Meditation

Meditation
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Its goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything, even a person's enemies and sources of stress. While breathing deeply, practitioners open their minds to receiving loving kindness. They then send messages of loving kindness to the world, to specific people, or to their loved ones. In most forms of this meditation, the key is to repeat the message many times, until the practitioner feels an attitude of loving kindness.

Loving-kindness meditation is designed to promote feelings of compassion and love , both for others and oneself. This type of meditation may increase positive emotions and has been linked to reduced depression , anxiety , and post-traumatic stress or PTSD. Progressive relaxation, sometimes called body scan meditation, is meditation that encourages people to scan their bodies for areas of tension. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release. During a progressive relaxation session, practitioners start at one end of their body, usually their feet, and work through the whole.

Some forms of progressive relaxation require people to tense and then relax muscles. Others encourage a person to visualize a wave, drifting over their body to release tension. Progressive relaxation can help to promote generalized feelings of calmness and relaxation. It may also help with chronic pain.

Because it slowly and steadily relaxes the body, some people use this form of meditation to help them sleep. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that urges practitioners to remain aware and present in the moment. Rather than dwelling on the past or dreading the future, mindfulness encourages awareness of a person's existing surroundings. Crucial to this is a lack of judgment. So, rather than reflecting on the annoyance of a long wait, a practitioner will simply note the wait without judgment. Mindfulness meditation is something people can do almost anywhere.

While waiting in line at the grocery store, for example, a person might calmly notice their surroundings, including the sights, sounds, and smells they experience. A form of mindfulness is involved in most kinds of meditation. Breath awareness encourages practitioners to be aware of their breathing, while progressive relaxation draws attention to areas of tension in the body.

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Because mindfulness is a theme common to many forms of meditation, it has been extensively studied. Research has found that mindfulness can:. Some evidence suggests mindfulness may improve health. For example , a study of African-American men with chronic kidney disease found that mindfulness meditation could lower blood pressure. Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting their breaths or otherwise focusing on their breaths. The goal is to focus only on breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind.

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

As a form of mindfulness meditation, breath awareness offers many of the same benefits as mindfulness. Those include reduced anxiety, improved concentration, and greater emotional flexibility. Kundalini yoga is a physically active form of meditation that blends movements with deep breathing and mantras.

People usually learn from a teacher or do a class. However, someone can learn the poses and mantras at home. Similarly to other forms of yoga , kundalini yoga can improve physical strength and reduce pain. It may also improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression.

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A study of veterans with chronic low-back pain, for instance, found that yoga reduced pain, increased energy, and improved overall mental health. Zen meditation, sometimes called Zazen is a form of meditation that can be part of Buddhist practice. Many Zen practitioners study under a teacher because this kind of meditation involves specific steps and postures.

The goal is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing, and mindfully observe one's thoughts without judgment. Again, this form of meditation is similar to mindfulness meditation but requires more discipline and practice. People may prefer it if they are seeking both relaxation and a new spiritual path. Transcendental Meditation is a spiritual form of meditation where practitioners remain seated and breathe slowly. The goal is to transcend or rise above the person's current state of being. During a meditation session, practitioners focus on a mantra or a repeated word or series of words.

A teacher determines the mantra based on a complex set of factors, sometimes including the year the practitioner was born, and the year the teacher was trained.

How Long to Meditate

Let us walk you through the basics in our new mindful guide on how to meditate. In mindfulness meditation, we’re learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. This practice of returning to the breath builds the. Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train.

An alternative allows people to choose their mantra. This more contemporary version is not technically Transcendental Meditation, though it may look substantially similar. A practitioner might decide to repeat "I am not afraid of public speaking" while meditating. People who practice Transcendental Meditation report both spiritual experiences and heightened mindfulness. The various meditative disciplines encourage a focus on heightened awareness, slower breathing, and increased acceptance.

Meditation is not a results-focused undertaking.

What Is Meditation?

However, most research shows that meditation can work very quickly. In Roman Catholicism , for example, meditation consists of active, voluntary, and systematic thinking about a biblical or theological topic. Our Spiritual Directors. Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that urges practitioners to remain aware and present in the moment. The heart releases a hormone that has a key role in blood pressure.

Indeed, fixating too much on the results can provoke anxiety that undermines the benefits of meditation. However, most research shows that meditation can work very quickly. Studies of meditation typically follow practitioners for weeks or months, not years. When you're doing breathing meditation, you're better off focusing on a spot that moves more when you breathe. Try again Tip: You can also try different meditation apps that help you get started.

The Insight Timer app has free guided meditations and lets you choose both the amount of time you have and the level of guidance you'd like. Not exactly!

Find Your Meditation Style With These 7 Practices

It's important to be in a comfortable, supportive position while you meditate. If you meditate sitting down, for instance, make sure your spine is straight.

But that's not what grounding is. Click on another answer to find the right one A word or phrase that you repeat as you meditate is called a mantra. The point of repeating a mantra as you meditate is to silence your other thoughts so you can better enter a meditative state.

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Grounding is a mindfulness technique that helps you be aware of what's happening around or inside you. Just take a moment to really focus on something you can see or something that you feel, without making judgments about it. To meditate, start by finding a calm, peaceful spot where you can sit down without being disturbed. Then, sit in a comfortable position on a chair or on the floor and close your eyes.

Meditation & Yoga: How to Meditate, Guided Meditations & More - Yoga Journal

Start by breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Visualize your breath filling your lungs and leaving again, until you feel your breath settle into a rhythm. Now, starting from the top of your head, slowly scan down your body from head to toe. As you focus on each part of your body, feel your muscles relax and release any stress they may be holding. If your thoughts wander, refocus on your breathing and come back to where you left off. Once you've finished your body scan, start gently counting your breaths. Breathe in slowly through your nose on 1, then out through your mouth on 2, and so forth, all the way to Then, start again.

Continue until you feel yourself pulled out of the meditation, then gently open your eyes and stretch. Read the article for more information on meditation, like how to use mantras and visualization while you're meditating. He graduated from the American School of Professional Psychology in Categories: Featured Articles Meditation for Beginners.

Sebastian Fartade. How to Meditate. There are 38 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

What Is Meditation?

Sample Techniques Sample Meditation Techniques. Sample Safe Space Visualization. Choose a quiet, peaceful environment. Meditation should be practiced in a peaceful location.

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Find a place where you will not be interrupted for the duration of your meditation—whether it lasts 5 minutes or half an hour.