How to Meditate | What's Your Style?
While setting your wellness goals for stress free life, you most likely will find yourself guided towards the practice of meditation.
There are many different meditation methods, that can roughly be divided into two main groups: directive and nondirective.
Directive meditation involves focusing all of your attention on the breath, an image or a mantra. The goal, in doing so, is to suppress distractions and other meandering thoughts. These kinds of meditative practices are known for being the most accessible and are considered the go-to practices for beginners in search of peace of mind.
Having to focus is often important in learning the art of mediation, however concentration in and of itself is not meditation. Concentration is one-pointedness of mind - a single minded focus on distinct object without interruption. Meditation, on the other hand, is free of any particular factor. It is a pure noticing state.
Specific Types of Directive Meditation
1. Mindfulness Meditation:
Probably the simplest form of meditation, making it the most suitable for beginners, as it solely entails being in the present moment, and silencing all other thoughts and outside noise. Though simple, this type of meditation is not always easy, particularly if you’re someone that struggles to clear your head and silence the winds of your mind. If you’re one of those people, this type of meditation may prove to be the most beneficial, if you’re up for a challenge! To try Mindfulness Meditation, sit in a quiet space and try focusing on your breathing. Then - let go of all judgement. If negative thoughts do creep in, let go of them and simply focus on the silence and just be in the moment.
2. Guided Meditation:
An instructor-led form of meditation that guides you through the process. Different techniques are taught in these sessions, such as body scans and affirmations, and it’s a great option for those who prefer instruction or get distracted easily. The guided style is particularly effective if you have specific mental wellness goals for your meditation - something you’re trying to eliminate or achieve, like reducing accumulated physical tension, mental strain, or overcoming overwhelming emotions. There are plenty of podcasts and helpful apps
that offer guided sessions - such as Headspace
- to guide you towards peace of mind and stress free life. If you’re interested in building healthy habits, try it out!
This is a yoga and meditation practice of developing
simultaneously concentration and mindfulness. Mindfulness directs the power of concentration. This style of yoga teaches the practitioners to emphasize the awareness function at the start; there will be so much to be aware of, that concentration will be literally impossible. At the early stages of the practice you will realize how incredibly active the mind really is. You will notice distractions much more quickly and be able to pull your mind out of them to return to the formal object of attention. Once this concentration is developed, mindfulness will happen in time. However, Mindfulness grows only one way: by continuous practice of it, by simply trying to be mindful, and that means - being patient, without being forced.
Types of Nondirective Meditation
1. Transcendental Meditation:
This type of meditation involves the repetition of a mantra, or a positive saying that has significance to you and your life. It is recommended to practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day, in 20 minute sessions. This is a great approach if your goal is to promote relaxation, alleviate stress, or promote positivity, self-development and power of balance. This is a good type of meditation for those who struggle to clear the mind and be in the moment, as the mantra guides you in a sense and allows you to focus on your intention. This is a beneficial practice for anyone looking to lift their mood, is recovering from a trauma or experiencing extreme stress or depression.
2. Acem Meditation
If you’re not instantly connecting with the chosen sitting practice, don’t give up! There doesn’t have to be some instant huge revelation or amazing epiphany. Regular practice of meditation will naturally develop your ability to control stress, deepen your connection to yourself and ultimately fine tune your sense of purpose of how you spend your time and energy. If you stick with your chosen meditation practice, the practice itself can truly change the way your brain operates, hence makes you feel. Centered, connected, cool, calm and collected. Imagine that!