I’m back writing after a few weeks of a break (spending lots of time with my Issey) and truth be told since having the break it has taken me a bit of time to get back into the swing of things ;0 (however have really enjoyed the slow pace and just having fun with my little one).
So this week, I wanted to write about a practice that has really helped me and still does to this day.
This practice is meditation. I stumbled across this when I was quite ill after having Issey and was searching online for something to help me and I came across many testimonials explaining how much meditation had helped.
Initially, I was sceptical as anyone is when they first learn about something new. I had a belief that meditation was for people that were enlightened beings, like monks, or those who spent time in ashrams, not for little old me 🙂
However, I’m a great believer in trying things for myself and making up my own mind. So I purchased a guided meditation programme online and started listening to the 12 min audio morning and night.
After a couple of days, I started to notice subtle changes initially, feeling less stressed and anxious about my situation and noticed that I was sleeping better. Over the next couple of weeks, the body pain was reducing and my overall mood was much lighter. I was starting to feel that it was possible for me to get well and was feeling much more positive.
So after noticing all these benefits I got fascinated and started researching all about it and found that the experiences I was having were in fact backed up by science, for example:
- Lowers stress: In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Another study revealed that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying. Before finding meditation I used to be a constant worrier and dare I say a control freak, however since meditating I don’t find myself doing either of these things anymore. If I happen to find myself heading down this path, I’m much more aware and observe the thoughts/feelings that are occurring and then reach for good thoughts/feelings instead.
- Reduces pain: One study looked at the effects of meditation on 3,500 participants. It found that meditation was associated with decreased complaints of chronic or intermittent pain. Meditation definitely helped me with my chronic pain and I can report that this ailment is thankfully gone – giving me back my quality of life!
- Better sleep: Another study found that participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate. We all need a good nights sleep right?!! – especially us moms, (even though that can be hard sometimes, with little ones) so my intention is always to meditate before sleep, sometimes I get to do this and other times it’s not possible. But I always try at some point during the day even if it’s just 5 – 10 mins.
- Better health: meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases alertness in stressful situations,
Note the above is just a small list of the myriad of benefits – there are so many more!
As I love meditation so much, over the years I have sought out teachers to learn more about it. I have bought online courses from Dr Joe Dispenza and have attended one of his progressive workshops when he visited Dublin back in 2017. I also have learnt a lot from Dr Sue Morter. Both Dr Joe & Dr Sue share similarities such as their breath work but that’s perhaps for another blog post.
As for now, the purpose of this post is to share how meditation has helped me so that it may pique an interest in you?
I really wish we were taught this from an early age as I do believe that meditation is a tool that we can all use to enhance our lives and help us face our challenges much more mindfully, ultimately building resilience! However, unfortunately, we haven’t been made aware of it…. thankfully it seems to be gaining more attention and it’s my hope that meditation starts to be taught in schools so that it helps our children have richer and much more peaceful lives.
Lastly, I’d also like to point out that it hasn’t always been easy for me to meditate and some days it still isn’t, however, on the days where my body is fighting me to stay still I just give myself some extra time and extra grace and before I know it I’m in the ‘zone’ (also known as the sweet spot!!) The key is to keep showing up until its just becomes a habit and part of your day.
So Moms, as always I love hearing from you – do you meditate and if so what benefits does it provide you? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to but never tried, maybe this will be a sign to get going… and if you do please let me know how you get on.
Love and best wishes,
PS: there are lots of free meditations out there especially on YouTube, however, there is one app that I love and use from time to time and that’s insight timer and it’s also free ;0