The year has been collectively challenging for everyone and many people have been looking for ways to decompress and alleviate stress for the first time ever. Meditation has been a great addition to my mental health balance. Meditation is a technique rich in benefits to help keep your energy and focus balanced and calm.
Meditation has many benefits for your physical wellbeing such as reducing cortisol levels and lowering blood pressure but also improves mental and emotional imbalance. Research studies have even suggested it enhances brain function and improves concentration. The practice of meditation can be vague and obscure because there technically isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. However, there are several types, each having its own unique benefit and intention. I wanted to share the 5 types of meditation I practice often and how I use them.
Guided mediation is perhaps the most beginner-friendly option because as a participant you’re following the instruction or direction of the leader as they direct your mind and body through spoken word and mental imagery. The intent can be on whatever your body or heart needs at the time. There are several really good guided meditations with specific intentions on YouTube. I also like using the app Eternal Sunshine for some great guided meditations as well. I’d also check out an app called Shine. It was created by women of color and I’ve heard great reviews.
The intent of mindfulness mediation is to get you to be fully present in the moment by watching your breathing, your five senses, your emotions, and your thoughts. Personally, I like to practice mindfulness in moments I feel I am becoming overwhelmed or upset. It’s a great way for me to become self-aware of my emotions and channel my energy into a better headspace. Conversely, you can also practice mindfulness in moments of happiness and joy. Again, the intent is for you to be present in the moment.
Mantra meditation is a technique that involves sound or phrase(s) that can be spoken, chanted, whispered, or repeated in the mind or aloud. I like to repeat affirmations or Bible verses. This intent is the alignment of the heart and mind. I like to use this meditation when I need reaffirming of my power and that of God’s sovereignty and love.
Movement meditation commonly includes walking, gardening, and other forms of gentle movement, including yoga. It is the most active form of meditation as it requires the body to be in motion. In conjunction with mindfulness, movement mediation is a great option for those who find it difficult to remain motionless while still seeking peace.
Spiritual meditation is mostly practiced in Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Daoism, and more recently in Christianity. While in a silent state, spiritual meditation is used to seek a deeper connection with your faith or with the universe. Before practicing this type of mediation I like to pray and ask for discernment on a specific situation. I use the meditation time to listen for the voice of God.
The practice of mediation does not require perfection but instead humility and intent. Be patient with yourself. You will feel your mind wandering and that’s ok. Gently pull your focus back on your intention. As with everything, mediation requires practice. The more you do it the better you’ll become. The need to find a balance between priorities and caring for your mental health is imperative. For me personally, meditation has become less of an option and more of a necessity to keep my mind, body, and spirit aligned.
Do you practice mediation? If so, what’s your preferred type?