Meditation has long been known to help many different aspects of our mental health. It is proven to reduce stress, control anxiety, enhance self-awareness, generate kindness, and improve sleep among a long list of other benefits.
I am not a medical professional nor a meditation master, but I am a mother living through the messiness of a lifelong battle with my own mental health struggles. Every time I heard about meditation I had a preconceived notion that it was for woo woo practitioners or yogi’s. Or the biggest excuse, that it took a ton of time and needed to be taught by a professional.
I convinced myself meditation wasn’t for me. That I wasn’t worthy of meditation. Until I realized how much self-care and self-awareness meant for my wellbeing.
Meditation and Mental Health
Mental health is something I have struggled with for a long time. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety shortly after being diagnosed with Endometriosis at age 16. I have always felt trapped by my mind. Depression for me consumes my thoughts into thinking I am unworthy, not enough, and mostly, out of control.
Seeking different medical opinions has always led me to medications and counseling. Which seemed to be the answer for many years. It wasn’t until recently that I started searching for more ways to help myself.
After having my twins and spending 21 days in the NICU I brought my babies home and was so overwhelmed I basically blacked out the first 6 sleepless months. Around the twins’ half birthday I finally admitted to myself, my husband, and my doctor that I was seriously struggling.
I had been off all medication while I was pregnant with the twins and I was not thinking about my mental health at my very brief 6-week check-in with my OB. It was focused on my physical health after recovering from a C-section, followed by a D&C just a week later to remove a piece of placenta left behind. I just wanted clearance to hold both my babies at the same time. I was not prepared to talk about how I was actually coping with the overwhelm.
At that point, I jumped back on the medication I had previously been taking before the pregnancy. It was months of trial and error to find what worked for me this time around. I started implementing exercise and fueling my body with more nutrition, but my mind was still heavy with anxiety. I was having multiple panic attacks and the medication I was given, although it helped instantly with the panic, left me extremely depressed for the days following.
I knew I needed more. I wasn’t allowing myself the time to focus on myself. So I began searching for more ways I could help control mind away from the negative and scary thoughts I was having.
A friend recommended meditation and I reluctantly started searching the google machine for Beginner Meditation practices. I started taking time for myself, closing my eyes and focusing on my breath. I was amazed at what 5-10 min of being in my own body and mind could do for me. At first, I beat myself up because my mind would wander and I really struggled to focus on what I was being guided to focus on.
The more I practiced, the better I got. Those 5 minutes I set aside for myself would help me pour the other 1,435 minutes of the day into everyone else.
I have been meditating for a little over a year now. I continue to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and time in nature. Natural supplements like passionflower extract, a natural B Complex, LTheanine, and CBD have also contributed to a huge turnaround in my mental wellbeing.
When I wake up struggling, I tap on my favorite mediation app and give myself time to breathe. I feel in control of my own breath and the thoughts that enter and exit my brain. When I feel defeated and like I can’t take on the day, I remember what I am in control of. I put those practices to work and I watch as my day turns around.
I cannot be the best mother to my children If I cannot give them the very best version of myself.
If you are struggling with mental health, I want to encourage you to find answers. There are ways to help you cope with what your brain is telling you and there are people experiencing the same things. Although it can feel isolating and lonely, you are not alone in this. You are worthy, you are enough. You are in control of your thoughts and your breath.