Meditation is an opportunity to enhance both physical and mental health. The benefits of meditation can include improved concentration, decreased stress, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, lowered blood pressure, and more. Educational leaders, faith leaders, and psychotherapists have developed a plethora of meditation techniques. Due to the sheer variety of these techniques, many people, irrespective of personality or lifestyle, can find a type of meditation that suits them. Keep reading to learn more about the types and the benefits of meditation.
Types of Meditation
If you have a particular perception of what meditation looks like, you might want to explore the various types of meditations that exist. The different meditative disciplines allow people to concentrate on increased concentration, slower breathing, and tolerance. Some incorporate prayer and movement as a part of the process. Here are different types of meditation, each having its own unique benefits.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that encourages people to be conscious and aware of the current moment. It promotes knowledge of one’s current situation and surroundings rather than reflecting on the past or anticipating the future.
Spiritual meditation can involve elements of quiet, verbal, or chanted prayer, varying according to the practice. Meditation facilitates a closer bond with the Divine when done in a religious environment. Spirituality is more based on self-awareness and self-actualization in non-theistic philosophies like Buddhism or Taoism.
Breath Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness encourages mindful breathing by concentrating on or counting your breaths as you inhale and exhale steadily and deeply. The aim is to concentrate solely on breathing while ignoring any other thoughts which may arise.
This type of meditation focuses on the body’s movement, whether it be walking meditation, yoga, tai chi, or martial arts. It’s a great alternative for people who have difficulty sitting still for extended periods of time, and also those who generally focus better when moving.
Progressive relaxation, also known as body scan meditation, is a form of meditation in which participants scan their bodies for areas of distress. The aim is to become aware of the tension and allow it to dissipate.
Chanting and mantra meditation are recommended by many spiritual beliefs. While some promote reflection of meaning while chanting, the mind should concentrate on the tone of the words and rhythm. A repeated sound, expression, or statement is used in mantra meditation to clear thoughts and enable our spiritual abilities to shine through. Mantras are often, though not always, coupled with a melody.
This approach requires people to focus solely on the job they are working on, therefore, being the polar opposite of multitasking. Whatever your goal is, you should give it your undivided attention. When you find your mind wandering, simply accept it and return your attention to what you’ve been doing.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
It’s normal to feel less anxious, more welcoming, and at peace when meditating. These feelings may persist outside of meditation with time and practice. The benefits of meditation can be long-lasting if you incorporate the practice into your regular routine. These can include:
- A decreased level of cortisol, the stress hormone, which alleviates stress, high blood pressure, and symptoms of anxiety.
- Lower stress can protect you from developing a host of other diseases, such as obesity, IBS, or mental disorders.
- It prevents you from being overwhelmed by strong emotions by helping you practice self-restraint and calm your mind.
- It can boost lymphocyte production, which are the natural killer cells of the body that help build your immune system. With a better immunity, you can fight off the cold and flu much faster and recover quicker.
- Meditation helps the body relax, allowing for a better night’s sleep, particularly if you are suffering from insomnia or have trouble falling asleep on time.
- It increases self-awareness as you reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and other physical sensations and learn to recognize them.
- It increases your tolerance and patience, allowing you to be more self-controlled and composed in your daily life.
- Meditation increases your empathy and compassion towards others.
- It helps you gain clarity and peace of mind by addressing any issues that concern you.
- A study has shown that the benefits of meditation include regulating and controlling inflammation of the cells.
- Regular meditation can improve your cognitive performance, increasing your ability to retain information, learn, and implement problem-solving strategies.
- Another study has shown that a meditation retreat showed improvements in the levels of biomarkers associated with aging.
- Meditating can also alleviate pain by reframing your brain to make the feeling less noticeable.
- It can be a beneficial addition to addiction recovery because it can help people recognize and manage their cravings, possibly preventing relapse once they’ve been successfully detoxed off drugs or alcohol.
Meditation has been linked to better sleep, stress reduction, reduced blood pressure, pain control, and plenty of other positive effects, according to scientific evidence. Increased self-awareness, tolerance, endurance, and understanding are more examples of the benefits of meditation. Whatever type of meditation you prefer, you’ll find that sticking to a daily meditation practice has several holistic advantages.