Meditation continues to be one of the best ways to maintain your health and reduce the symptoms of stress, especially so because it is so accessible. It’s free, requires no special training, it doesn’t take long, and you can do it in virtually any quiet space. It’s a great way to decompress, whether you are at home, at the office, or at school.
And the benefits are many: you can map out and understand your pain and worries, reduce your stress levels, gain new insights on connections, improve the way you focus, and declutter your brain.
Today, we’re going to go through a few meditation techniques and methods you can try out for some mind-clearing and de-stressing meditation sessions. Keep in mind that training the way you meditate is like training your physical body. There is some practice involved but all in all, meditation is very accessible!
Meditation that is centered ongoing into a state of mindfulness wherein you simply lay back and observe your thoughts as they wander through your mind. The aim of mindfulness meditation is not to interact with these thoughts or to judge them, but simply to observe as one by one they float past.
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to grasp whether your thoughts have certain patterns and to gain the insight that juding an experience as good or bad is a human tendency. Through this, you develop an inner balance.
Concentration meditation is, unsurprisingly, a lot more focused than its “mindfulness” cousin. When you go into a state of concentration meditation, you focus on a single thing: a breath, a mantra, a candle flame, a gong or bowl strike, or mala bead-counting.
The key here is to start small. Concentration meditation can be challenging for beginners to meditation, so I encourage beginners to do so for only a few minutes at a time, adding more minutes gradually.
Body Scan Meditation
Much like mindfulness meditation, body scan meditation is all about bringing yourself back and noticing things. You simply feel your feet on the ground and then “scan” your entire body slowly, moving bit by bit from the feeling of your feet on the ground up to the crown of your head. Do not judge your body as you do this, simply notice.
From here, you can focus on specific parts, letting yourself notice sensations in them.
The great thing about walking meditation is that not only do you develop your mental calmness and recenter your spirit, but it’s also the perfect way to get a little active in the middle of a workday, as those do tend to be sedimentary.
To do walking meditation, you start first with walking at a natural place. Your hands should wherever feel comfortable and natural, whether it be on your belly or at your sides. If you like, you can count your steps up to a certain number, like ten, before cycling back. Pay close attention to the motions of your feet, how they rise and fall. Do the same with the rest of your body. Keep your mind on the sensations in your body as you walk and keep a sense of the environment about you.