The practice of meditation is about bringing your mental activity into a calm and stable state of awareness. Over a period of time, this triggers a relaxation response in the brain and produces remarkable positive results. The mind learns to naturally manage some built-up tension or stress, and these sensations are then translated to the entire body – resulting in healing effects. In this article, you’ll learn the best meditation techniques you can easily learn today.
Best Meditation Techniques for Everyday Practice
You might be thrilled to know that some of the most celebrated public figures in entertainment as well as the business industries, have admitted meditating to practice focus and concentration. From the singing sensations Madonna, Paul McCartney and Katy Perry to LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner and the famous Oprah Winfrey have gone on record to talk about how meditation changed their lives for good.
How Meditation Benefits the Mind
Practicing meditation could have a profound effect on your life. When viewed as a tool for mind management, meditation has the potential to improve one’s career path, relationships, attitude as well as sharpness of the mind.
Science of Meditation
A study conducted by Harvard Medical School concludes that a meditating brain has greater memory retention. Some scientists even suggest that certain meditation techniques result in increased grey matter in the hippocampus, i.e. the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
Interestingly, mediation could also act as a pain reliever. A Wake Forest Baptist University research claims that a meditative mind could inhibit the pain levels by 40% and the related sensations by almost 60%, as opposed to morphine and other medical drugs that reduce pain by less than 25%.
Stress reduction is one of the most known reasons people adopt the practice of meditation. This consequently helps with anxiety issues as well. People with psychological distress, mood swings or discontentment often practice different types of meditation to control their mind and change their outlook towards life. Evidently, meditation compliments mental health quite well.
How Meditation Improves Mental Health
Life in modern times is hard as it is. Plus, the complexities of daily life make it hard for some people to deal with their everyday problems. Calm meditation techniques could aid in tackling day-to-day stressors, be it an occupation burnout or a strained relationship. Just like a physically-ill body requires the help of a physician, a tired and heavy mind requires some attention as well. It is a globally understood fact that meditation can have a profound impact on one’s mental health. People increasingly believe that it helps in raising concentration levels and lowering stress-related anxiety and depression. While meditation might not solve your actual problems, it could certainly give you the strength to deal with them.
Top Meditation Techniques for Beginners and Experts
Here are the top meditation techniques for beginners and experts:
1. Open Monitoring Meditation
Open Monitoring Meditation is about having an open mind to anything that enters your state of awareness while meditating, or even through the moment-to-moment aspects of daily life. You could practice it first thing in the morning. Just observe your inner dynamic without judgment or the need to add anything. Do not draw a particular feeling or thought for the next 10-20 minutes after waking up. Let yourself know what’s going inside you, and eventually, this technique will grant you a deep sense of liberation. This state of present awareness is often referred to as mindfulness.
2. Focused Attention Meditation
The technique of Focused Attention Meditation has a clear intention. A popular sub-type is object meditation, where you have to fix your gaze on a single ‘point’ for a certain period of time, typically 10-15 minutes. This ‘point’ could be any spot on a surface or an object like a candle or pencil. This practice could help with memory and learning skills required in reading, studying or sporting activities. You can practice it before going to bed as it aids in calming the brain’s mental activity. This type of meditation induces focused relaxation in the human mind.
3. Sound Meditation
Sound Meditation is one of the most effective ways of meditating for beginners as well as experts. According to Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan teacher and meditation master, one needs to “just simply be”. He suggests listening to any sound, anytime. Close your eyes and listen to different kinds of sounds around you and just focus on them for some time. This technique will not only help you calm down, but also nail down on what you’re thinking or feeling at that particular moment of time.
4. Breath Meditation
For some, meditation could be a ‘cheat code’ to move forward in life. This technique, when practiced consistently, leads to a greater sense of self-control. All one needs to do is close their eyes and focus on their breath. That’s the essence of this simple technique. Think about exhaling out the tension, and you might feel better with every inhaling breath. Remember to choose a spot where you can sit with a straight back and minimize distractions. If you need some music, opt for some neutral beats or light instrumental music. Avoid loud or vocal music. Don’t exceed your meditation over 20 minutes if you are a beginner.
5. Spiritual Meditation
In Spiritual Meditation, you meditate upon your God. People adopt essential oils of cedar, sandalwood or sage to heighten their spiritual experience. It’s about praying or speaking to God in silence. It could be practiced at home or any place of worship.
6. Walk Meditation
Walk Meditation is a movement-based meditation. This type of meditation is great for those who find peace in pace and let their minds wander. All you need to do is grab a pair of walking shoes and walk through the woods, garden or any serene space. Don’t forget to set your mind free of any thoughts. Just observe your surroundings and observe the natural beauty around you.
7. Mantra Meditation
Mantra Meditation is quite popular in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. In this type of meditation technique, the use of a repetitive sound is made to create a spiritual aura and clear the mind. It could be a world like Om or Ram, or some phrase or specific sound. It doesn’t matter if it’s chanted in silence or aloud. This sound increases the sense of alertness and attunes you to your environment.
8. Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation is a famous form of meditation and a subject of inquiry for many. It takes a more structured and rather serious approach towards meditation. It is a more customized type of mantra meditation. Each practitioner has their own ‘mantra’ or a set of words and duration while practicing this type of meditation technique.
9. Kindness Meditation
Kindness Meditation is a type of meditation for everybody. Known for its power to strengthen feelings of compassion, acceptance as well as positivity, this type of meditation technique is about letting your mind accept love and kindness from others and sending similar vibrations and wishes to anyone you know or around you, whether they are human or not. It works well for people looking to deal with emotions of anger and resentment.
10. Visualization Meditation
Visualization in meditation is for enhancing the sense of calm, peace and relaxation by imagining a picture, scene or positive memory. It is highly effective in increasing focus and motivation and succeeding at specific goals. If your goal is to increase confidence or you are feeling low-spirited, visualize a time when you felt that way and let the energy flow into your awareness. A feeling of strength would gradually start manifesting in real-time as well. This is a very powerful tool that could change one’s personality for good.
Finding the Best Meditation Technique for You
There are different types of meditation to discover and practice. To your benefit, most meditation techniques discussed in this article are suitable for all personality types. There is something for everyone. Also, there is no ‘right way to meditate’. One simply needs to explore until they find what works for them. Perseverance is the key.
Meditation requires time, consistency and patience. There are various forms of meditation. Don’t lose faith if you find yourself in the position of repeated distraction or trial-and-error. Try out different forms and keep identifying what works for you and what doesn’t. If something benefits you even a little bit, stick with it and try to master the type of meditation.
Most Effective Meditation Technique
One of the most important things to consider while meditating is the selection of the environment in which you’ll meditate. Choose a comfortable spot and position, for you won’t be able to commit to the meditation if your attention is compromised. Keep your back straight and breathe. Keep away from your ‘working brain’ – the one that likes to jump to different thoughts or feelings based on bias. Try to bring back your focus and concentrate on what matters most. Think of thoughts as floating clouds. You don’t need to interact with them, so do not worry about their presence. They will come and go. Focus on your breathing, and you will see that you are now ready to take it forward from this state. Choose a type of meditation from the above list and start meditating.
Best Calm Meditation Technique
Sit and relax in a comfortable position and breathe at a slow pace. Now start progressively tensing and relaxing your muscles from head to toe or the other way around. Strain each muscle area for 10 seconds and release all the tension away. This type of calm meditation has gained significant reviews for its effectiveness, and you should definitely try using this technique when starting to learn how to meditate.
If you want to take further help with meditation then play out our guided meditations as a video or audio for helping keep a working mind at bay and reach that peaceful, serene state of mind.