Mommyhood and Meditation

Nov 10, 2017

If you're a working mom, I admire you. Juggling family and career is a challenge.

Managing the sheer amount of items on your to do list, avoiding guilt and just getting everyone fed is a huge accomplishment.

Not to mention finding to take care of yourself.

I’m a firm believer that meditation can help you to be more efficient and content while you navigate being a girl boss and a mommy.

Here are some research-backed ways meditation can help you make peace with your working mom status, improve your productivity, and overall transform your satisfaction with life.

MEDITATION BOOSTS YOUR ABILITY TO FOCUS AND COPE WITH STRESS

Whether you're a working mom or not, it’s inevitable that you’ll be subjected to stress at some point. Stress affects everything from your hormones to your microbiome balance to your digestion. It can take a huge toll on your satisfaction and productivity.

You wake with the kids at 5am, get everyone ready, head off to work, stop to pick up a grab bag gift for the party tonight, rush into client meetings and instead of eating lunch you surf the web for a party outfit.

It is no mystery that at 4pm you simply can’t focus.

Even if this isn't your scenario, each of us faces endless distractions every day, particularly as a result of technology. (It's okay to admit that tick you've developed of checking your phone without even thinking about it!)

Your ability to concentrate on whatever you need to accomplish obviously plays a huge role in your ability to be productive and your overall performance at work and at home.

As it turns out, studies have shown that meditation can help in this regard.

In fact, in one study conducted at the University of Washington Seattle, HR workers who participated in a two-month mindfulness meditation training course were found to be more focused than those who had taken a relaxation training course instead.

Not only that, but those workers who practiced mindfulness and meditation also had a less negative attitude towards work. Pretty amazing stuff, right?

Another study revealed that all it takes is four days of meditation to improve someone’s ability to sustain their attention on something.

It makes sense when you think about it.

MEDITATION HELPS YOU FOCUS

Meditation helps to train your brain to focus on one thing at a time - whatever you're working on - planning a presentation or planning the weekly menu. Improved concentration on the current task at hand, means you’re able to get things done more quickly and efficiently. (And maybe find time for a mani pedi.)

MEDITATION HELPS YOU MAKE DECISIONS

So many daily decisions to make! So many distractions that require your time and attention. You multitask. A lot.

The result is that you're not really using your full brain power to assess the current decision in front of you and execute effectively.

Fortunately, meditation can help you filter out the noise and stay engaged and make better decisions!

MEDITATION CAN ENHANCE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

It is an understatement to say that personality differences or conflicting opinions can create some challenges - in the office and the bedroom. It’s important for your happiness to maintain healthy relationships with employees, co workers, family and friends.

If you can be more aware of your own thoughts and feelings as well as others, you can have more positive interactions because you’ll be more “tuned in.” This is a huge benefit of meditation. It helps you be more aware of what’s going on around you in the present moment so you can avoid misunderstandings that lead to unnecessary conflicts.

In case you need proof of this benefit, one 2011 study conducted by Harvard Medical School found that mindfulness meditation increases the amount of grey matter in the brain’s hippocampus, which is the region associated with self-awareness, introspection, and compassion.

SO HOW DO I GET STARTED?

I’ve heard so many clients admit that mindfulness meditation feels intimidating to them.

  • How am I supposed to start?
  • How long do I need to meditate for?
  • What should I think about?
  • What is it supposed to feel like?

I get it. When most people think of meditation, they imagine a peaceful Yogi spending long periods of time in silence, in bliss.

In reality, meditation is a practice and it definitely requires some regularity to progress.

It is a shift from our normal thinking mode, beta brain waves, to a different state, alpha brain waves. Basically, you are focusing on slowing things down.

START SMALL

Because it requires some work and training to make meditation more deep and beneficial, I always recommend starting small. If all you can fit in realistically is 3-5 minutes every day, start there.

  1. Notice what your brain is doing. Sit quietly and watch your thoughts as an observer. Focus on the simple in and out of your breath. Remember, you are slowing things down.
  2. Keep returning to the breath. If you lose your concentration and start thinking about what you’re making for dinner, or a work project you need to get done, don’t stress. Simply bring your attention back to your breathing.
  3. Let yourself get a little bored. Beneath the boredom is the benefit. The magic, the gold. It's worth the practice.
  4. The key is consistency and letting your experience be whatever it is, without giving up.

Eventually, it will become easier and easier to simply be in the moment. That’s why meditation is called a practice! It takes some time to retrain your brain.

With some consistency and dedication, your meditation practice can help you be more focused and productive. It will help you enjoy life more fully, improve your concentration, stress management and even your relationships.

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