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Learn to meditate and improve the quality of your mom life

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This may come as a revelation, but if you’re a mom who is stressed, overwhelmed, and overworked, you don’t have to stay that way. 

Meditation is a stress-relieving tool that works, and it’s easy to learn. The best part? You can meditate in the comfort of your home — or car, or local park, or a quiet corner of your office.

We pulled together the best tools and strategies to help you learn to meditate and to set your life on a calmer path:

Take a deep breath, and keep reading:

Author and Mom Shonda Moralis offers a quick take on why moms should learn to meditate

Shonda Moralis, author of Breathe, Mama, Breathe and a mom herself, says meditation can be “life-changing” for busy moms everywhere — and you only need a few minutes a day. 

“Research shows that kids whose parents meditate are more well-behaved, calm, and happier,” she says. “The children do not even need to meditate themselves. It is powerful, evidence-based, and must be experienced first-hand to feel the wide-ranging benefits.”

Moralis adds that her own relationship with her children was drastically enhanced by meditation — and it inspired her to write her book. 

To learn more and experience meditation for herself, Moralis enrolled in her local hospital’s 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. Part of the homework was to meditate 30 minutes a day. 

“At the time, my daughter — who is now 20 — was 3. Within weeks, I noticed so many positive changes. I slowed down a notch (which was not easy to do as a Type-A mom) and found I was actually more productive and efficient,” she says. 

Moralis says she had more energy and patience with her daughter because she wasn’t as stressed and enjoying life more in general. 

“I was hooked,” she says.

What is meditation?

In the simplest terms, meditation is “a method for drawing your awareness away from the external world and into your internal world,” says Philip Clift, a yoga studio owner, meditator and contributor to the podcast, “The Astral Hour.” 

Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Clift has been teaching clients to control their breath and focus their minds for more than three decades. 

He says that in today’s world, people are constantly bombarded with information and media, in addition to managing our interpersonal relationships. 

“Meditation allows you to intentionally move into your own personal experience,” Clift says. “It allows you to resonate with the present moment, which you can’t do if you’re distracted by external factors.” 

Why learn to meditate? What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation has multiple benefits. Some of them are physical, and others are emotional and mental. 

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there’s evidence that meditation may reduce blood pressure, as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis. It may also ease symptoms of anxiety and depression and help people with insomnia.

“Meditation enhances every aspect of your life,” Clift adds. “We can become very distracted and imbalanced by coping with daily stressors. Meditation is a way of moving past that.” 

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How to meditate

So how do you start meditating? First of all, you don’t need any fancy equipment or even a teacher; you can learn to meditate all by yourself. 

In fact, you might have been meditating already without realizing it. Exercising, a hot shower, daydreaming — anything that takes you away from outside stimulation counts as meditation, Clift says. 

“Once you learn the techniques, you can apply them easily to your daily life,” he says. “Paying attention to your breath is the best place to start.”

Can you teach yourself to meditate?

Yes, you can absolutely teach yourself to meditate — you just need a couple of simple techniques, like knowing the right way to breathe. Once you’ve mastered meditative breathing, you can move on to more “complex” techniques, if you choose. But breathing is the base of any meditative practice. 

Check out this video from Epworth HealthCare in Tyrone, Pa., that provides 5 minutes of mindful breathing exercises:

How do beginners learn to meditate?

Maybe you’ve always thought that meditation meant you had to “stop thinking,” which sounds difficult, especially as a busy mom. But Clift says the point is not to stop thinking — it’s to create a focal point to think about. This focus is known as mindfulness. 

What does it mean to have a focal point? 

“You can visualize something; you can listen; you can focus on the movement of your breath or your hands,” Clift says. “But making your breath your focus is the best place to start. Most of us are not focused on the quality of our breathing, and taking a full breath, down into your navel, is enough to focus most people.”

How do you meditate as a mom?

Even busy moms can find time to focus, Clift insists. Think about those moments in the evening when you’re trying to get things done after your kids are in bed. Yes, folding clothes and rinsing off dinner dishes can be meditation for moms.

Cliff’s advice?

When you’re doing these tasks, coordinate your breathing with what you’re doing and allow your mind to focus. 

