10 types of meditation: benefits and tips
Meditation can calm our thoughts and reduce stress
Meditation is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Just as your body benefits from regular physical exercise, your brain benefits from mental exercise.
Through techniques that encourage focused attention to the body, meditation helps us stay in the present instead of worrying about the future (anxiety) or saddening us for the past (depression). Like a detox for the mind, meditation can calm our thoughts and reduce stress-releasing hormones in our body.
Most meditation practices involve focusing on:
- Be aware of your breathing patterns and make a conscious effort to breathe deeply and regularly.
- Chanting a mantra over and over for a fixed number of times.
- Focus on an image.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate, and what works best for you depends on your lifestyle, schedule, and energy level. You can try different techniques to find the right one for you. Below, we discuss the 10 most effective types of meditation practices and how they work.
Yogic breathing techniques and asanas (postural exercises) originate from Hinduism and help stretch joints and muscles. This practice requires intense concentration and can help clear the mind of random thoughts.
2. Mantra meditation
Also rooted in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, mantra meditation involves chanting a mantra like the popular “om” or a simple phrase like “I am happy” while you breathe deeply and observe the thoughts flowing in and out of your mind. react to it. .
3. Guided meditation
This technique forces you to sit still, close your eyes, and imagine places or situations that you find relaxing. A meditation teacher or app will guide you in using certain sounds (sea waves and chirping birds) or smells (incense, essential oils, etc.) to achieve a deep meditative state. This is similar to the Japanese practice called Reiki, which uses guided meditation techniques with the help of a âReiki Masterâ. Reiki techniques harness the power of the subconscious to control our body functions such as blood pressure, hormones, and anxiety.
4. Tai chi
Tai chi is a form of Chinese martial arts that involves performing a series of postures and movements at your own pace in a controlled manner while practicing deep breathing. It helps keep muscles flexible and controls your reaction to stress.
5. Progressive muscle relaxation
This practice is based on the belief that physical relaxation will result in mental relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation techniques involve alternating tension and relaxation of muscle groups in the body in a particular order, and this is often done before sleep. This is especially helpful if you suffer from anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or insomnia. It has also helped people with migraines, tension headaches and blood pressure.
During visualization meditation, a guide or app prompts you to imagine something in your mind. It can be a landscape, your happy place, or a pleasant memory from your childhood. By visualizing a positive image and focusing on it, you can begin to slowly let go of the stress of the day.
7. Reflective meditation
Reflective meditation invites you to ask yourself a question and think about it deeply, such as “What are you most grateful for?” Focusing on a positive emotion like gratitude can drive away feelings of anxiety or irritability.
8. Zen meditation
This is an ancient Buddhist technique of sitting upright and observing your breath, the way it enters and leaves the body. Instead of focusing on a specific object, you are encouraged to just “be” and not think of anything in particular.
9. Meditation in motion
If you find sitting in one place tedious, moving meditation may be the technique for you. Have you ever wondered why crushing a stress ball or kneading dough can be so relaxing? Or have you felt the need to walk around on your own to collect your ideas? Or sitting at the beach listening to the waves crashing on the shore and watching the sand sift through your fingers? Such practices are meditative because these movements connect you to your inner self.
10. Contemplative meditation
For some people, journaling, dancing, gardening and painting can be powerful meditative practices that help them integrate their bodily actions with their minds and thus burn nervous mental energy.
What are the benefits of regular meditation?
Tips for good meditative practice
- Pick a fixed time and place to meditate.
- Choose a position that is comfortable and relaxing, but one that will not make you fall asleep.
- Start your meditation journey with a trained expert.
- Keep in mind that some yoga and tai chi poses may not be right for you, especially if you are pregnant or have back problems or arthritis.
- Patience is the key. Meditation is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
- Take small steps at first and gradually increase the intensity.
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Medical examination on 04/30/2021