The Power of Breath Awareness Meditation to Reduce Stress for Moms

[What if you could use some simple tools to help you reduce stress as a mom? Here's a breath awareness meditation that will help you relax and distress as a mom.]


Let's dive into this healing session of breath awareness techniques and a breath awareness meditation to help you reduce stress as a mom.

Breath Awareness Techniques

Kaitlin Spano:

So tonight we're just going to go through a brief little breathing, teaching, a breathing 101. And then Catherine is going to bring us through a little meditation. So I guess first I'll just briefly remind you guys if you're new here, breathing is like everything that the base of my programs that I do.

But as busy moms and other busy people in this world, we tend to breathe incorrectly, which is shocking because it's something we do like 25,000 times a day. And it's odd to think that you might be doing it wrong, but it's really essential to do it right.

Because it puts you back into a non-stressed state, which I think we all need in today's world.

Kaitlin Spano:

But especially as busy moms. I'm going to walk you through this and then you can practice a little bit and then Catherine will explain the importance of meditation and then we'll do the little thing.

So breathing starts in your diaphragm, which is actually right under your rib cage, like inside of your rib cage. Right under your breast area. So if you just put your hands here and you can do an inhale, you want to feel that expansion right here. Inhaling.

Kaitlin Spano:

Then on the exhale, feel it. You'll feel like contract and close. So inhale, exhale. And then as you're doing that, you want to remind your shoulders to go down. A lot of us might be like hunched over from nursing our babies or on our phones or sitting at our desk.

So just take a roll back your shoulders. Inhale and exhale. And a lot of times, if you like inhale through your nose and then exhale outing through your mouth is like, you just release everything.

So like release your stress, you know?

So we'll take one more inhale, exhale, if you can really like once you practice it more, you can really feel like your rib cage closing. And a lot of us moms tend to flare this area.

So you want to just be conscious of like having that close, not your shoulders down, but this closed.

Catherine Wilde:

about that in, in yoga too, that like, when you're doing down dog or something, you want to be careful not to flare the bottom of your ribs. And instead hugging them in.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yeah. And it's like, once you start to become aware of that, it's actually, it's really hard at first. I really struggled with it. But I've gotten so much better and I've noticed a huge difference in my posture from it. So don't give up, keep trying.

Catherine Wilde:

And I love the way you described the 360 degrees. You can feel the whole area around your rib cage. Even your back when you're breathing into your diaphragm.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yeah. And it really should be your whole, and it might be hard for a lot of people. You might not, you might not feel that connection at first, but you just have to keep trying and once you feel it, it's like, Oh, okay. I get it. And like, you'll instantly just start to feel calmer.

Breath Awareness Meditation - Soul Care Mom

Benefits of Breath Awareness Meditation

Catherine Wilde:

I love it. Yeah. So my husband and I were just talking about this the other day. Meditation, it seems that like, on the surface anyway, it seems kind of insignificant. Like we just sit there quietly and we're focusing on our breath and not like we're not doing very much. But, really under the surface meditation is helping us practice moving from our head into our heart space.

And taking time to do that every day helps to strengthen, our ability to focus on what we want to focus on. Even when things are chaotic. So for example, like your, you might go into a daydream and, you don't even realize you got on that train of thought.

But practicing meditation helps you become aware of your thoughts so that you can choose where you put your attention and focus.

Catherine Wilde:

Typically I do yoga and meditation in the mornings, but my husband and I sit and meditate in the evenings together. And, sometimes our older two will sit with us as well.

But we've, we were just talking about this and we noticed that, when we do meditate, and we do take time for ourselves. Things tend to run more smoothly, including bedtime.

So like when we are more calm, present and patient, Like we bedtime goes, maybe it takes half the time. You know, like when we take it, like we're doing all the same things, all the same routine, but things go a lot more smoothly. That's one of like, that's a huge plus to us, right?

We can see the benefit right there. Because when we're taking that time to, for ourselves to connect and calm ourselves, it helps us to be more present with our kids.

Catherine Wilde:

Then they feel seen and connected with, which helps to create a feeling of safety for them. Um, and it helps them settle down for bedtime. And another, another place that I've seen the benefit of this too, is with running a business.

So with like three little kids and homeschooling finding time to work can be challenging. There are small opportunities here and there to do work during the day.

And so, when I do take care of myself and meditate, I find that the time that I have it more productive that I'm able to focus and I have more clarity and I feel less scattered. And so just in all the different areas of your life, you can see the benefits of having a meditation practice.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes, I love that because I feel like I should have just meditated with my, my oldest son to get him ready for bed, but I think, and it just goes so along with the breath, cause like when you just taking those few moments to like calm your mind and like our brains are so busy today, like, you know what I mean?

We have so many things going on, like between kids and if you're running a business and homeschool. All of those things, it's like, you always have something right here in your brain.

And I know as moms, I heard this somewhere, like the things that we carry in our brain is like astronomical. Like the things we're constantly thinking of. So that's a really good reason why we need to like journal and just get everything out because then you don't need to carry it around anymore.

But I feel like putting the breath in the meditation like together is just like, so calming it really truly, it truly does help. So thank you for sharing that, especially with your husband too. I think that's so great.

Catherine Wilde:

Yeah. There's lots of different types of meditation. But I'd like to keep it really simple and just bring your focus to your breath. Cause that's always with you. And as Kaitlin just showed us, like we can practice, breathing into our diaphragm, which adds even more of an element of calming.

Kaitlin Spano:

Right. It brings more oxygen to your brain. So it's like, you know, it's just like increasing your blood flow and just making you feel, just making you feel better all over. And like your brain controls your muscles. So like just that state of relaxation is really helpful.

