What is Meditation?
Meditation is being practiced by many people for relaxation. It is a method of quieting and controlling the mind. Meditation helps control our thoughts and helps create a distance from stressful situations in our daily life. It’s about transforming the mind and the way you think, to become aware of yourself and your surroundings while separating your consciousness from the struggles and activities of your life.
Meditation has a calming effect on your body and your thoughts. It helps you to stop thinking and shows you how to just “be”, in an aware state of mindfulness. You slow your mind chatter by just being in the moment, noticing thoughts and putting them to the side until you just are conscious but your mind is still.
Meditation is a great way to quiet your mind and think of what to do in important life choices. By listening on a deeper level you will get a truer sense of what your real desire is. Research has demonstrated that meditating for a short time increases alpha waves, which makes us feel more relaxed, while simultaneously decreasing our feelings of anxiety and depression.
There are many different ways to practice meditation, with each having a different goal and effect on the relaxing the body and relaxing the mind. Many people have different reasons for learning to meditate, so first, think about your reason. This will help you know which direction you want your first meditations to go and give you an objective for each. This is to say, a general goal such as relaxation, or how you can cope with a problem at work, or even, to think about what you want to do with your life.
When To Meditate
You can meditate whenever you want to. Each time of the day has its own reason. After you wake up in the morning is when your mind is at its calmest because you have not entered into the day and all its activities. Also, you have just slept, so it is most likely you will not go to sleep while meditating.
In the evening, as the activity of the day is winding down, so you, too, are winding down and it is easier for some to relax and do some meditation. Sunset seems an ideal time and it is thought that a metaphysical doorway opens then. If you have a quiet place in your home, then make a meditation center for yourself there. Outdoors is always an alternative, but is weather dependent.
Types of Relaxation Meditation Techniques
There are different types of meditation. Many people are practicing meditation these days to quiet their mind, to be able to reflect and experience a state of calmness and relaxation that is otherwise difficult to achieve in this hectic modern world. Some people choose a type of meditation depending on convenience while others choose the ones that bring them closer to achieving their specific goals for doing that particular practice.
Below are some examples of the types of relaxation meditation techniques that people utilize to improve their well-being.
Mindfulness Meditation. Mindfulness meditation is based on being mindful, that is, having an increased awareness of and acceptance of living in the present moment. It means paying attention to what you are doing in the present, rather than living on autopilot
Guided Meditation. Sometimes called visualization, this method of meditation encourages you to form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures, to calm the mind, and focus it. It is a good way to get into a more meditative state. Its goal is relaxation and peace. It can be done with mindfulness meditation.
Focused Meditation. Focused Meditation is also known to by some people as Attention Meditation Technique. Although this meditation technique requires one to focus on one thing and exclude any other thoughts from their mind, it doesn’t force the person meditating to try too hard.
Zen Meditation. This is a type of seated meditation. You sit quietly with the legs crossed and the eyes closed. and focus on your surroundings instead of your thoughts. You simply get into your mind to clear it out, focusing on your breathing, and not saying a word. It is a silent meditation where you gradually get deeper and deeper into your subconscious to clear it out and try to become at peace with yourself. This is one of the most difficult types of meditation because you are relying solely on your ability to be quiet and focus on nothing
Chakra Meditation. Chakra Meditation involves inward reflection and self-evaluation to align of the chakra in the body, which are different forms of energy that together compile the whole of your existence and your perception of yourself. The belief system behind this form of meditation states that there are seven different chakra that comprise the different elements your being, chief among which is the chakra of the heart.
Movement Meditation. This type of meditation technique allows an individual to perform several gentle and repetitive flowing movements. Instead of focusing on a certain thought or object, movement meditation brings your focus to each movement you make. This is when you become mindful of the motion of your muscles and your contact with external surfaces. The more you practice this type of meditation the more that you become aware of the movement of energy within your body and the way it responds to a stimulus such as music.
Mantra Meditation. A mantra may consist of a word or phrase that is being chanted out loud or silently repeated as the focus of meditation. It is a Sanskrit word in which “man” means mind and “tra” means instrument. In other words, your chosen mantra will become an instrument of your mind.
The more you repeat your mantra, the more relaxed you get and the more you can clear your mind. For some people, sitting in complete silence causes their mind to wander. If you repeat your mantra, it can also help you to get to deeper levels of awareness, which is also used in other types of meditation.
Yoga Nidra. Despite its name, Yoga Nidra is not a form of yoga, as most people understand it. Rather than being about a specific set of stretches and actions, Yoga Nidra is about maintaining the highest amount of mental and physical relaxation possible. It is a type of meditation that focuses on turning the majority of the senses inward in order to create a high level of self-awareness, rather than directing all conscious and sensory awareness on the outside world.
The main difference between Yoga Nidra and other forms of meditation is that it relies on a set of external auditory commands, such as instruction by a yogi or a set of recordings, to guide you into the state of relaxation.