What Is Meditation?
When you think of meditation, do you think of a fancy yoga studio filled with people sitting cross-legged and instrumental music playing softly in the background? We’ve all heard of meditation, but there are many misconceptions about the practice. Meditation involves refocusing your mind on the present – your breath, thoughts, senses, the room you’re in – to create a sense of calm and peace. There’s no one right way to meditate – there are several methods, and one might be perfect for someone but not a great fit for someone else. No matter how you look at it, we could all use a little more of what meditation can bring to our daily lives. And there are several benefits, especially to parents.
Benefits of Meditation
- Promotes calmness
- Manages stress levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps with sleep
- Manages pain
- Reduces anger and hostility
- Increases compassion
How Can Meditation Help Us Be Better Parents?
Parenting can be emotional. We all have those days. When your three-year-old refuses to eat anything but chicken nuggets. When putting your six-month-old down for a nap is just not an option. But it’s also the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Meditation can help you to be your best parenting self – reducing frustration when the carrots end up on the floor, clearing your mind in the face of chaotic days, and increasing compassion to help you see things from your little one’s point of view.
Types of Meditation
There are many different types of meditation – the method that will be most successful for you depends on what you’re looking for and how you best focus. Below are four common meditation practices:
- Mindfulness Meditation – Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to your thoughts, observing where your mind wanders without judgement.
- Progressive Relaxation Meditation – Aimed at reducing tension in the body, progressive relaxation meditation involves progressively tightening then relaxing different muscles in the body.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation – This type of meditation is used to heighten feelings of kindness, love and acceptance of yourself and others by opening the mind to receiving love from others and sending love outwards.
- Visualization Meditation – This technique is focused on visualizing positive images to enhance feelings of peace, relaxation and calmness.
If you’re considering taking up meditation but are unsure how to start, we recommend trying an app like Headspace or Calm, to help guide you. So put your mini down for their nap, or place them in their rocker, and find a comfortable spot to be present. No dinners to cook, no fussy kids to comfort. We can bet you’ll feel prepared to manage any meltdown after even 10-15 minutes of repose.