Mindfulness during pregnancy can offer balance and improve outcomes and get you results.
Whether this pregnancy is proving tricky now-in your first trimester or when you receive a huge increase of pregnancy hormones in your third trimester taking this mindfulness approach can help ease feelings stress and anxiety.
When mindfulness is practiced regularly studies have found it to have far-reaching benefits, helping people to build mental and emotional resilience and allowing them to respond to challenges and everyday pressures and stressors more effectively.
In essence, the practice itself involves focusing on the present moment, without being
distracted by external forces. It sounds simple enough but it can be quite difficult to stay fully
present in the moment - which is why practice makes the expert!
There are various exercises you can do to help you practice mindfulness, but for beginners a
good place to begin is with the breath. By focusing on your breathing and the sensations of
each inhale and exhale, you may find it far easier to stay in the moment.
Inevitably, thoughts will enter your mind from time to time. When this happens, simply
acknowledge the thought and let it go, bringing your attention back to the breath each time.
Another exercise you could try - and one that could be lovely during pregnancy - is the body
scan. This is another great exercise for beginners as you don’t need much in the way of
tools or other resources to help you do it.
It involves lying down on your back with your palms facing up and your feet falling slightly
apart. You need to lie as still as you can while bringing your awareness to your breath,
noting its rhythm and how it feels to breathe in and out.
From there, you can start bringing your attention to your body and how it feels, the pressure
points on the floor, the feel of your clothes against your skin, how warm you are and so on.
And then you simply do this through every part of your body, noting where you’re holding
any tension, any areas that feel sore or tired, or heavy or light, as well as any areas where
you don’t feel any sensation at all.
There are all sorts of benefits associated with these kinds of techniques, ranging from a drop
in stress levels, better sleep, greater self-compassion and awareness and improved focus to
an improved sense of gratitude. It can also help you cope with pain!
If you’re new to the practice of mindfulness, finding somewhere quiet to try it out can help
you maximise your chances of success.
Once you’ve been doing it for a while, you’re sure to find that you’re better able to do it
anywhere, so no matter what external factors there are, you’ll always have your practice to
fall back on.
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