Our lives are full of busy schedules and a constant stream of information to process, leaving most of us feeling highly stressed by the end of the day.
With so many things demanding our attention, it makes sense that there has been a major increase in people turning to meditation to clear their minds.
Meditating can boost our emotional and physical well-being. People who practice meditation as part of their regular routine have reported higher levels of happiness, patience and compassion. They also show lower levels of stress and frustration, which leads to other benefits like lower blood pressure and increased energy levels.
You also might notice a deeper sense of clarity in different situations, an increased ability to focus, better sleep and an improved memory.
CHOOSE YOUR STYLE
Meditation isn’t one size fits all. There are multiple types of meditation and different techniques that can be used to help achieve the relaxation your body and mind need.
Best for those who don’t like being still
Yoga may be the most practiced form of movement meditation, but it can also be done when walking, gardening and during other gentle movement activities. This type of meditation helps to form mind and body awareness as you focus on each movement you make.
Best for those who want to improve their focus
In this style, you can use any of your five senses to concentrate on one single thing. This can include listening to a gong, counting your breaths, staring at a candle or counting beads. Though it may sound straightforward, it can be a challenge to keep your focus only on one thing. If you catch your mind wandering off, that’s okay; simply bring yourself back to the focus point and continue.
Best for people who don’t like complete silence
In this form of meditation, a simple, calming word or sound like “om” is repeated to help maintain focus. Some people may find this method easier than trying to focus in silence. The vibrations of repeating the mantra can help in creating a positive change and lead to a deep state of meditation.
Best for the high stressed
This method emphasizes having an increased awareness of what you are thinking and feeling in the present moment. It is important to not stop any thoughts or emotions that you have. Instead, observe them without judgement and allow them to pass. This can also be referred to as being purposefully aware and can be practiced anywhere and anytime.
Best for beginners
This form can be led by a teacher or even an app that guides you step-by-step through meditation. Various techniques and other methods can be used including breathing exercises and mindfulness practice.
To feel the full benefits of meditation, it’s important to practice daily. Schedule your meditation into your regular routine to help it become a normal part of your life. Most people begin to see the benefits by meditating for at least 10 minutes a day. However, you can start with five minutes and slowly increase the time over the course of a few weeks or even months. Of course, if you feel overwhelmed during the day, you don’t have to wait until your scheduled time to meditate in order to take a break. Just close your eyes and take a moment for a few deep breaths to quickly refresh anytime.