Are you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or disconnected? It can be hard to escape the hustle and bustle of life these days, constantly on-the-go and connected 24/7. Instead of allowing stress to take over your mind and body, imagine being able to tap into ‘the power of calm’. With the help of meditation, a practice that dates back thousands of years, this is possible! Try committing yourself to discovering all that meditation has to offer your well-being by learning about the different types of meditation and how to get started. In this post, we’ll explore the art of ‘letting go’ with an ultimate guide to unlocking the ‘power of calm’.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice that has been used for thousands of years. It is a form of mental exercise in which you focus on a single thought or object. The goal is to achieve a relaxed state of mind and body, which can be done through various methods such as mindfulness, visualisation, mantra repetition, prayer or breathing techniques. By focusing your mind on one particular idea to the exclusion of other thoughts, you can clear your mind from the chaotic and plaguing thoughts that arise due to a hectic lifestyle.
The benefits of incorporating meditation into one’s life are numerous. Research shows that regular practise can reduce stress, improve concentration, boost creativity and problem solving skills, increase self-awareness, and promote positive emotions like gratitude, joy and inner peace. Meditation can also assist you to stay present in the moment through learning to wittness your thoughts, sensations and feelings without judgment or attachment or becoming the emotion that arises. Practitioners report feeling connected to a larger sense of purpose and wholeness due to the ability to observe their own thoughts objectively. Additionally, meditation practise has been known to positively affect physical health by reducing blood pressure, increasing immunity, relieving chronic pain and improving sleep quality as well as overall well-being by activating the ‘relaxation response, which is the healing response.
Meditation is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to bring more balance into their life. Whether you’re new to the practice or a seasoned meditator looking for new ways to connect with inner yourself, there are many different ways to incorporate meditation into your day-to-day routine. With consistent effort and dedication, you’ll soon be able to reap all the amazing benefits that this powerful practice has to offer!
Overview of Different Types of Meditation
Meditation has been used for thousands of years to help people relax and increase inner peace. It can be done in a variety of ways, sitting, walking, lying down, eyes partially open or closed. Each type of meditation offers its own unique benefits, and it’s important to understand the differences between them so you can choose the best one for your needs.
‘Mindfulness meditation’ involves being aware of experiences in each moment without any judgment or evaluation. This type of meditation assists you become more attentive in the present time and conscious of your thoughts and emotions. You learn to allow them to pass without getting caught up in them. It also encourages self-compassion and acceptance while reducing stress levels. Other types of meditation include loving-kindness meditation, which focuses on cultivating feelings of love and kindness towards yourself and others; Transcendental Meditation and other tantric and yogic meditations involve mentally repeting a specific mantra sound vibration to reach a state of deep relaxation; chakra balancing involves focusing on the energy centres located along the spine and above; and Tantra, Yoga and ‘Kundalini Yoga’ combine breathing techniques with Hatha Yoga postures to open up energy pathways within the body.
Many types of meditation involve sitting in a comfortable position with eyes closed while focusing on breathing patterns or repeating mantras aloud or silently. Though there is a practise of slow walking with the eyes downcast and mind focused on the body. Many people find using props such as blankets, pillows, eye masks, candles and incense useful in relaxing the mind and body. Regardless of your choice in technique, it’s important to remember that even just a few minutes per day can have beneficial effects from reducing stress levels to improved focus, mental clarity and well-being.
Mindfulness meditation cultivates a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s surroundings, and often has both psychological and physical benefits. It encourages you to observe your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an impartial way, arousing insight into your patterns, behaviours and habitual responses. Thus freeing you from negative expressions. Mindfulness meditation is a simple technique; all you need to do is sit in a comfortable position with their eyes closed, focus on your breath and let go of any other thought that arises. Over time, mindfulness meditation can assist you to become calmer, less stressed, more empathetic and better able to cope with difficult situations.
Visualisation meditation is a powerful tool for cultivating awareness, clarity, and focus. This type of meditation involves imagining an object such as a flower, tree, or candle flame while focusing on nothing else but the specific idea. Some people are able to see with their eyes closed. If you have that capacity then you hold the image in your mind’s eye. Otherwise simply think of the image. As you become more familiar with the process, you can incorporate different elements of your life into the visualization to help set intentions and work through any concerns or trouble spots. This can be anything from seeing yourself achieving a personal goal to overcoming an obstacle that’s been holding you back. Visualisation meditation also brings clarity and calmness to the mind, allowing you to better experience your own inner wisdom and knowledge. Research conducted by Stanford University has found that this type of meditation can reduce stress, improve emotional wellbeing, boost concentration, enhance creativity, increase self-awareness, and even positively change behavior. With regular practice of visualisation meditation you can gain valuable insight regarding yourself and your life, as well as developing greater control over your thoughts and emotions.
When you start a meditation practise it is best to be guided by another person. This assists in reaching a state of being where all distractions are set aside and your mind readily focuses on the object of meditation. Some types of guided meditation lead you through a story like journey so you connect with your inner creativity. Or you might focus on your breath moving through energy pathways in the body or listen to soundscapes, music, and other forms of guidance tailored to help you reach a deeper level of relaxation. Some types of guided meditation are done lying down, such as Yoga Nidra, where you focus on the body, the breath, a mental imagery and relax deeply to connect with your inner peace. Through the guidance of an experienced teacher, you can fully explore your inner world while finding solace and calm in the present moment. This can be incredibly beneficial for those looking to reduce stress, improve sleep quality and promote greater overall wellbeing.
How to Get Started with Meditation
While sitting or lying down and being still may seem intimidating at first, getting started with meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, anyone can learn how to meditate effectively in just a few minutes each day.
As with any new skill or activity, the key is breaking down the practice into smaller steps that are easy to understand and follow. The most important thing is to start slowly and gradually build up your practice over time. Here are some simple tips that can help you get started with meditation:
1. Find a comfortable spot – Choose a place in your home or outdoors where you can sit without being disturbed by outside noise or distractions. This could be on the floor in your living room, on your bed, in the garden or park, or anywhere else that feels comfortable for you. Make sure there’s good support for your back so you can sit upright without slouching if possible.
2. Set aside time – Make sure you set aside enough time each day to meditate – even if it’s only for five minutes at first! You might want to start by setting aside time once per week and then gradually increase it as you become more confident in your practice.
3. Start small – Don’t expect too much from yourself when starting out; keep your expectations realistic and manageable so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Even just five minutes of mindful breathing each day can make a world of difference when it comes to improving mental clarity and reducing stress levels over time!
4 Use guided audio resources – There are lots of great audio resources available online which can guide beginners through the basics of meditation step-by-step. Listening to these audio files while meditating can also be incredibly helpful as they provide clear instructions on what to do next as well as helpful visualisations which help bring focus and relaxation into the process of learning how to meditate effectively!
Once you’re comfortable with basic meditation techniques such as mindful breathing and/or visualisation, then you may want to explore more advanced topics such as mantra chanting or yoga nidra (yogic sleep). However, for now just focus on getting used to spending time simply sitting still in silence with yourself – this alone will already have tremendous benefits for both your body and mind!