Meditation is popular with certain people and others are downright afraid to even approach it for one reason or another. The truth is, everyone can benefit from meditation. There isn’t anything magical or spooky about it. It’s simply about learning to let go of the things that cause you stress and focus on healthier ways to stay calm. This in turn benefits you not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Below are five types of meditation that are most frequently practiced in the United States. Maybe one of them will be right for you. If not, at least this gives you some information that you can use as a jumping-off point.
1. Kundalini Yoga
If you think about combining meditation with yoga, that’s basically what this is. It is typically practiced in a class with a certified teacher and other students. They typically give you certain mantras or phrases to repeat while you’re doing specific yoga poses. There’s also a lot of focus on the breath during this type of yoga. If this is a little too much for you, you might consider just doing some basic yoga on your own or in class. The potential benefits involve less pain and a stronger and more flexible body and have been proven time and again, as well as providing you with mental and emotional benefits by helping you to calm your mind and focus your attention on more positive matters.
2. Breath Awareness Meditation
As the name implies, this one is all about focusing on your breathing. You can do it sitting, lying down or standing and you don’t have to be in a private place in order to gain benefits from it. As a matter of fact, you can actually do it while standing in line at the bank or even the grocery store. The idea is to give you a chance the focus on your breath and nothing else. It gives you an opportunity to stop thinking about whatever might be frustrating you or causing you anxiety and focus on just being present in the moment. No one has to be aware that you’re doing it and if you learn to do this enough times during the day, you’ll eventually find that overall, you feel a lot calmer than you did before you started.
3. Mindfulness Meditation
This is another form of meditation where you focus on something specific. Some people use it as a watered-down form of Transcendental Meditation, because that is a form of meditation that requires a teacher. The idea is to think about something specific that doesn’t stress you out and doesn’t irritate you and then continue to focus on that while you’re doing some deep breathing exercises. You can do it for an hour or for just five minutes at a time, the choice is yours.
4. Body Scan Meditation
You’re not really scanning your body here, but you are starting at your head and focusing on each and every part of your body separately. You will work your way all the way down to your toes. The idea is to consciously think about each portion of your body and how much tension you’re holding there at the present moment. Then, you can consciously make the effort to release that tension and allow your body to relax. This is a form of meditation that works especially well if you have a lot of issues with tight muscles or you constantly find yourself stressed out to the point that your whole body is sore because of it.
5. Loving-Kindness Meditation
In this form of meditation, you’re focusing on your breath and you’re also focusing on feeling loving and kind thoughts about yourself and everyone else. This includes people that drive you up the wall or make you want to jump off a cliff. It takes some practice, but the idea is that if you do this type of meditation enough, you’ll eventually start to feel genuine feelings of love and kindness toward people that you find challenging to deal with. That in turn will make you less likely to have anger issues or a need to go deal with those anger issues in an unhealthy manner. It also helps those who suffer from low self-esteem and need a serious boost of self-confidence.