Meditation is one of the best practices you can include in your daily routine and can be done anywhere at any time. Research continues to support that meditation improves focus, memory, resilience and energy levels. It’s also been shown to thicken brain density, especially gray matter, which helps with neural connections and in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for higher level functions such as decision making. It can provide an incredible benefit for moms, especially those with MS. Research has found that individuals with MS who meditate reported improved quality of life and sleep, as well as less depression and anxiety. Similar reports have been found for mothers who meditate. Stress can greatly contribute to exacerbations, so practicing meditation can reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. It’s a win-win for moms with MS.
Meditation can take on many forms and help moms navigate tough moments and situations. Just like anything else, meditation takes practice and consistency in order to reap its benefits and can be done for two minutes or 20 minutes.
It’s a good idea to try out different meditation practices to see what works for you; this can also change depending on your life phase.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Find a comfortable position - sitting or lying down
Keep the area free of distractions
You can focus on a positive thought, mantra, your breathe or how your body is feeling
Begin with one minute and then increase as you continue your practice
Every day will be different, including how long you are able to meditate for
Take calming breathes (in through your nose and out through your mouth)
Try out different techniques and see what works for you (more coming soon!)
As you become more comfortable with meditation, you can practice calming mantras or guided imagery (more coming on this!) This can be helpful if you are experiencing a challenging moment with your baby or toddler or feeling overwhelmed. It's important to remember that with meditation, you are not pushing away your feelings; it's about acknowledging the moment and how to recenter yourself. This takes practice and remember, parenting and perfection do no belong in the same sentence.