I used to suffer from paralyzing anxiety. When it came on, I couldn’t move or breath or speak. Then I would become anxious about the anxiety and it would spiral into complete immobilization. It sucked. After years of yoga practice, I was finally able to sit with my breath long enough to meditate and slowly, but surely my anxiety has subsided.
I am eternally grateful that I was able to develop this practice before having a child. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to maintain my sanity in my daughter’s first year without it.
The good news is that you can start meditating any time. Seriously. Do it now, close your eyes (or half close them if you have a baby currently in your care) and breathe. Focus on your breath.
There you go.
Meh, but I don’t really think meditation is for me.
Could you use a tool to help ease your anxiety, depression and stress?
There has been a lot of research done on the benefits of meditation with varied results. I usually turn to a meta-analysis conducted in 2014 by researchers at Johns Hopkins University that very conservatively agrees that there is evidence that meditation may improve:
That’s cool, but you have to do it 20 minutes every day to see results, right? I just don’t have that kind of time.
Nope. A recent study found that just one meditation session can decrease anxiety. Further, there is no conclusive research on the efficacy of meditation based on the length of the practice.
Oh, really? But I don’t have a fancy cushion or access to the hippest meditation studio, so I probably can’t do it properly.
Another recent study published in Health Care for Women International demonstrated how meditation improved the self-efficacy, perceived stress, and mental and physical quality of life for single, impoverished, illiterate mothers in Uganda (who presumably also do not have access to the meditation studio du jour).
Okay, fine. You’ve convinced me. Do I need to find a guru and head to a silent retreat?
No. Not even close. You can literally develop a deep meditation practice from anywhere (the only caveat when you have children is that you need to keep an eye on them). Here is how you can create a regular practice that will help you manage the aforementioned mama anxiety, depression, stress, etc. ps. I am not a meditation guru, just a person who has been able to incorporate a meditation practice into my daily life and has benefitted from it tremendously.