In our fast-paced life, it is natural to feel stressed and anxious. You may even lose sleep for many days and find your focus and efficiency decreasing. It is during times like this that meditation helps in rewinding and recharging and getting back in the right mindset. These days even when you don’t have time to attend meditation classes, you can tune into online meditation classes and reap the benefits after a long day or at the beginning of a fresh morning.
Online meditation takes you into a word of your own, with instructors directing, and you following their lead. As a beginner, you may find it challenging to enjoy the silence, but with practice, you’ll be able to sit and focus quietly and observe the benefits of meditation in your daily life.
Why Online Meditation is Popular in 2021
Globally, there has been a rise in online meditation by over 3000%. Especially after the pandemic, many people practice meditation to reduce stress after merging work and homestay. The life-like and in-person experience of online sessions make them a hit. So, as the word zooms ahead, are you ready to invest in yourself a bit? If yes, then we are here to help you.
How Online Meditation Works
Online meditation works as a live and digital meditation class. The only difference is that you are following your instructor through the headphones, either via an audio or video guide. This type of mediation is also known as guided meditation.
Online meditation allows you to tune into the session any time of the day or night and begin your session. You should keep a comfortable space and have headphones to listen to your mentor, who would guide you with the session.
Benefits of Meditating Daily
Whether online or in-person, guided meditation has many benefits. It trains your mind to focus and reduces your stress and anxieties, helping you stay healthy all the time. There are various benefits of meditation. Some of these are:
Stress is one of the vital problems faced by people today and it can be resolved with meditating daily. Multiple studies have shown that meditation reduces the production of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Studies have also been correlated to the decrease in inflammation caused due to increasing stress.
While reducing stress, meditating daily can relieve you of your mental and emotional distresses and troubles. Multiple studies have observed that practicing meditating daily can improve your emotional well-being, and reduce negative and harmful chemicals from your body.
Improved Attention Span
Focused attention is a mental exercise akin to weight lifting. Studies on focused meditation have shown that individuals who practiced meditation daily displayed a longer attention span than those who did not meditate regularly.
Age-Related Memory Loss
Besides emotional and mental well-being, meditation has also been shown to reduce memory loss caused due to ageing.
One of the most critical benefits of meditation is fighting an array of addiction and substance abuse. In various studies, meditations were found to decrease subjects’ dependence on alcohol, food, smoking and other substances.
Types of Online Meditation
There are various types of meditation now available that cater to multiple needs. Some of those types are:
Mindfulness originated from Buddhist teachings and it helps you remain attentive to your thoughts. This type of meditation enables you to increase your self-awareness, and improves focus and concentration. Mindfulness does not require a teacher and can be practiced alone easily.
Focused meditation is a specific type of meditation used to improve focus by helping you concentrate on your senses. Performing this meditation may involve focusing on breathing, staring at a candle flame, listening to a rhythm, and reciting a particular mantra.
Spiritual meditation is very similar to prayer and it helps you reflect on the silence around you. Praying helps you develop a closer connection with God. You may even use certain essential oils such as frankincense, sandalwood, cedar, and even myrrh to improve your meditation session. You can practice this type of meditation at your place of worship or home.
Mantra meditation originated from Vedic texts and Buddhist teachings. It helps you focus while you recite a mantra. It uses the concept of repetitive sound to prevent the mind from wandering. Most beginners prefer mantra meditation as repetition makes it easier to mediate.
Movement meditation is quite contrary to the concept of general meditation. Instead of silence and lack of action, this type of meditation helps de-stress by walking in the woods or any other environment, and by encouraging you to enjoy any serene form of motion.
This is also referred to as body scan meditation, wherein you aim to reduce the tension in your body. It helps you relax your body’s muscles one at a time, and is practiced just before bed.
This is a popular type of meditation wherein you recite a customizable mantra or a series of words. It is mainly recommended for those who are very serious about their practice of meditation.
Visualization Meditation is a particular type of meditation that enhances the feeling of relaxation and peace by helping visualize positive images and scenes.
