Do you feel the need to get back on track with your inner self? Meditation could do the trick for you.
Here’s how you can get started:
The different types of meditation
Meditation has been practiced around the world for centuries to help people create a sense of inner peace, harmony and calm. As the world evolved, more people feel the need to meditate to clear their minds and be more aware of who and what they are.
These are the six most common types of meditations being practiced today:
- Spiritual meditation
Most commonly used in different religious practices like Hinduism and Christianity, spiritual meditation is a form of prayer aimed at seeking a deeper connection with the universe or your god. It can be practiced in a place of worship or at home and essential oils like sandalwood, frankincense and sage are used to make the spiritual experience a lot better.
- Mindfulness meditation
Originating from Buddhism, mindfulness meditation is all about paying attention to your thoughts as they go through your mind. This practice is aimed at helping you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings and different sensations.
- Movement meditation
Aside from yoga, movement meditation can involve simple activities that bring you joy like gardening and taking a walk through the forest. This practice is made for people who find peace in movement instead of just sitting still.
- Focused meditation
If you’re lacking focus in your life, you can practice focused meditation by using one of your five senses. For instance, you can listen to a song and focus on your hearing or you can sit still and focus on your breathing.
- Transcendental meditation
Considered the most popular form of meditation, transcendental meditation focuses on using a mantra that’s specific to each one. This is the perfect practice if you want to incorporate meditation into your daily life.
- Mantra meditation
Probably the most distinctive among all meditation practices, mantra meditation uses a word, sound or phrase to bring focus and clear the mind.
The popular “om” sound that you often hear comes from this practice and once you master your mantra, you can already get into a deeper level of awareness about yourself and your surroundings.
The basics of meditation
If you’re ready to get started with meditation, here are a few steps that you can follow:
- Pick a quiet spot in your house where you feel most comfortable in. To get settled, sit still for a few minutes and just embrace the quiet of the space as you prepare your mind and body for the meditation.
- Close your eyes and start focusing on your breathing. Inhale and exhale while paying attention to each breath.
- Notice your breath as it goes to your belly and on your nose. Keep your attention to your breathing for at least two minutes.
The steps to meditating
After you’re used to the basic meditation practice, you can start to incorporate meditation into your daily routine. Here’s how:
- Set a time limit for meditation. It could be as short as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes to an hour. Don’t push yourself to go beyond what you’re comfortable in. If you’re just starting, a 10-minute meditation in the morning can already do wonders for you. Slowly ease into the practice by increasing your time limit whenever you’re comfortable.
- Pick your most comfortable position. The idea of meditation is to do whatever your body dictates. You can be comfortable sitting on a chair, you can sit on the floor with your legs crossed or you can kneel. Find your most comfortable position to make sure that you’re at ease during the entire meditation process.
- Feel your breath but be aware of when your mind starts to wander. Focus on inhaling and exhaling during the first few minutes of your meditation.
Your mind will eventually start to wander at some point, so make sure to get back to your breathing. Remember that it’s normal for your mind to wander, so never judge yourself for it. You can always come back to your breathing even if you find yourself lost in other thoughts.
- End your meditation with kindness. When you feel that you’re done with the practice, slowly open your eyes and take a few minutes to appreciate your surroundings.
Hear the sounds, look at the colors and pay attention to how your body feels, what your mind is thinking about and what your emotions are.
Simple meditations throughout the day
Meditation doesn’t have to be long or strict. In fact, you can do different types of meditation throughout the day:
- 1-minute meditation
Perfect for doing in the middle of the day and wherever you are, this 1-minute routine allows you to settle your mind, especially if you’re stressed or anxious about something or you just need to clear your head to be able to make the right decision.
- 10-minute meditation
Once you’re used to shorter meditation practices, you can start embracing the 10-minute routine that focuses on posture, breathing and being in line with your thoughts and emotions.
- 15-minute meditation
This longer practice allows you to sit in a formal meditation pose for 15 minutes and just be one with yourself.
The trick here is always to listen to what your mind, body and soul tells you. There’s always a time for meditating longer or shorter depending on what you need at the moment. There are no hard-and-fast rules with meditation, after all. You just have to focus on what works for you.
Meditation can be extremely beneficial if done right and practiced consistently. In a time where we’re all living such fast-paced lives filled with stress and pressures to belong, meditation brings us back to the very essence of our being and allows us to appreciate the peace and calm within that.
So if you feel that you’ve been sidetracked, overwhelmed or just tired, you might want to give meditation a try and you’ll surely be surprised with all its benefits.