For the last few years I’ve made it a goal to meditate. I never actually did it. I think part of what held me back is what I thought meditation looked like. I saw myself sitting on the floor in a yoga pose, hands outstretched, trying to clear my head and getting distracted by everything running through my mind. I anticipated being unable to do it and I didn’t know where to start, so I never did. When I got the chance to partner with Headspace for a few months this past December it was the perfect opportunity to to give it a shot.
I know I’ve said this several times, but pregnancy hasn’t been easy for me. I’m sure there’s plenty of other women who feel that way. Right at a time when I was feeling like I had never been more in tune with myself and my body, I found out I was pregnant and everything changed. Of course being really sick was difficult, but in addition to that I felt like my body was no longer my own. Each day that went by something else would change and I’d feel like I was losing another piece of who I was. That probably sounds dramatic, and honestly it’s sort of hard to put into words, but I was constantly battling how my body (and mind) were changing.
When I signed on to my partnership with Headspace I decided to commit to meditate every day for 30 days. I knew I could set aside 10 minutes for myself, and I’m really happy to say that I did. In the beginning I found myself getting distracted or sidetracked, but the more I did it, I noticed I could get through a meditation focusing on exactly what I was doing in that moment. It wasn’t some big aha moment or monumental change, but a gradual shift in how I re-connected with myself and went about the day. Here’s what I’ve learned from meditating every day for the last month.
My takeaways from meditating every day for a month
it doesn’t have to look a certain way
The thing that held me back from meditating the most was what I thought it had to look like. Think a quiet room, sitting in a yoga pose with my hands outstretched, eyes closed, breathing and a light beam shining around me. I know that sounds ridiculous but it was my preconceived notions of meditation that kept me from trying it. Once I just sat down with the Headspace app and did the first session I realized meditation can look however you want it to.
I developed a greater sense of awareness
Practicing visualization in the pregnancy course helped me gain a greater sense of awareness. I started noticing so much more about my behavior, thinking and habits. I started to be more present throughout the day. As I developed better awareness I think it also helped me feel more connected to myself again. It gave me a greater sense of control about how I felt, even if I was uncomfortable or anxious.
I rely on my phone as a distraction
With greater awareness came the realization of some of my bad habits. I know I’m on my phone too much, but I didn’t realize how much of a crutch it is in my everyday life. I couldn’t believe how often I would reach for it throughout the day as a distraction (and often times it’s not a good distraction). As I noticed that behavior I started to meditate or practice visualization even if it was for a few short minutes, instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or checking my email for the millionth time. I am SO much more productive because of it.
i’m more likely to feel happy
Practicing visualization reminded me a lot of the techniques I learned when I did bio-feedback as a kid for migraine treatment. I’m actually really excited that it has become almost second nature at this point because I plan to try and employ those tactics when I go into labor. Identifying the moments, places, people, sounds, etc. that make me happy and being able to visualize those things is really powerful. When I focus my mind on them it naturally affects how I feel physically.
focusing on myself helps me focus on others
Practicing meditation has impacted a lot of things for me, patience, happiness, awareness, etc. Giving myself those 10 minutes a day has not only helped me connect with myself and how I’m feeling, but it has made me more in tune with others, including the baby I’ve been carrying for 9 months. It has made me a better listener and particularly at a time when I feel more sensitive and vulnerable it has helped me be less reactive and more calm in difficult situations.
Needless to say, I can’t recommend trying Headspace enough. I feel so much better going into this next chapter of my life knowing I have this practice, even if it’s only a few minutes a day. Would love to know your experience with meditation, if you’ve tried it, and how it made you feel? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks to Headspace for sponsoring this post.
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