Meditation has been gaining popularity in the past few years and it’s one of the habits that many successful people have in their morning or evening routine. It has been proven that meditating regularly can help you relax, relieve anxiety and stress, and improve your overall physical and mental health.
With so many benefits it would make sense for everybody to practice meditation daily. However, we are often busy or tired or we simply find it hard to just sit still for minutes that feel much longer while trying to focus on the breath or let go of our thoughts.
Taking up meditation can be challenging, especially when you don’t know where to start. Ideally, find yourself either a course or an app or video that can help you. Guided meditations can be extremely helpful in the beginning, when your mind keeps wandering and staying still is a big challenge. As you grow used to the practice, you can also start to simply meditate on your own with no external help.
If you’re just getting started and you are lost among all the different types of meditation that can help you relax and destress, here are three of the most common types.
Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that consists of becoming aware of all the thoughts racing through your head. It’s a way of slowing down, clearing your mind, and becoming more focused on the present moment. During the meditation practice you should pay attention to whatever thought comes to mind and without forcing yourself to avoid thinking, just acknowledging the thoughts and letting them go, bringing your attention back to the present moment and to your body and breath. This kind of meditation can be done for as little as three to five minutes and it can help you clear your mind and calm down. It’s important not to judge yourself during the practice. Your mind will wander and that is totally normal. Be gentle with yourself and you will notice improvements.
Body scan meditation
The body scan meditation consists of focusing on your body and the sensations you are feeling at the present moment. This is a great type of meditation to release tension that you may not even be aware of. During the meditation practice, you will focus on different areas of your body and pay attention to the sensations you are feeling. This can allow you to become aware of whether you are holding tension or you feel pain or discomfort in a specific part of your body and relax. If you’ve never done a body scan meditation before, try a guided one. It’s easier to focus on the present with this kind of meditation as it requires you to actively focus on very specific parts of the body, starting from the feet and moving all the way up to the head or vice-versa.
Breath awareness meditation
The breath is an important part of all types of meditation but in breath awareness meditation, it is the main part. This is a kind of mindful meditation that requires you to focus your attention on the breathing. During the practice, you should breathe slowly and deeply, usually inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. When breathing in the belly expands and when breathing out it contracts. You may either simply focus on breathing or count the breaths. This kind of meditation will help you relax, reduce anxiety, and feel better.