What is mindfulness exactly? This word has become increasingly popular but it’s meaning sometimes isn’t quite clear. Mindfulness is all about combining awareness of yourself and that of your surroundings in a purposeful way. It calls you to focus on the present so that you don’t miss out on the daily joys of life.
If you think about it, our minds are usually programmed to either focus on the past or future. I understand because sometimes the present circumstances can be depressing. But, it’s impossible to notice anything positive about the present if you’re always ignoring it. That’s dangerous for anyone, especially expectant moms.
Mindfulness is free therapy and it has many benefits for you and the baby. Here is why.
1. It prevents pregnancy depression
Depression is a real problem that pregnant women face and the effects can go as deep as experiencing a miscarriage. That can be very devastating and in return this can cause the depression to worsen. Being mindful helps you to be more positive and slowly, you gather the strength to manage the depressive thoughts. Mindfulness isn’t meant to be a replacement for antidepressants if you’re having chronic depression but it’s a very powerful technique which will bring you closer to healing.
2. It reduces fear of motherhood
It’s natural to feel some anxiety during pregnancy. You’re human and that’s just one of the emotions you’ll experience at one point during those nine months. However, there’s a problem if that fear is consuming your life. Fear is associated with future ‘what if’s.’ ‘What if I won’t be a good mom?’, ‘What if my baby won’t make it?’, ‘What if I won’t have enough money?’ All that can bring crippling fear which isn’t good for your physical and mental health.
Mindfulness will allow you to appreciate each day that goes by, including the bad days. Once your mindset changes you won’t be overpowered by the fear of facing challenges.
3. You might have an easier time with labour and delivery
Stress can actually cause more pain during labour and delivery. With mindfulness though, you’ll relax more and those contractions won’t be as horrible as you might have expected them to be. That’s great news right?
4. It prevents health problems in your baby
We know that wellbeing directly affects the health of your developing child. Aside from risks of a miscarriage, depression and anxiety can lead to a preterm birth, low birth weight and other complications.
And it’s those small, everyday stressors that combine and trigger these complications.
To get started on this great practice, here are a few techniques worth exploring.
It’s not necessarily about yoga. You can take a walk every morning as you admire the sunrise or mediate on Bible verses that encourage you to keep going.
ii. Daily affirmations
This will boost your overall happiness and you’ll have a more positive outlook on life.
iii. Actively take control of your thoughts
You won’t judge yourself for feeling low or stressed on a particular day. You’ll understand that you’re having hormonal changes so you need to let yourself be.
iv. Keep a gratitude journal
You should also keep a journal or download a gratitude app which reminds you to be grateful every single day.