Friends I hope you enjoy today’s guest post from Daron Libshtein, the mentor to the world’s top mentors. He is also a prolific author and strategic entrepreneur, seeking to foster personal growth using the potential of the digital space. As chairman and founder of Mentors Channel (www.mentorschannel.com) and The WellBe (www.thewellbe.com), Libshtein has established a thriving interactive community where the world’s best mentors and coaches help millions of people live fuller, richer lives.
Pregnancy is an exciting and joyous time, but also one where many women are more likely than not to experience a new level of stress and anxiety. This can especially be the case for first time moms.
Experts believe that it is important to manage your stress so it does not present a possible negative impact during your pregnancy. In studies, something as simple as regular meditation has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of premature birth and decrease pain sensitivity.
In general terms, meditation helps with our overall health and well-being. Studies show that 60-70% of illnesses and doctors’ visits are due to the impact of stress. Because meditation works directly to relieve stress, it consequently has a significant impact on our physical and emotional state during pregnancy and beyond by helping:
- Increase concentration
- Improve communication
- Promote relaxation
- Lower high blood pressure
- Lower the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
- Decrease any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Increase serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
- Improve the immune system
- Increase your energy level
- Decrease anxiety
- Improve emotional stability
- Increase creativity
- Gain clarity and focus
Doron Libshtein, the founder of The Mentors Channel, and a leading expert on meditation, outlines a few simple tips that pregnant women and new mothers can use to incorporate a few minutes of meditation into their day.
- Routine, routine, routine. While pregnancy can be a particularly chaotic time, the first step for beginners is to set aside a regular time each day for meditation. Your meditation can be split into two short sessions, first thing in the morning and at bed time, or be one longer session. The amount of time is not as important as simply doing it regularly. You can start with just a few minutes and work up to more as you begin to feel more comfortable. And you don’t have to sit on the floor or in any specific position! You can sit in a chair, stand or lie down.
- Mantras not mandatory, but recommended. This will give you something to focus on. If you choose to use one, it could be the popular “om” or “om shanti”, or you can pick a personal affirmation. If you choose to use a mantra, just repeat it both on the inhale and the exhale.
- Exhale. How you breathe keeps you focused and reduces stress (one of the leading causes of illness and problems during pregnancy). Your exhale should be longer than your inhale. The goal is four counts on your inhale and eight counts on your exhale. However, don’t force this…you can work up to it. You will find that simply lengthening your exhale is an extraordinarily efficient way to calm you down immediately.
- Music and motion. Some additional tools to try are calming music, or a technique called “dynamic meditation” in which you stand, close your eyes and gently shake your knees, arms, hips, head, etc. for a few minutes. Surprising, but it works!
- Distractions happen. Don’t worry if you are not able to completely clear your mind while practicing the breathing technique outlined above or throughout your meditation session. It is obvious that during pregnancy there is always a lot on your mind. However, whenever possible, if you notice this happening, simply bring your attention back to your breath.
- Get guidance from experts. Some people prefer guided meditation exercises, just as some prefer workout classes over working out on their own. The Mentors Channel (www.mentorschannel.com) provides a variety of such mental exercises. These are all designed to counteract the stress, anxiety or other issues that you may be experiencing and to bring the conscious and unconscious minds into alignment to help bring about the positive changes you want to see in your life.
- Be mindful of your stress and its causes. You can now use technology to understand and manage stress. The WellBe (www.thewellbe.com) is the first bracelet that measures your stress and emotional wellness in the short and long term. The wearable device shows you who and what are your personal stress triggers, alerts you to rising stress levels and provides real-time solutions in the form of meditation, focused breathing and mindful exercises.
Meditation provides benefit to a woman’s own health as well as her baby’s. With regular practice, it can even help counteract the effects of sleeplessness after baby comes home.