It’s no surprise to anyone that working moms have to cope with a significant amount of stress in their day to day lives. What is surprising is the way in which many working moms manage their stress, or more accurately stated, do not manage their stress.
There are a number of low cost, and even no cost, strategies working moms can use that can have rapid and dramatic results. Of these, meditation is probably the easiest and most effective. The benefits of meditation are not only significant; they are tailor made for the challenges working moms face.
Working moms express their challenges in many ways; they often say they feel tired, overworked, frustrated, or overwhelmed. All of this is certainly understandable and if you think about it, these are varying ways of expressing stress. I’m not saying that meditation will eliminate the challenges working moms face, but it will reduce their stress and increase their sense of well being.
Meditation releases accumulated stress in the system. The regulated breathing pattern decreases cortisol, a stress-related hormone that has many negative effects on the body and increases serotonin, a compound that improves mood and behavior. In addition to the stress reduction benefits meditation provides, studies have proven that it lowers high blood pressure, decreases any tension-related pain, improves the immune system and increases energy levels.
Clearly there are many benefits to this ancient practice. In addition, it requires very little time each day to get these incredible benefits. Given the fact that it costs nothing, requires very little time, and can alleviate the stress working moms experience, why then aren’t more working moms meditating? For the most part, most aren’t aware of how profound the benefits are. Secondly, typical of Western behavior, most beginners try it a few times, find the concentration element difficult, get frustrated and move on to something else. For those that are new to the meditative arts, I recommend guided meditation. There are a number of guided meditation recordings available, and many very good sessions available through YouTube.
Guided meditation takes the “Am I doing this right?” moments out of the equation. It also helps beginners increase their concentration levels by guiding their thoughts towards relaxation. Quieting the mind can be difficult for anyone, let alone someone who is worrying about work, kids, PTA meetings, soccer games, doctor appointments, and walking the dog, By concentrating on the guides voice and focusing on the relaxing thoughts and suggestions they instill in the listener, thoughts of the days events and mental “things to do” lists fade away. They are replaced with soothing thoughts, deep breathing, and total relaxation.
With today’s technology, meditation is even more convenient. Recordings can be accessed on any smart phone or mp3 player. Also, meditation does not require a lot of time. In fact, beginners should start slowly with around 10 -15 minutes for the first week or two. As with any new endeavor, beginners should realize it takes a little time to “get the hang of it.” Commit to trying it daily for two to four weeks, and then evaluate how you feel. Many experience immediate benefits, for some, it may take a little longer. Most will feel more relaxed after the first session.
For stressed out working moms, meditation can really be a life saver. For a 10 – 20 minute per day investment, you can go from overwhelmed and frustrated to relaxed and ready for the rest of your day!
Denise Reilly has spent more than 15 years in leadership and personal development, serving as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies such as Capital One, Aetna Healthcare, and Wells Fargo Bank. An accomplished author and speaker, Denise is also the Editor-in-Chief of the inbox magazine and website, WorkingMomsAdvisor.com.
Article Source: Meditation: A Lifesaver for Working Moms