This article has been reposted with permission from the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep blog.
Finding the calm within us, helps us gain more clarity. When we see more clearly, we obtain a better sense of perspective, which in turn, leads to contentment...
These days meditation and mindfulness are no longer viewed as something only reserved for yogis, hippies and gurus! Both are now becoming universally embraced.
Meditation is a tool that trains and cultivates the mind, allowing thoughts to come and go, not labeling them, not getting caught up in them, not ignoring or resisting them, just watching them. Subsequently, we gradually learn to move beyond our thoughts, better understanding their flow, which lays the groundwork for mindfulness. Think of mindfulness as meditation in action, in real time, with eyes open, applying the same principles as in meditation to everyday life.
Allow yourself to imagine what the positive implications of these qualities can bring to fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood...
Why is Meditation valuable for Parents & Parents-to-be?
The short answer is that improving health and happiness in the world starts in the individual. And wouldn't we want that for our children? And ourselves?
The long answer:
Becoming a parent is a stressful life event. Depression is within the normal range of responses to life stresses. This seems obvious, but it is frequently overlooked. Stress is not our friend. Stress is detrimental to our health and the precursor to perinatal mood & anxiety disorders affecting mothers and fathers alike. Depression during pregnancy and postpartum are fairly common, affecting anywhere from 15% to 25% of women of which only 15% are being treated. Why? Due to a lack of routine screening and the stigma attached. When parents are not treated, research shows they are less able to bond with their children or care for them properly. And they may end up with lifelong chronic depression or anxiety.
Coupled with other risk factors like sleep deprivation, negative birth experiences, unmet expectations, feelings of self-efficacy and self-esteem as well as a lack of support following isolation from our families it has become even more important to talk about the importance of taking care of ourselves as parents as there is a strong link between a person's physical well-being and emotional health.
It is absolutely astounding how much research has been conducted in the last decade on mindfulness and meditation and all the amazing ways it can transform our brains, and our lives. Recent studies indicate that as little as 12 minutes of meditation a day, over an 8-week period, is enough to create changes in the brain!
Meditation is now well-established as a complementary medical treatment as well a stress-management and resilience tool. Its practice also brings greater success and fulfillment in one’s daily activities.
With mediation, expecting and new parents can learn to step out of the endless inner chatter that so dominates our life, often leaving us feeling overwhelmed or out of control. What better time to discover a place of calm and contentment than during pregnancy? What greater gift to give your future child than piece of mind - both yours and theirs?
Every mountaineer makes sure they have the right gear when setting up base camp, but they'll also spend time getting mentally strong. The same should apply to every mother and father looking to ascend Mount Parenthood.
The beauty is also that it's never too late to begin. You will be faced by many challenges all along your parenting journey and meditation can help you be a better parent.
Deepak Chopra, one of the best-known figures in the holistic-health movement explains that:
"Everyone thinks that the purpose of meditation is to handle stress, to tune out, to get away from it all. While that's partially true, the real purpose of meditation is actually to tune in, not to get away from it all, but to get in touch with it all. Not to just de-stress, but to find that peace within, the peace that spiritual traditions talk about that passes all understanding. So, meditation is a way to get in the space between your thoughts. You have a thought here, a thought here, and there's little space between every thought.
According to wisdom traditions, this space between the thought is the window to the infinite mind, your core consciousness. And the more we learn about this space between thoughts, we find certain things to be true of it:
It's a field of infinite possibilities – infinite possibilities, pure potentiality.
Everything is connected to everything else.
It's a space of infinite creativity, infinite imagination.
It is a place where there is something called the observer effect, or the power of intention, which means intention is very powerful when brought to this space and it orchestrates its own fulfillment – what people call the law of attraction – so those are wonderful qualities of your own spirit.
In meditation, we get into this space so we find infinite possibilities, infinite correlation, infinite creativity, infinite imagination, and infinite power of intention.
That's what meditation is really about..."
If you are in Luxembourg, do check out our Meditation workshops for expecting and new parents! Click here to find out more.
More about the Author:
As mother of two darling babies, Certified International Maternity Institute Baby
Planner Consultant, Holistic Pregnancy & Child Sleep Practitioner and Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide maternity and sleep coaching for expecting/future/new parents through Marise Hyman Maternity Coaching – setting them up for success, so they can sail into their new lives with confidence!
She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep offering a variety of social and educational events in Luxembourg designed so parents can make the most of becoming and being a new parent in the modern world today.