Have you recently found it difficult to concentrate? Or have you been increasingly stressed and anxious? Learning how to meditate regularly might be just what you need to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing. Here’s what you should know about the different types of meditation and what to expect in a meditation session.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a mind-body practice of learning to quiet the mind by turning your thoughts and focus to your breath, a word/phrase, or physical object. Meditation is a deeply relaxing technique that is now commonly used to improve concentration, alleviates stress and anxiety symptoms, and may even increase your levels of self-awareness.
What are the Different Types of Meditation?
Some popular types of meditation include:
- Mindfulness meditation focuses on bringing your awareness to the present moment, regardless of self-judgment and any distractions that may exist.
- Vipassana meditation, which has its roots in Buddhism, focuses on a body scanning technique where sensations in the body—pain, fatigue, etc.—are acknowledged, but no reaction is taken.
- Transcendental meditation, or TM, is a silent meditation that uses a word or phrase known as a mantra to focus the mind.
- Zen meditation is an ancient Buddhist seated meditation technique that focuses on controlled nasal breathing and being non-reactive to the thoughts and sensations that cross your mind.
It’s also possible to meditate while moving—yoga, qigong, and labyrinth walking are all forms of moving meditation, focused on breathing and bringing your mind’s attention to the present moment. Finding a style of meditation that suits you depends on your lifestyle, interests, and overall personality.
What Are the Benefits of Meditation?
Recent studies indicate that practicing meditation regularly can have numerous benefits. In some cases, you may notice a decrease in anxiety and stress levels after only a few sessions. But, it’s important to note that this can differ from person to person. Meditation has shown to be helpful in the following situations:
- Dealing with pain management
- Helping you sleep better
- Decrease levels of stress and anxiety
- Veterans with PTSD
- Reduce blood pressure and heart rate
- Improve concentration and awareness
What to Expect During a Meditation Session?
Meditation can be challenging. Sticking to a regular practice, whether it is one quick session in the morning or an hour-long guided practice, is key to seeing long term results. Most types of meditation usually involve:
- Finding a location that’s quiet and free from distractions
- Staying in a comfortable position for the duration of the session. Depending on the meditation style, this can be sitting cross-legged, on a chair with feet resting on the floor, walking or lying down
- Focusing your attention on your breath, a physical object, mantra, or body sensations
For more information about the different types of meditation sessions offered, contact Cary Disc Center at (847) 639-0010.