You have been looking for ways to reduce stress? If so, you’re certainly not alone.
After all, the modern world can be a rather stressful place. Life moves at an increasingly fast pace, and there are more demands on people than ever before. That’s why it’s so important to discover ways to relax.
In recent years, more and more people have begun to discover the benefits of meditation. Why? Because meditation is a simple yet effective discipline that can reduce stress while also increasing your quality of life.
This article takes a look at several types of meditation that you can begin practicing today. And best of all, they are free. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on how to change your life by taking control of your mind.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular over the last decade. This is a practice that has origins in Buddhist meditation. And yet it’s important to understand that mindfulness has nothing to do with religion, faith, or any particular set of beliefs.
This practice deals specifically with the activity of the mind. After all, the mind is a very busy place.
Have you ever noticed that your thoughts never stop? If you pay attention, you’ll notice that the vast majority of your thoughts are involuntary. They simply show up in your mind. In fact, most of your thoughts are likely repetitive, and these thought patterns have a life of their own, coming and going within your conscious mind whenever want. In other words, you don’t consciously produce them and you have no control over them.
The core principle of mindfulness is to simply learn to notice your thought habits. Don’t try to stop or control your thoughts. Just notice, and then allow them to pass by your mind’s eyes.
The basic practice of mindfulness meditation is to find a quiet place where you can sit and close your eyes for some time. The amount of time doesn’t matter. It could be one minute or two hours. If you’re new to meditation, perhaps start with a five-minute session.
Sit in a comfortable chair with a straight back. Rest your hands on your lap, close your eyes, and then begin to focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breath is one of the best ways to relax away from the thoughts passing through your mind.
The more you meditate, the easier it becomes. Just be patient with yourself, because it can be hard to sit still for very long at first.
But you’ll probably be surprised how effectively mindfulness meditation can refresh your mind and body, almost like a tiny vacation.
There are many forms of mindfulness meditation, and each is practiced in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at a few of these.
2. Walking Meditation
The first is simply called “walking meditation”, and the practice of this meditation is exactly as the name implies.
Walking isn’t just a great form of exercise, it’s also the ideal way to experience nature while also clearing your mind of the stress and anxiety of everyday life.
As with traditional sitting meditation, walking meditation is the practice of focusing on your breath moving throughout your body rather than attaching to your thoughts. Walking outside in nature is actually a beautiful way to liberate yourself from the constant chatter of thoughts inside your mind.
Once set out down a forest path or a paved sidewalk, focus on your breath, notice the sensation of the air on your arms and face, the warmth of the sun on your body, the contours of the ground beneath your feet, and the sounds in the world around you. You’ll quickly notice how your senses come alive when you’re no longer focused on your thoughts.
There is a natural tendency to immediately fall into the habit of thinking about things like your daily schedule, work stuff, family stuff, problems in the world, and fears of the future. Don’t pressure yourself to immediately experience total peace of mind when you start your walking meditation. Take it one step at a time.
3. Eating Meditation
Next is eating meditation.
That’s right, you can even meditate while eating. How is this possible? Great question.
The purpose of this type of meditation is to fully experience the process of eating food. After all, this is something most people take for granted. And yet everyone on the planet eats multiple times each day.
The next time you prepare to enjoy a meal, take a moment to appreciate your food. Notice the color, the texture, the way the different food items smell individually and together. Then take a bite and chew slowly. Notice the weight of it on your tongue, and the flavor of the food as you chew.
Resist the urge to be in a hurry to finish your meal. Learn to appreciate the nourishment each food item offers your body, as well as the energy you experience after being hungry for several hours.
4. Silent Meditation
Do you enjoy silence? If not, silent meditation can be challenging.
This type of meditation is often part of a meditation retreat. Participants at a silent retreat are usually restricted from speaking to one another for specific periods of the day or for the entire length of the retreat. This allows everyone to fully embrace the meditation experience.
While silent meditation might not be for everyone, it’s an experience that would likely reveal a tremendous amount about yourself and how you look at the world around you.
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5. Thankfulness Meditation
This is the simple practice of clearing your mind and then giving thanks for small things in your life at that particular moment. Take a deep breath, and then give thanks to the universe for providing that single breath. Notice the warmth of sunlight on your face, and then give thanks to the universe for the beautiful day.
It’s amazing how much a single moment of gratitude can shift your entire attitude.
TM, or transcendental meditation, is slightly different from mindfulness meditation. The key to this practice is to have a mantra that you repeat while you meditate rather than simply noticing your thoughts.
Keep in mind that everyone has a different preference, so just relax and experiment until you find what works best for you.
A Guide to the Types of meditation that Can Help Provide Peace of Mind
Everyone would like peace of mind. Fortunately, these types of meditation will provide the tools needed to reduce stress and help you live your best life.
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