One thing I really like to do, if you're a nursing mom is when I'm nursing, anytime I'm nursing, I like really try to focus on my breathing. Cause it just puts me in a really good place for those like few minutes. If you don't have other kids on top of you at the same time, but I just wanted to share that.

Catherine Wilde:

Maybe even if you do.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes, maybe even if you do. “Let's calm down here, everybody breathe.”

Breath Awareness Techniques for Kids

Catherine Wilde:

For older kids, like just, you know, bringing breath into their life and that, you know, kind of a mindfulness practice for them. Um, we do in our house, we love to do hand breathing.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yeah, I was just thinking. I saw someone one time, like pretending you're tell them like you're holding a cup of cocoa or something. So you like, you breathe it in and then you, but like you breathe in the smell and then you blow out. You like cool it off. Oh wait, I don't know if that's something, but thank you for reminding me of that because I'm going to write it down now.

Catherine Wilde:

That's a good one. Yeah. But the one that we do is just like, you hold your hand up. If you can see my hand and you just take your other fingers. So they always have their hand and they always have their breath with them. And so, and my kids will even bring it up themselves sometimes. Now I'm like, can we do hand breathing mom? And I'm like, yeah we can.

Catherine Wilde:

Hold one hand up in front of you. Take the pointer finger of your other hand and put it at the base of your thumb. And as you move your finger up your thumb you breathe in. You can even teach your kids to breathe in through their diaphragm. And then breathe out as you trace down your thumb.

Kaitlin Spano:

Okay. So everybody do this with us.

Catherine Wilde:

And then breathe in, as you trace up and breath out as you trace down your fingers. Let your hand guide you. You've always got your hand and your breath with you. And once your done mom and child will have taken five deep calming breaths. Now with things, get kind of like if they're feeling overwhelmed or big feelings, my kids will ask “mom, can we do hand breathing?”

Kaitlin Spano:

That's such a great tool too. Cause even like, if a mom needs it, you know, like break, break it out. And if they know what that is to be like, okay, everybody, you know? I love that. Thank you for sharing that. So there's a comment right here. It says “Another bonus of that is that the baby confirms a belly breath breathing pattern.”

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes. And if you notice, if you watch your kiddos, if you truly watch them breathe, you'll see that they breathe in their belly. Like they breathe the way that we're supposed to.

So if you want like some cues on that, do it, like I'm always in all when I watch my kids or like if they're moving stuff around, like I, I watch their core and it's like such a beautiful functioning core. So make sure you check out your kiddos for that.

Okay. Does anyone have any questions before we get started or I really liked what you just did with your hands, the hand thing. So I feel like we should do that a little bit more. We're going to start a little breath awareness meditation now. So everybody get comfortable.

Breath Awareness Meditation

Catherine Wilde:

So just close your eyes. If you can, if you're not driving or doing something, you need your eyes open for. Or you can soften your gaze. And I love to place my hand over my heart. Just as like a way to physically connect with yourself. So if that feels good to you, go for it and then become aware of your breath. Just start to notice the air as it enters your nostrils.

Catherine Wilde:

Follow that breath in and let it fill up your diaphragm.

Catherine Wilde:

Feel your rib cage contract, as it comes as your breath flows back out and just honor yourself today for taking this time for, you. Know, that you're worthy of taking this time for you.

Catherine Wilde:

And now if you, if you'd like to bring your attention to just under your hand, right at your heart space, and imagine that there's a ball of light, there. Just a small ball of light.

And this light symbolizes your love and your true essence, your spirit. Watch this ball as it starts to expand and fills up the space under your hand. Keep breathing into your diaphragm, let this light expand and fill up your chest and your belly.

Catherine Wilde:

As the light comes to each area, allow that, that part of your body to soften and relax. Breathe into each area of your body. Now, allow the light to spread down your legs, into the tips of your toes.

See it fill up your shoulder area. Allow your shoulders to relax down away from your ears. And watch the light as it goes all the way down your arms to your fingertips. And see the light as it fills up your head. Allow your jaw and cheeks to soften your forehead, to release.

Now, feel this light all over your body and allow it to radiate out of your body. See it, fill the room, your love, fill your house, surrounds your kids and your family and flow out to all of those that you love.

And everyone you come in contact with. The world needs your beautiful light mama. So let it shine. Bring your attention back to your breath. And when you're ready, you can let your eyes gently open.

Kaitlin Spano:

That was so great. Thank you. I just love that words like to release your jaw. Like all those things get so tight and it's like such a reminder to relax.

Catherine Wilde:

I love that the light filling sort of meditations because have you heard the quote from Marianne Williamson?

She says “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It's our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small doesn't serve the world and there's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”

And I think as women, we tend to hold back our, you know, our light, our beauty, because we don't want to outshine someone else, but really where we're doing a disservice to the world. And so let your light shine. I love that message.

Kaitlin Spano:

It's it's so, so true. It's so true.

Catherine Wilde:

Yeah. I love it. Thank you.

Kaitlin Spano:

No, I feel nice. And I calm. I could go to bed. Yes.Does anyone have any questions, please make sure you go follow Catherine @soulcaremom. She has a great Instagram feed and some great little meditation programs too. So

Catherine Wilde:

And Kaitlin, you got all your training videos on YouTube as well, right?

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes. I have some up on YouTube and I have another group coaching coming up.

Catherine Wilde:

So exciting!

Kaitlin Spano:

Thank you for joining us, everybody.

Catherine Wilde:

Yes, thank you! Sending you Love!!

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