Meditation for Mama Entrepreneurs
A stressed-out mama walked into the woods, sat for ten days, and walked out feeling calm, centered, and laser-focused. What happened?
Sounds like a riddle, doesn’t it? I would have thought so, too, before my experience at the beautiful and secluded Ontario Vipassana Centre, where I spent a week and a half in silent meditation, learning how to sharpen my ability to concentrate on the external by turning my attention inward, and how to incorporate the practice into my everyday life. The benefit to me, both personally and professionally, cannot be understated. It got me thinking, though—does it really take a ten-day retreat to bring about the positive effects? How can meditation, in any form, help other busy mamapreneurs succeed?
Meditation = increased productivity
When I returned from the woods and settled into a routine of twice-daily practice, I was amazed at how much I was getting done in my business. I wrote down the ideas I had generated during my time away, expecting to implement them over the next couple of months, and yet I accomplished them all within just a few weeks. Studies show that meditation provides a boost of energy without the adrenaline rush and will result in increased productivity. Although it seems counterintuitive, the more time you spend practicing, the more you can accomplish in your business. With even a single fifteen- to twenty-minute session per day, your ability to focus your mind on the task at hand will increase.
Meditation = better sleep
One of the biggest challenges as a parent and entrepreneur is sleep deprivation. Even when we get a few hours of rest, it’s often not the quality sleep we need. Since returning from my course, I have been sleeping an average of six hours a night—significantly less than I was getting before, and yet I fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow and wake up naturally before the alarm. As someone who was convinced she wasn’t a ‘morning person,’ this change came as a huge surprise.
Then I started learning more about what meditation does to your brain and why it improves your sleep quality. The main benefit is that time spent sleeping is actually spent sleeping (yes, you read that correctly). Usually, we go to bed carrying the stresses of the day and the anxieties of tasks still to be done. When you start and end your day with meditation, you provide a release for your stress, enabling sleep to perform its job of resting and repairing the body.
Meditation = calmer parenting
You can probably see where this is leading—more focus and better sleep means less stress, and less stress makes parenting challenges feel far more manageable. Meditation is not a magic bullet (I still lose it occasionally when my two-year-old pushes too many of my buttons), but it does make life generally calmer. Certainly you can use the meditation time to unwind from the parenting adventure, but better still you will find that your ability to deal with situations as they happen will improve. Patience and tolerance increase and a calm mind prevails. Sounds priceless, doesn’t it?
Meditation = improved health
There are numerous studies on health benefits to meditation, from reducing blood pressure, anxiety and depression to enhancing mood and self-esteem. There are also ongoing studies to determine the ability of meditation to halt or even reverse the aging process of our brains. It can seem overwhelming to fit in yet another activity that we should be doing but in this case, the benefits far outweigh the cost.
Meditation requires dedication and discipline. It’s not easy, but it is simple. Take some time to do your own research and experiment with the many available techniques to find which works best for you. Think about what the value to you, and your business, would be. Is it worth the effort and commitment? I certainly think so and would love to hear your thoughts on it, too!
Usha Sthankiya is a Mamas & Co. member and the founder of eat.train.love, a boutique health facility focused on nutrition coaching and personal training.
Looking for more strategies for a balanced life? Join us for our next Meet-Up on Wednesday, May 3, featuring 3 experts who will help you improve your relationships with others and yourself - because “most business problems are really personal problems in disguise.” Learn more here.