When the average person thinks of meditation, they may picture someone sitting quietly with their eyes closed and focused on their breath. While this is certainly one way of engaging in the practice, there are in fact many different types of meditation, and each one has its own unique benefits.
In this blog post, we will explore five of the most popular kinds of meditation: mindfulness, mantra, movement, visualization, and loving-kindness. We will briefly discuss what each type of meditation involves, and the benefits most commonly associated with the practice. Hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll have a better idea of what you want your practice to look like, and you can take the first step toward your meditation journey. You’ll be glad that you did!
Mindfulness meditation is all about being present in the moment. This means letting go of any thoughts or worries about the past or future, and simply focusing on your breath and the sensations in your body. Now, this can be a difficult task at first, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t get it right away. As you practice, you’ll find that it becomes easier and more natural.
Mindfulness meditation can benefit you in a number of ways, like by reducing stress and anxiety, improving focus and concentration, and increasing self-awareness.
This is the kind of meditation that is often associated with an “om” sound. Mantra meditation involves repeating a certain word or phrase over and over again to help clear the mind. This can be done out loud or silently, with whatever words you like. The point is to keep your attention focused on the mantra, so that other thoughts can fall away. This is a great one for people who don’t like the silence associated with other types of meditation.
As for the benefits, mantra meditation can be helpful for reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting self-confidence.
Movement meditation is exactly what it sounds like: a form of meditation that involves movement. This could be something as simple as walking or dancing, or it could be a more structured practice like Tai Chi or yoga. The key is to focus on your breath and the sensations in your body as you make your way through the movements. If you find the stillness of the other meditation methods challenging, this may be the one for you.
Those who practice movement meditation often report improved mental clarity, increased energy and stamina, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased joint flexibility.
This type of meditation involves creating a mental image of something peaceful, like a beach or a meadow. Then, once you have the image in your mind, the goal is to focus on the details and really try to imagine being there. Ultimately, this should help you bring yourself into a state of relaxation.
The visualization meditation technique can be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting self-confidence.
Loving-kindness meditation is often used to promote feelings of acceptance, kindness, and compassion towards yourself and others. It involves opening the mind to sending and receiving love and well wishes to everyone, from friends to acquaintances to all living beings. This makes it ideal for those who may be holding onto feelings of resentment or anger.
In addition to helping let go of those negative feelings, the benefits of loving-kindness meditation include reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and increasing compassion and empathy.
Need some help getting started? Learn more about the meditation sessions offered at Edie Gudaitis Wellness here.