People come to meditation for different reasons, at different points in their life and all have different experiences. So of course, it is only normal that there are multiple styles to suit the varying minds.
Within your meditation journey, it is beneficial to try different techniques so that you can try and see which approach works best for you. Maybe even mix it up and change it around depending on how you are feeling.
Incorporating meditation into your daily lifestyle can impact your mindset and outlook on life. It is a powerful practice and can do wonders for your mental health if you begin with an open mind and have patience.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a wellness practice used to create awareness, train attention and bring yourself to a calm and relaxed state, mentally and physically.
If you are just starting, take a look at a few things it is good to know before you begin your meditation journey.
The benefits of meditation
Studies and research have shown that meditation can have a massively positive impact on our lives. Just a few of the benefits include:
Reducing stress and anxiety
Increase of positive thoughts
Lessen impulsive, emotional reactions
4 different meditation techniques
Mindfulness meditation is the process of being fully present with your thoughts. To be mindful is to remain aware and present in the moment, without worrying about the past or the future.
This technique involves following the flow of the breath as you inhale and as you exhale, observing when your mind gets distracted and then returning to the breath. Notice when thoughts enter, knowing that is ok and normal, but just trying to look at them and not be reactive to them.
You can practice mindfulness meditation anywhere. Sitting in a quiet space, on your daily commuter or even as you are walking.
Gazing meditation is where you choose a focal object, external or within the mind and gaze at. Aim to blank out other objects around your focal point. This helps you relax and lets your mind become quiet and still.
A mantra is a word, syllable or phrase that you repeat. Your mantra can be spoken, whispered or chanted aloud or in the mind.
This technique is used to declutter the mind by focusing on only your mantra, freeing yourself from negative thoughts or distractions.
To begin, sit upright and focus on your breathing, then start repeating your mantra. Try to relax and let your mind completely focus on your mantra. Remove any pressure and just enjoy your practice. The mantra you repeat is entirely your decision, some common choices are:
Positive affirmations (e.g I am content)
Chakras refer to spiritual centres of the body, imagine swirling wheels of energy. We believe there to be seven chakras, each located at different parts of the body. Through chakra meditation you can cleanse, clear and balance your chakras, keeping you happy and healthy!
To practice this technique, sit in a comfortable upright position, with the spine straight. Breathing deeply, focus on each chakra, one at a time, spending a few minutes on each chakra, noticing any tension or differences between the chakras.
With all techniques of meditation, is it normal for your mind to wander away from your intention or focus. That doesn't make you a bad meditator or mean you are doing it wrong. If anything, it makes you human. When you notice your mind wandering, just bring it back to your focus, mantra, breath and continue.