Meditation, according to Yogapedia is the process of quieting the mind in order to spend time in through for relaxation or religious/spiritual purposes. It allows you to tune into your thoughts without being consumed by them. This makes it easier to focus on what truly matters and gives you space to quiet your mind.
While some forms of meditation are spiritual or religious that is not the case for all types of meditation. For example, there are many agnostics or atheists who practice mindfulness.
Here are just a few different types of mediation who can choose from:
Guided meditation is when you meditate with the guidance of a teacher or coach. For example, a middle school teacher might lead his students through a guided mindfulness meditation to get the students centered and ready for class.
Guided meditation can allow you to regain a sense of control in the face of setbacks. When I first started my meditation practice I found myself getting overwhelmed at the thought of sitting in silence. I sat through a guided meditation with Insight Timer and was able to get past my mental barriers.
Mantra as Meditation
I have personally found it helpful to spend my meditation sessions focusing on a mantra. The mantra can be any one that you choose or one that is given to you. It is helpful to have a mantra that goes with the flow of your breath.
One mantra I like to use is “When I breath in, I breath in peace. When I breath out, I breath out love.” This mantra allows me to focus on the peace and love that surrounds me.
During meditation, you can repeat your mantra in your mind or out loud. If you find your mind drifting or you’re worrying about something, just bring yourself back to your mantra. Remember it is perfectly normal for our minds to wander. It will get easier after a few sessions to stay on track.
Mindfulness as Meditation
Another form of meditation is mindfulness. It’s focused on staying in the moment without fear or judgement.
As part of your mindfulness, you can sit or lie comfortably and listen to your thoughts. The key is not to react to what you’re thinking. For example, you think about cookies in the kitchen but then remember you’re supposed to be on a diet. You instantly feel guilt and shame. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you’ll become aware of how your thoughts are shaping your life.
There are many styles of meditation. If you try a meditation style and don’t like it, just try another one. You may have to try a few different ones until you find the style that works best for you.