Stress is the number one killer in the world and there are various kinds of meditation you can practice to fight this. One of the most significant stresses that we all face today is the pandemic, and ever since it broke out, many of us have been suffering from anxieties and panic attacks. I can’t blame them though, being affected by Covid-19 is a scary thing! You do not know if you can survive it or not, and this thought alone caused many of us to feel anxious.
When you are anxious, your body tenses up. And when fear sets in, panic attacks follow. Sad to say, this is very real to a lot of people nowadays. That said, practicing meditation will surely help you calm down. What are the most common forms of meditation that you can do? Are they beneficial to us? Here’s what you need to know.
6 Kinds of Meditation You Can Practice
Meditation has been practiced for many years by different cultures. It has also proven to be helpful to the mind and body. If you are looking for ways to meditate, here are six of the best practices you can follow .
1. Breathing Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness is a type of meditation that helps and encourages you to practice mindful breathing. To practice this meditation, you begin by breathing slowly, deeply and counting the breaths you take. The main goal of this meditation is to focus on one’s breathing and ignore other distractions that enter the mind. Breath awareness is a form of mindfulness meditation. It means that this meditation can help reduce any anxiety you feel, be more flexible with your emotions, and improve concentration.
2. Guided Imagery or Visualization
This type of meditation requires the power of imagination to conquer your senses. Your senses will guide your visualization scripts to help you imagine being in a safe place. A sunny beach, wooded forest, or any soothing environment are the common themes for guided imagery during this meditation. It uses your sense of hearing, smelling, and sight as a means to bring positive energy into your body and mind. This meditation also helps expand your capacity for enhanced self-awareness and encourages creativity.
3. Loving-Kindness Meditation or Metta Meditation
The goal of this meditation is to encourage an attitude of kindness and love towards everything. Yes, this even includes your enemies. During this meditation, practitioners open their minds and heart to receive loving-kindness. The key is to repeat this message over time until the practitioner feels a loving and kind attitude.
This kind of meditation promotes loving-kindness and feelings of compassion and trust towards yourself and others. It is also helpful to those suffering from frustration, anger, resentment, and interpersonal conflicts. Practicing this daily increases your positive emotions and reduces negative ones usually linked to anxiety, depression, PTSD, or post-traumatic stress.
4. Mindfulness Meditation
When we say mindfulness meditation, it simply means you are meditating while being present in the moment. It urges you to be aware of your surroundings and be mindful of the present. It teaches you to be in the moment rather than dwelling in the past or thinking about the future. The key to this practice is the lack of judgment. It encourages you to reflect while waiting or waiting without judgment.
5. Gazing Meditation
Also known as Trataka, gazing meditation is a form of cleansing exercise for the eyes. It requires one to fix their gaze on an external object, like a candle’s flame. This practice is done with eyes open initially while gazing at the object and then with eyes closed. It helps in training visualization and concentration of the mind. Once your eyes are closed, your mind’s eye should keep a still image of the item in front of you. Note that this practice is done gently with the idea that sight is the most powerful of all senses. This meditation encourages the practitioner to enhance the stillness of their mind.
6. Progressive Relaxation or Body Scan Relaxation
Another fantastic way to meditate is through progressive relaxation. This type of meditation encourages people to look or scan their bodies for areas where they feel tension. The goal is to ease this tension and release it. During this session, you start at one end of your body and work your way up. In some practices, the practitioner is required to tense up their body and then relax their muscles. Other methods are encouraged to imagine a wave drifting over their body to release tension. When you practice this meditation, you are promoting feelings of relaxation and calmness. This kind of meditation is helpful for those suffering from chronic pain and promotes sleep.
Is Meditation for You?
If you haven’t tried meditation yet, you should give it a try. Practicing this every day has plenty of health benefits! Depending on the meditations you practice, the benefits can come slowly or quickly. Various disciplines teach you to focus on slowed breathing, increased acceptance and heightened awareness – all of which are beneficial to your well-being. In return, you feel less stressed, more accepting of things, and at greater peace.