“Become tuned in with the scent of the detergent,” Clift says. “If you can find a single point of focus — your breath, a scent — then you can transform your regular activities into more of a meditative practice.”

Moralis adds, “Mindful breaks are designed to fit seamlessly into your day without you having to stop and have alone time. You can take a mindful break while you are folding laundry, waiting in line at the grocery store, or while reading books at bedtime. As a second-time mom myself, I knew there was no way I’d be meditating 30 minutes a day with a newborn, but I wanted to keep mindfulness part of my daily life. So I designed 5-minute mindful breaks.”

Meditation techniques for beginners

Aside from learning the right breathing technique, Clift suggests moms who want to learn meditation start by exercising – yoga, stretching, running or anything that quiets the mind and grounds the body. 

“If you aren’t grounded in your body, it’s hard to contain your mind,” Clift says. “I recommend basic yoga or some kind of movement. Even something as simple as pushups and sit-ups.”

Meditation techniques beyond beginners

Once you’ve learned to quiet your mind and focus, you can try more “sophisticated” meditation activities, such as visualization. But don’t jump ahead and try to advance too quickly; all meditation types are beneficial to your health. 

Which type of meditation is best?

Several types of meditation exist, but the one you should stick with is the one that resonates with you, Clift says. Basically, the nine different “types” of meditation are similar in that they all require you to focus your mind, but on different focal points. 

“They all involve drawing awareness to your internal world,” Clift says. “One of the nine is going to work better for you than it would for someone else.”

The nine types of meditation

1. Mindfulness meditation 

Mindfulness is the most popular (and simplest) type of meditation. It simply involves observing your thoughts as they cross your mind, while breathing intentionally. 

2. Spiritual meditation 

Do you pray? Praying counts as meditation. Practiced for centuries by various religions, spiritual meditation can help you feel more connected with whatever higher power you believe in. 

3. Focused meditation

Once you’ve learned breathing techniques, try focused attention meditation, or FAM. The journal Frontiers in Psychology describes it as selecting a focal point, such as a candle flame or photograph, and focusing intently, trying not to let your mind wander. 

4. Movement meditation

If you’re jogging or practicing yoga, you can practice movement meditation. Focus your mind on the movement of your body rather than your thoughts. 

5. Mantra meditation

Repeating a positive mantra, such as “I will ace this job interview,” is a type of meditation, especially paired with intentional breathing. 

6. Transcendental meditation

This meditation type is similar to mantra meditation, but instead of focusing on a phrase, transcendental meditation can use just a sound, like the “om” in yoga. 

7. Progressive relaxation

Another body-focused type of meditation, progressive relaxation involves tensing, then releasing, your muscles. The National Library of Medicine describes it as “actively contracting muscles to create tension and progressively releasing …until participants acquire complete relaxation.”

8. Loving-kindness meditation

A loving-kindness meditation involves focusing on positive feelings for your loved ones: friends, kids, parents or just people in general. 

9. Visualization meditation

For this type of meditation, envision something positive in your mind, such as a beautiful seashore or a flower — then focus and breathe. 

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Meditation resources for moms

Books, apps, podcasts and YouTube videos are all great meditation resources to help you get started. For the following list, we’ve scouted content that has a high user rating or that has been endorsed by reputable practitioners and organizations. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive app to learn to meditate, we recommend downloading the Yours app, which provides tailored content to help you become more mindful, including: 

  • Interactive breathing clocks
  • Sleep stories, music, ambient soundscapes, nature sounds, and more
  • Mindfulness meditation courses to help you reduce stress and anxiety
  • Psychological advice on mental health topics
  • Hundreds of hours of yoga videos with guided experts

Yours is currently only available for iOS devices.

Get 7 days free on the Yours app >>

Meditation for sleep

These are our picks to help you relax and fall asleep.

Meditation for sleep apps

Meditation for sleep books

Meditation for sleep podcasts

Meditation for sleep YouTube videos

Meditation for manifestation 

Manifestation is all about putting your dreams and aspirations into the universe and making them a reality.

Meditation for manifestation apps

Meditation for manifestation books

Meditation for manifestation podcasts

Meditation for manifestation YouTube videos

Meditation for self-love 

Need to boost your confidence and find more joy in life? Check out our picks for self-love meditation and read our 5 tips for Self-Care Sunday to refresh and recharge yourself.

