Why You Should Meditate?
Meditation is an incredible habit to form this year.
It is a practice to become mentally calm and emotionally stable. It is the equivalent of being a still body of water.
Something that we could all do with in this day and age when social media, the news and life in general are constantly vying for our attention.
The ability to be able to focus and be happy in your current life is surely a worthwhile goal.
Types of Meditation
While there are many different types of meditation to choose from. Some are more suited to an individual than others. None of these are better than others, but they have different goals and would certainly suit different individuals.
The most common type of meditation these days. The act of being mindful.
A meditative practice based upon mindfulness is where you spend moments throughout your day, either planned or spontaneous, to purposefully live in the moment and appreciate it. It may look like:
- Being stood in traffic, taking a moment to look at some nearby trees, unclench your jaw and take deep breaths.
- Sitting down in your room in silence, being aware of the floor beneath you and the noises outside and being content to just sit for a few moments and allow thoughts to pass over you.
As Harvard Uni say, Tai Chi is often noted as meditation in motion.
It’s slow and precise movements are a form of self-defence, but they’re also a test of patience, strength, silence, breathing and balance.
Tai Chi is a type of meditation I have always wanted to get into, and one day I may just find a class for it.
I can think of nothing better than feeling as one with water and one with the Earth.
Similar to Tai Chi, yoga is grounded in it’s movement and it’s breath control.
This intense focus on how you are moving and breathing is a way to get out of your thoughts and your daily life and back into your body.
Bonus Tip: Do some yoga in nature (your garden or a field would do just fine)
This originally Hindu practice is known for it’s health and relaxing benefits.
This type of meditation utilises a mantra within it’s meditation. Developed in the 1950’s this is a newer form of meditation that is reported to reduce stress, anxiety and insomnia.
This can be a great form of mediation if you have 20 minutes to spare each day.
You can read more about Transcendental Meditation from the official website here.
Guided Meditation (these can be useful as a starting point!)
Just follow a guided mediation.
This is truly the easiest method to start meditating. I recommend you go onto Google, or download Headspace (not an ad, unfortunately) and just put some headphones in.
There will be different types of meditation that you can choose, but they will all be guided and once the audio starts – you’re meditating.
Similar to Tai Chi and Yoga this meditative practice is based on the body and has a goal of ‘improving and maintaining health and well-being’ according to the National Institues of Health.
Qigong differs from Tai Chi in that it’s movement is usually simpler and repeated. It can be one single movement for the entire session or just a pose that is held while breathing is controlled.
This martial art is another form of mediation that can help you live a better lifem.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
As we live in a stressful world, we tend to keep that stress knotted up in our bodies.
This meditation explores the connection between the mind and it’s body and can be perfect if you find yourself in pain and not wanting to take medication (Learned Men cannot provide medical advice – do your own research).
Progressive Muscle Relaxation will usually see you laying/sitting down and working through the muscles in your body one by one and simply being aware of them.
This, in effect, will reduce stress and allow your brain to relax from it’s thoughts.
This type of meditation came from Buddhist monks needing to walk after long periods of meditating sat down. It focuses less on breath and more on the movement of the legs and feet and the motion of the body.
This meditative practice could easily be implemented into your walk to school/work or during your break.
Perhaps you even already do this without knowing it.
Want To Learn About The Benefits of Meditation?
This article about types of meditation is part of a larger series on Learned Men. You can read the rest of them here.
The benefits of meditation are more important nowadays than ever before.