This type of meditation ignites the feeling of kindness and compassion, not just for yourself but for others as well.
What to Do Before Meditation
There are a few things you must do before beginning your meditation session. These are:
– Prepare your space for meditation
– Question and motivate yourself for meditation
– Set a goal for meditation
– Do not judge yourself before the session
– Commit yourself to the target of meditation
– Improve your posture
– Set your timer for meditation
How to Start Meditating
You should practice the following steps to begin your meditation session:
- Sit comfortably. It is important to be comfortable in your seating position, as discomfort should not be your focus during the session.
- Close your eyes. Closing your eyes also prevents your mind from wandering. It helps you stay focused.
- Do not control your breath. Focusing on your breath is not the same as controlling your breathing. You must figure out where you feel your breath and focus on your inhale and exhale routines.
- Focus your attention and practice the methodology as per the type of meditation you have chosen.
Meditation teaches us to focus on our breath, primarily. When you concentrate on inhaling and exhaling patterns, you prevent the mind from wandering off. It builds our muscles for meditation, and helps us to be present in the moment.
In addition to this, it is important to notice when your mind is wandering. You must be kind to yourself and not judge when your mind wanders off to different thoughts. It is the realization that matters.
How Long Should You Meditate?
Most studies based on mindfulness suggest that you must practice time meditation for forty to forty-five minutes every day. But in general, you could practice meditation for twenty minutes every day, any time of the day, to reap long-term benefits.
Much Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) generally encourages meditation for at least forty to forty-five minutes. If you practice transcendental meditation, you must practice it at least twenty minutes two times a day. You could even meditate for 10 minutes. Therefore, even though meditation appears to be simple, no optimal period has been determined for its practice. You must do the amount of time that can be a challenge for your mind & body.
Tips for Meditating Properly
Meditation, like everything else, will only improve with regular practice. You could follow these tips to enhance your meditation session:
- Practice meditation without expectations. You may usually expect a lot from a session when you are about to start. It is always advised to begin a session without expectations, and begin the session with an open mind. This not only helps you achieve your best, but also allows you to stay relaxed and non-judgmental.
- Stick to the time you have chosen to meditate. Meditation, apart from its many health benefits, also helps you stay focused and systematic. Assigning a time to meditate every day would squeeze out time for your meditation by readjusting your activities of the day and ensuring that you do the meditation daily.
- Designate a space for meditation. A noisy and crowded room is not considered an ideal place to meditate. It would help if you chose a quiet and comfortable place in your home or outside where you can meditate exclusively every day.
- Clear your mind before meditation. Beginning a meditation session with a mind full of thoughts would only drag you down. In addition to this, you would not observe any benefits. Therefore, to calm down and reduce stress, you must begin your session with a clear & empty mind.
- Take a few deep breaths before you begin your session. A few deep breaths not only pump your body with a lot of oxygen and boosts you up for the session but also helps you clear your mind and prepare for the session ahead.
- Try to stay as calm and stable as possible throughout the session. You must remain calm throughout the session despite persisting distracting thoughts and worries. Your designated time for meditation is to clear your mind and not to continue thinking. On this note, you should use a mantra to help you stay focused during the entire meditation session. Transcendental meditation employs this meditation technique.
- Breathe. This is one of the crucial aspects. It would be best if you breathed consciously and regularly. The mantra helps you stay focused on the tone and rhythm and enables you to sync it with your breaths.
- Do not judge yourself. It is essential for your mental well-being to not chastise yourself for wandering thoughts. It is always best to acknowledge it and refocus your attention.
- Move slowly when you are done with your session. It is not advised to jump out after the session. Since your body has been calm and pretty much motionless during the entirety of the session, knee-jerk movements might not be good for the body.
Best Online Meditation App
There are many online meditation apps that you could use for a guided meditation for free. Some of these apps are Calm, Headspace, Aura, and Smiling Mind. But one of the best platforms to receive guided sessions for meditation is the United We Care app. The UWC platform connects you with trained professionals for a range of mental health and emotional issues, and includes a Self-care section with resources for mental self-help.