I Meditated Everyday For A Month, Here’s What Happened

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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11 Comments

  1. Tammy wrote:

    Hi Jess,
    I joined you in your Headspace journey and am so glad I did. As someone who tends to put self care on the back burner…this app was life giving for me. They approach meditation in such a way that is gentle and patient. I am so happy I gave it a go! In the last month my stress level has gone down and I feel more connected and present…so happy you do too!
    xo,
    Tammy

    1.29.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Hi Tammy,

      Wow! This makes me SO happy to hear. I’m so glad you’ve seen positive results from it. It really is incredible what a difference it makes, even if just a few minutes a day. Thanks for sharing.

      xx Jess

      1.29.20 | Reply
  2. Laurie wrote:

    As someone who has meditated for years but recently tried Headspace , I can’t say enough good things about it. You chose that which you wish to work on that day. I’ve done happiness, sleep and recovering from grief to name a few. I weave it into my other practice listening to Jason Stephenson. The most important thing is not to judge your skills. They are what they are. You get what you get. You will find that there is an area of the brain that is developed from the practice and helps reduce reactivity and allows one to be present and experiencing more joy and wisdom. Keep it up Jess!

    1.29.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Well said! Thank you for sharing. xx

      Jess

      1.29.20 | Reply
  3. Melissa wrote:

    Hi Jess —

    I’m 20 weeks and I relate so much to what you are saying. Of course I am grateful to be carrying a baby, but I do not enjoy being pregnant AT ALL. I think that’s more common than we realize and needs to be talked about more.

    Anyway, I’ve had an impossible time sleeping and my dog has decided to get me up multiple times per night lately and headspace is helping so much. I started using it for sleep, but just started the patience and restlessness courses and I feel such a difference.

    XX

    1.29.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      I totally understand Melissa. Trust me you’re not alone and I think to your point, it’s actually quite common to have those kinds of feelings but not necessarily to actually share them. I’m so glad to hear Headspace is helping you. It has really been so great as I approach the end of my pregnancy and all kinds of thoughts start to creep in. Wishing you the best, you’re half way there!

      xx Jess

      1.29.20 | Reply
  4. Lynn wrote:

    Hi Jess! I’m so happy that Headspace has been so good for you. My Therapist highly recommended it to me for anxiety and coping with my grief. It really helped me a lot . It helped with flying too. I have just accepted I get anxious and I needed to address it. I got distracted too at first but now I can take the time for short breaks when I get overwhelmed. It should be really helpful with Labor. I chuckled not in a bad way when you said you couldn’t relate to your body being pregnant. My good friend who was a Twrapist found herself with a surprise pregnancy a few years ago. She told me calmly that she felt she had an Alien inside. She now has 2 kids and is a wonderful and happy loving mother. I have all the faith in the world in you. You are an amazing woman in every way. You got this, I’d bet anything on it!
    Xo

    1.29.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      I’m so glad it’s helpful for you Lynn. You’re so sweet, I always appreciate your kindness. In the home stretch now! xx Jess

      1.29.20 | Reply
      • Lynn wrote:

        I know I don’t actually know you, but I think that I have related to you a lot in the way that you feel too. It’s so hard to be vulnerable and yet you do it and that’s hard. I don’t always like my own thoughts about the way I feel and then some small thing happens in my day in the midst of confusion or a sudden sadness and I know I need to center myself. I have been suddenly thrust in a new and scary situation many times in my life and I have had expressed it. People have said, “oh this one or that one has so much worse”. Well, I know that and I feel much for them, but in my own here and now I’m experiencing it and it’s really not a competition. Whenever I get stuck in my thoughts and I see a new post from you, I brighten up immediately. It’s like a pretty new spring flower pushing up from the ground on a spring day. Our feelings are just feelings and they are real. They change from moment to moment at times. Wishing you a moment that changes your life in the best and most profound way possible . Thank you for your kind words❤️

        1.29.20 | Reply
  5. Sarah wrote:

    Wow, what a timely post for me! I felt the exact same way about meditation as you. I too have a busy mind and just couldn’t imagine sitting still for very long, while focusing and being quiet; personally, it sounded awful. I had a later term pregnancy loss last year and it’s been really hard on me. I’m already on the anxious side, and my loss had really heightened my anxiety. My therapist had mentioned meditating for a long time, but I never really gave it a chance. After a check-up with my midwife a few months ago, she mentioned going on a low dose anti-depressant. This really made me think. I decided to give meditation a try as an alternative. I started an 8 week meditation program with the book, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Hectic World. I’m not going to lie, it can be challenging to find the time, but halfway through the program I am amazed at how my perspectives have started to shift. I’m even smelling and tasting better! After my program, I plan to download Headspace to continue the practice. Thank you for writing about these topics, as always I really appreciate what you share on here.

    2.13.20 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Sarah I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard that would be to go through. I’m so glad you were able to find something that helped manage your anxiety and you are seeing positive results. It really is amazing what meditation can do for mind, body and spirit. I have been using it a lot lately to deal with my own anxiety and emotions after postpartum hemorrhage and it’s so helpful. Sending you love and light. xx Jess

      2.28.20 | Reply