Meditation for self-love apps

  • Headspace (4.4 Google Play / 4.9 App Store)
  • Shine (4.8 Google Play / 4.7 App Store)
  • Calm (4.8 on Google / 4.8 App Store)
  • Aura (4.6 on Google / 4.7 App Store)

Meditation for self-love books

Meditation for self-love podcasts

Meditation for self-love YouTube videos

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Meditation for kids

Want to bring some calm to your entire family? Check out our picks for meditation for kids.

Meditation for kids apps

Meditation for kids books

Meditation for kids podcasts

Meditation for kids YouTube videos

Meditation for teens 

Give your teens a break from social media stress and help them unwind after a busy day at school.  

Meditation for teens apps

  • Headspace (4.4 Google Play / 4.9 App Store)
  • Calm (4.8 on Google / 4.8 App Store)
  • Smiling Mind (4.1 on Google / 4.5 App Store)
  • Shine (4.8 Google Play / 4.7 App Store)

Meditation for teens books

Meditation for teens podcasts

Meditation for teens YouTube videos

Meditation courses

Mindfulness skills and exercises to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain

Want to feel calmer right away? Try these quick versions of the meditation techniques from Clift. 

  1. Breathe deeply in and out of your abdomen for several minutes. 
  2. Focus your eyes on an object and breathe deeply, gently guiding your focus back to the object if you wander. 
  3. Engage in gentle movement, such as rolling your shoulders, and breathe deeply. 
  4. Try repeating a simple, positive mantra such as “I will feel good today.” Remember to breathe. 
  5. Tense, then release, all the different muscles of your body as you breathe. 

If you're really struggling with your mental health, you can also seek help from a licensed therapist on BetterHelp.

Bottom line: Learn to meditate for a better life

Meditation is one of the best ways to improve your outlook and decrease stress and anxiety. Whether you try one method or multiple methods, you will reap the mental and physical benefits. 

As Clift says, “Meditation allows you to intentionally move into your own personal experience.”

Moralis adds:

“I believe we women, especially moms, have super powers. In order to be our best selves (which does NOT mean perfection), we need to access a bit of calm each day. We need to breathe before we can be empowered to achieve. We deserve it, and our families deserve it.”

Start meditating today with the Yours app >>

What is meditation?

In the simplest terms, meditation is “a method for drawing your awareness away from the external world and into your internal world,” says Philip Clift, a yoga studio owner, meditator and contributor to the podcast, “The Astral Hour.”

What are the benefits of meditation?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there’s evidence that meditation may reduce blood pressure, as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis. It may also ease symptoms of anxiety and depression and help people with insomnia.

Can you teach yourself to meditate?

Yes, you can absolutely teach yourself to meditate — you just need a couple of simple techniques, like knowing the right way to breathe.

How do beginners learn to meditate?

Maybe you’ve always thought that meditation meant you had to “stop thinking,” which sounds difficult, especially as a busy mom. But Philip Clift, a yoga studio owner and meditator, says the point is not to stop thinking — it’s to create a focal point to think about. This focus is known as mindfulness.

How do you meditate as a mom?

Even busy moms can find time to focus, Philip Clift, a yoga studio owner and meditator, insists. Think about those moments in the evening when you’re trying to get things done after your kids are in bed. Yes, folding clothes and rinsing off dinner dishes can be meditation for moms.

Which type of meditation is best?

Several types of meditation exist, but the one you should stick with is the one that resonates with you. “They all involve drawing awareness to your internal world,” Philip Clift, a yoga studio owner and meditator, says.

Denise K. James is an independent writer and editor based in the Southeast. She holds a master's degree in English from the College of Charleston and has lived in multiple Southern cities, with Atlanta as her current home. Denise has written for a variety of websites and publications, including Homelight, Celebrate Hilton Head, Grand Strand Magazine, Birmingham Lifestyle, Edible Northeast Florida, Southern Flavor and many others. In her spare time, Denise enjoys exploring Atlanta, taking road trips, watching the birds and squirrels out of her window and reading great works of literature.

Denise's other work | Denise's LinkedIn profile

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