself beautifully with your crystal practice as you can use mala beads, stare into a candle, or rub a meditative crystal like Amethyst to help unlock your third eye and crown chakras.
4) Progressive Relaxation:
This type of meditation has gained some traction in the business world as a way to get rid of nerves. You tense then relax each muscle in your body one by one to get tension out and help destress.
5) Visualization Meditation:
This technique involves vividly imagining a scene and try to incorporate all 5 of your senses to make it as realistic as possible. Visualization tends to go with positive affirmations and vision boarding.
If you have a goal you want to achieve, this is a hack to try to get there. Your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between what happened in real-life vs what you imagined (think of a dream that felt so real when your conscious mind is relaxed and it leaves you feeling a certain emotion for days later).
By tricking your subconscious with vivid visualization meditation, you are able to manifest your desires into existence.
6) Movement Meditation:
This is typically done with yoga in Western culture, but traditionally this could be any form of movement and is the basis for Zen Gardening, Qigong, and Forest Bathing. One ancient Japanese practice involved repetitively drawing one circle on a blank sheet of paper in one stroke (an Enso Circle)
Movement meditation can be a good for those who find peace in gentle motion and action.
7) Transcendental Meditation:
Is an individualized form of mantra meditation. Instead of a generic phrase, you use a mantra or affirmation that is personalized for you and silently repeat it in your mind.
Technically, Transcendental Meditation is a trademarked form founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and needs to be learned from a trained teacher, however for our purposes the above gets you the idea.
8) Loving-Kindness Meditation:
This type of meditation is just what Mamas need to process trauma (please if you are trying to work through serious trauma, consider seeing a trained professional to help you process the emotions).
Loving-Kindness Meditation opens your heart and mind to receive love from others and the universe as a whole and then send well wishes to loved ones and all living beings.
We love this positive kind of meditation to help us connect deeper to loved ones and to help us from building any resentment to our partner. If you see us grab our Rose Quartz crystal you know we are going to try to realign to positive loving vibrations.
9) Spiritual Meditation:
This is similar to prayer and where you use meditation seeking a deeper connection to God or the universe. Hinduism and Daoism often practice this form of meditation in a place of worship and this is one type of meditation used in Buddhist temples.
To help access the ethereal, you can use essential oils or burn incense.
Whenever you are opening your essence up to divinity, you run the risk of allowing negative energy in - think of moths to a light - your glow attracts negative energies. Therefore, we make sure to include a protective crystal like Black Obsidian to dispel any negative energy. Then to really heighten the spiritual experience and prepare the area, we will burn a Sage Smudge stick.
10) Chakra Meditation:
Chakra meditation is the practice of meditating to unlock your 7 chakras. This
can be done by visualizing energy flowing through your chakra and any blocked
area being unlocked as the energy passes by.
It is helpful to include color associations and harness the natural connection of crystals with your chakras. A Chakra Stone Kit has all the crystals best aligned to your 7 Chakras and is made for this type of meditation.
Meditation for Mamas 101 Conclusion
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”
- Some man who didn't have a bunch of kids probably
This into post was just laying out the background of meditation, we will go deep into the benefits above and some of our preferred techniques. until then you can start incorporating 10 mins of mindful sitting each day to calm the mind.
Amethyst remains the tried and true meditation stone allowing for a deeper and more spiritual state. Amethyst is tied to your Third-Eye and Crown Chakras allowing a bridge between your intellectual and divine selves and helping achieve for a more bountiful meditation through aligning your energies.
Crystals can really help to align your meditative experience and each crystal can help access different energies and unlock different chakras to get the most out of your experience.