Is there anyone who does not have any kind of stress at all? Clearly not. The crazy busy life we lead today and our self-inflicted pressure and competition make our mind race at a speed that is not quite apt for our healthy existence but regular practice of meditation can help cope up with these pressures. It leads you to discover a sense of calmness, mental peace and makes one more aware of their actions, thoughts and speech.
But which is the most effective type of meditation? The answer is there isn’t one best technique. It depends on individual preference and what works the best for you. Here’s a breakdown of some of the popular types of meditation.
Guided meditation: In this type of meditation, usually a teacher or an expert guides you to imagine or focus on a particular subject through a detailed and beautiful explanation which refreshes us as we distract our mind from worrisome thoughts to what we are being told to focus on. This slows our racing mind and helps centre ourselves. It could be in person or even via a recording, application etc. This technique is most suited for beginners.
Unguided/ mindful meditation: This technique just involves sitting in one calm room/corner and focusing on how the mind works, recognizing the thoughts without judging them and coming back to the object of meditation, such as breath. This self-knowledge helps to overcome impatience and distractions. It has been known to reduce depression, stress, anxiety and help you cope up with difficult situations in life with utmost calmness.
Movement meditation: This is a good choice for people who find it troublesome to sit still for even a few minutes. It encourages one to focus on the body in motion. This type of meditation can be associated with yoga or any form of martial arts. It is aimed at strengthening the nervous system, thus helps cope up better with everyday stress. It also helps to form some form of physical discipline. However, we must take time for ‘Savasana’ aka corpse/ relaxation pose to relieve the body tension and unwind.
Focused meditation: This is the basis of living a healthy life. In this kind of meditation, we fairly focus exactly on the thing that we are doing at the moment– a complete opposite of multitasking. Jumping around various thoughts and activities leads to a scattered mind and dissatisfaction. A musician, athlete and a craftsman would not be who they are if they were not connected to the present. For instance, if you are eating, you must focus on sensations in your mouth, gulping the food down and with practice you will rediscover the joy of being in present.
Visualisation meditation: This technique invites you to visualise a particular image in your mind. Simply close your eyes and imagine a beautiful scenery, water body or sunsets or any other visualization that speaks to you. Some people consider it to be an escape from the chaos as it brings a sense of peace via mental activity and uses the creative aspect of mind for positive transformation.
Chanting meditation: Here, the idea is to focus and quiet your mind with the sound of the words of the mantra. The subtle vibrations of the mantra can encourage a peaceful yet alert state of mind- increased self-confidence and compassion. ‘Om’ is one common word used for chanting meditation.
Reflection meditation: This kind of meditation process enables you to better recognize our thoughts, values, emotions and beliefs and their reality. The technique invites you to ask within questions such as,” what are you most grateful for?” However, the focus here must be on the feelings and not the thoughts attached to it.
Whichever form of meditation you choose, committing to regular meditation practice is sure to offer you holistic health benefits. A few minutes a day is all you need for the rest of the day to be a fantastic one.