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Meditation...How and Why?

By Christina G.

Did you know meditation has been practiced for thousands of years? I did not and I found that so interesting. Meditation is used to practice mindfulness. This is done using different techniques but the most popular is by focusing on our breath, realizing when the mind starts to wander and bringing yourself back to focusing on breathing. It is practiced to strengthen the muscles of mindfulness and anchoring yourself to be present in the moment and without judgement.

There are nine types of meditation which allow for finding a practice that meets your needs. Which one do you think would work best for you?

Types of meditation:

Mindfulness Meditation: the most popular form and comes from Buddhist teachings. In this technique you pay attention to your thoughts as they happen, just observe and take note of any patterns, sensations or feelings that come with them.

Spiritual Meditation: very diverse technique used to have a deeper understanding of spiritual meaning and connection with a higher power. Can be used at home or in a place of worship and by those who seek spiritual growth.

Focused Meditation: used to sharpen focus and attention by using any of the five senses. Can be done by counting breaths, listening to a gong or moon gazing. If your thoughts wander, bring yourself back to the practice and refocus.

Movement Meditation: uses movement to develop a deeper connection with the body and the present moment. This can be accomplished by walking, gardening and tai chi.

Mantra Meditation: uses repetitive sound to clear the mind. Your mantra can be repeated loudly or quietly and helps you be more alert and in tune with your environment.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) used to quiet the mind and help you reach a state of peace and calm. Best results are found when this practice is taught by a certified Transcendental Meditation (TM) practitioner.

Progressive Relaxation: aka body scan meditation. Used to reduce tension in the body, relieve stress and find relaxation. Practiced by tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time or imagining a gentle wave flowing through your body.

Loving-Kindness Meditation: practiced by opening the mind to sending well wishes to everyone and everything. Allows for a development of stronger feelings of compassion, kindness and acceptance. Beneficial to all but particularly those who have feelings of anger or resentment.

Visualization Meditation: practiced by vividly imagining a scene using all five senses to add as much detail as possible.

Benefits of meditation:

Sharpened focus

Connection to body and breath

Stress reduction

Improved immunity

Creates a sense of peace, calm and inner harmony.

Ability to reach a state of relaxation, peace and calmness.

Increased motivation

Lower blood pressure

Improved emotional regulation

Better sleep

A greater sense of empathy

Enhanced mood

Greater adaptability

Healthier aging process

Controls anxiety

Enhances self-awareness

In the crazy fast-paced world we are living in, it can be very beneficial to take a couple minutes each day to meditate. It allows for the opportunity to really check in on yourself, focus on your body, mind and emotions. With so many different kinds of meditation, find one that works for you. While it may take some practice, being able to take a moment, slow down and reflect can equip you with the tools and emotion to tackle anything.


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