Do you frequently feel overwrought, burned out, or just flat-out tired for most of your day? Or, you might often be experiencing a burden you just can’t shake off? These problems associated with stress and anxiety are becoming so common that we always know 2 or 3 people suffering from them, if not ourselves.
To fight this rapidly spreading demon, meditation is the ultimate weapon. What was considered a hoax just a few decades back is now one of the fastest-growing methods for staying mindful and mentally healthy. New studies unravel new secrets and benefits about this ancient practice every day. So, let’s jump in and dive into the world of meditation.
This article will unfold what meditation is, the different types of meditation, and how you can practice them for a peaceful and mindful lifestyle.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a technique used for thousands of years by ancient gurus, healers, and medical professionals to develop an awareness and consciousness of the present moment. According to old beliefs, it is also used to achieve spiritual enlightenment and connect to the divine.
Despite these claims, meditation refers to focusing on the mind and developing consciousness to help achieve clarity and peace. It is the practice of thinking deeply or focusing on the inside for a while. It can be done in a quiet environment or with the help of chanting mantras for several reasons.
According to a study by Harvard University, meditation offers numerous physiological benefits to the human body by rebuilding the brain’s gray matter, which is responsible for thinking, perceiving, and cognitive functions. Furthermore, meditation can be an excellent method for staying healthy physically and mentally.
Types of meditation techniques
Many experienced meditators agree that daily meditation can offer numerous mental and physical health benefits. However, they probably won’t agree on the best type of meditation technique.
The reason is that everyone has different requirements. One technique might work better for one and not for the other. Not to mention that there are hundreds of meditation techniques originating from various traditions, spiritual backgrounds, and religions.
- There is no certified technique that will work for everybody. Instead, our individual preference allows us to choose the best meditation type for ourselves. Here is a list of different types of meditation practices to get you started.
1. Guided meditation
Also known as Visualization, it is a method of meditation that has gotten widely popular over the last few years. Guided meditation is a beautiful way to calm and relax the body. It is a method of meditation in which you imagine situations and environments which you find soothing.
In guided meditation, a guide or teacher is generally responsible for helping the meditator in a successful session.
Steps to follow
The main thing in guided meditation is to find a teacher you connect well with. However, you can also take the help of apps that offer guided meditation sessions, such as Joyscore.
2. Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness or present moment meditation teaches us to shift our focus from thinking to sensing. This meditation technique emerged from Buddhist teachings and has been a popular form of meditation in the West.
It is a process of being fully present with your thoughts. Being mindful means being aware of our surroundings, what we’re doing, and not being overly reactive to what’s happening around us.
Steps to follow
- Start by sitting in a comfortable position.
- Focus on inhaling and exhaling air through your nose.
- At some point in time, you will get distracted with your thoughts. Don’t chase them. Acknowledge your thoughts and come back to focusing your breath.
- Try to make it an everyday hobby to see significant results.
3. Metta Meditation
Metta meditation focuses on strengthening feelings of compassion, empathy, and acceptance toward others and even ourselves. Also known as Loving-Kindness meditation, this meditation technique stems from Theravada Buddhism. Metta meditation is the practice of directing good wishes and good vibes toward others.
Steps to follow
- Sit in a comfortable position with a quiet surrounding.
- Close your eyes, bring your awareness to your chest and the heart as you breathe in.
- Direct thoughts and feelings towards gratitude and love for others and yourself.
- Keep directing love and kindness towards others regularly, even for someone you don’t like.
4. Chakra meditation
The term chakra refers to “wheel” or a “disk” in the ancient language of Sanskrit. In chakra meditation, the word Chakra is a wheel of energy or “aura.” According to ancient scriptures, the human body contains seven chakras that you must unlock for mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Chakra meditation focuses on aligning and opening the chakras of your body. Each chakra has a special sound or “mantra” attached to it.
Steps to follow
- Find a comfortable position with your legs crossed.
- Start by breathing slowly and evenly.
- Concentrate on the first chakra by focusing on its bodily location and repeating the mantra associated with it.
- Work your way up to the last chakra known as the crown chakra.
5. Vipassana meditation
Vipassana meditation is one of the oldest existing Buddhist meditation practices today. It is also known as Insight Meditation and comes from the Satipatthana Sutta, a discourse attributed to the Buddha himself. This meditation technique involves sitting in a quiet surroundings, focusing on the breath, and noticing any physical or mental sensations that surface.
Steps to follow
- Sit on a cushion with your back erected, legs crossed, and straight spine.
- Focus on your breathing through your nose or rising and falling of your stomach.
- Let your mind wander for a while and come back to focusing on your breath.
- Continue this practice daily to see significant benefits.
There are hundreds of different types of meditation to start a simple meditation practice. Although, meditation doesn’t have to be a head-scratching task. It can be a simple task such as deep breathing or taking a peaceful walk. In the end, Whichever meditation style you choose, it is crucial to do it regularly and make it a habit to see the best results.
If you need a virtual guide to meditation, download Joyscore for an easy and effective meditation experience