Meditation is practiced around the world in all different cultures. It is not more common among any one group, as a wide variety of men and women practice meditating each day. Just like there are many different types of people who meditate, there are also many different types of meditating.
There are many different types of meditation, so there are many you can try until you find the perfect one for you and your lifestyle. The type that works for someone else may not be the right one for you, so it is important to try different ones until you have found one that works.
While the busy world we live in can bring a large amount of stress to your life, meditation is a natural and safe way to reverse some of the effects. Many of the types can be done anywhere, giving you the chance to release some tension in the middle of your busy day.
There are 7 types of meditation that are popular among teachers and students alike. They are easy to learn and are super beneficial in both mental and physical ways. Before getting started on the 7 types, it is important to first discuss the benefits.
Benefits of Meditation
There are many benefits to meditation and, while many of the benefits are mental, there are also plenty of physical benefits involved, as well.
- Brings a sense of calmness
- Can help reach inner peace
- Helps you cope with stress
- Teaches you mindfulness
- Helps with focus
- Brings awareness to your speech, thought processes, and actions
- Helps you see how your actions affect those around you
- Promotes self-awareness
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces pain
- Reverses PTSD and other disorders
7 Types of Meditation
You may have heard this type being called “Metta”, but the more common name is loving-kindness. This type focuses on creating a mindset of love and kindness, even toward the things you don’t want to love or show kindness to. By having an attitude of love and kindness toward your sources of stress (people included), you are allowing yourself to minimize your stress and negative feelings.
You begin loving-kindness meditating by breathing in deeply and opening your mind to receiving love and kindness from yourself and others. While you breathe out, you will breathe out love and kindness toward whatever it is that is causing you stress. If a specific person is causing you stress, focus on breathing love and kindness out to them.
You will continue this exercise repeatedly until you feel love and kindness toward the point of stress. The end result is a feeling of love, compassion, and kindness toward yourself and others. Additionally, it’ll reduce your feelings of frustration, resentment, personal conflict, and other negative emotions.
2. Progressive Relaxation
Sometimes referred to as body scan, progressive relaxation is a type of meditation that eases specific tension in your body. The goal is to scan your body for specific areas that need relaxation and focus on those areas of the body.
To do this, you will start at your feet and progressively work your way up the top of your body. There are a few ways to do this type, however, so you have to decide which method would be best for you.
The first method involves tensing your muscles and then relaxing them while the second method involves visualizing a wave moving over your body, releasing the tension as it goes. The benefits of progressive relaxation will help you feel calm and relaxed, and it can also reduce pain. It can also help you relax enough to fall asleep comfortably.
This type is intended to help you be present in the moment. It allows you to be more aware of what is going on around you. This is good for anyone who finds themselves living in the past and being afraid of the future.
Additionally, this will benefit you if you find yourself being impatient. During a wait, you should be able to notice the wait but avoid frustrating feelings or anger. While practicing this, you will take note of your surroundings.
Basically, encourage yourself to notice any sights, sounds, or smells. This releases your mind from thoughts of the past or future. It also reduces the amount of negative emotion you may feel, improves your focus and memory, reduces emotional reactions, improves relationships, and reduces blood pressure.
4. Breath Awareness
Breath awareness uses mindfulness, so you’ll have to learn that type of meditation first. Once you have mastered mindfulness, you are ready to learn and practice breath awareness.
To start, you will breathe in slowly and deeply while counting your breaths. You don’t have to count to a certain number, the counting is only to help you focus on nothing other than your breathing.
Breath awareness can lead to less anxiety and stress, more concentration and focus, and better emotional control. Essentially, it’ll just lead to a feeling of general well-being and relaxation.
5. Kundalini Yoga
This is one of the only types that require physical activity. You will combine physical movement with deep breathing and positive affirmations.
There are many different poses that you can choose from to do Kundalini Yoga, so sometimes going to a class is a good place to start. Otherwise, you can find poses online and practice them on your own at home.
Kundalini Yoga may improve your physical strength, reduce pain, and improve your mental health. Studies have shown that this type can lessen feelings of depression and anxiety.
Also known as Zazen, Zen is popular in Buddhist culture. This type of meditation requires steps and postures that must be done in the correct order each time. Because of this, doing it with a teacher is recommended but if you are self-disciplined, you can do this on your own.
To practice Zen, you should start in a comfortable position sitting or lying down. You will focus on your breathing while focusing on your natural thoughts.
The most important part of Zen is to reserve judgment on your thoughts. You shouldn’t allow your faults to make you feel any type of way, you are just supposed to think them through in a way that is free of emotion. This is why it requires so much discipline, as you will find yourself wanting to feel emotion about your thoughts.
For this type, you will want to find a comfortable place to sit down. Once you are comfortable, you will begin breathing slowly while focusing on a positive mantra. It allows you to move beyond your mind’s current state.
If you do this with a teacher, the teacher will oftentimes determine the mantra based on certain factors, but you can do it on your own by choosing your own positive mantra. The only rule is that your mantra should focus on an exact issue you are trying to overcome.
How Long and How Often You Should Meditate
The exact answer to how long and how often you should meditate depends on a few different factors. Experts have different opinions, as well, so that isn’t exactly helpful.
Teachers of meditating practices say that you should do it as often and as long as you’d like, as it is a different experience for each person. If you begin feeling calmer after just a few minutes, you can stop at that time. If you want a more peaceful and relaxing experience, keep it up for a longer period of time.
Additionally, the frequency of your meditating sessions also depends on each individual person. In the beginning, it may be best to start with just a couple of sessions each week. As you get better and start seeing more benefits from meditating, you can increase the frequency until you are doing it at least once a day.
The most important thing to remember about meditating is that each person has a different experience. This is completely normal, and it should be highly embraced.
With all aspects of meditating, what is right for one person may not be right for another. So, things like type, frequency, and amount of time will be different for everyone.
Final Thoughts On Types of Meditation and Which Type Is Right For You
With the wide variety of meditation types, one of them is bound to help you relax and release some tension. You’ll be able to control your thoughts and emotions much better and, the better you get at the self-discipline aspect of meditating, the better the benefits will be.
You can become mentally healthier as well as physically healthier, and you can bring more happiness to yourself and those around you. There is really no negative aspects of meditation, and the best part is that you can try all of the types of meditation until you find the right one for you.