Meditation (5)

According to the Chopra Center, "Navigating the depths of consciousness on your own can be tough, especially for beginners. Guided meditations provide the assistance of a teacher or guide to walk you through the process and help you find a calm and peaceful state – one step at a time." 8308522475?profile=RESIZE_400x

Many people have heard of meditation and the benefits of the practice and wonder how to get started meditating. Engaging in meditation is a great way to lower stress levels and relax the mind and body. People who experience chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms can benefit from the practice of meditation. 

What Is Guided Meditation 

Guided meditation is a meditation practice led by an experienced teacher, either via a live broadcast or through pre-recorded audio or video. Through guided meditation can be used by anyone, it is more frequently used by those new to meditation. The added assistance and support of a teacher can be helpful when first embarking upon the practice. 

Guided meditations generally teach participants the basics of meditation techniques as well as offering instruction and insight into how the mind and thoughts work, how to better understand and relate to your thoughts and emotions, how to use meditation techniques in daily life, and how to settle the mind and body for meditation. 

In modern times, meditation is a great practice that should be on everyone's mind. Engaging in meditation each day can retrain the mind at the conscious and subconscious levels and shift the outlook. Starting a meditation practice is easy and only requires setting aside a few minutes each day to sit in silence and notice one's thoughts. Some people have a lot of trouble sitting still and therefore need a more engaging practice of meditation. 

Guided meditations are recorded meditations that lead the listener through a series of visualizations to create a new reality. Listening to guided meditations each day can be an easy way to get started with meditation. 

How To Start Meditating 

When beginning a meditation practice, many people prefer to start with a short sequence of around 5 minutes. Adding a 5-minute meditation once or twice per day can be completely transformative. After five minutes of meditation becomes easy to accomplish, add five minutes to your meditation time. 

Many people meditate for 20-30 minutes each day, and some people engaged in spiritual practice traditionally meditate for 2 hours each morning. Yet, meditation is a practice accessible for everyone who wants to improve their life experience and lower their stress levels. 

Many meditation styles can be done throughout the day, like a mantra, affirmation, and loving-kindness. Yet, when engaged in guided meditation, it is essential to focus on the practice by quietly sitting or lying where there are little distraction and noise. 

Now, find a guided meditation that is the proper length for your practice.  

Guided meditation maybe five minutes long and can range in content from positive affirmations to guided imagery to color visualization therapy. There is much variety in the topics and ideas to choose from.

A simple online search should reveal plenty of options for recorded meditations. Try to choose a guided meditation by a teacher or professional you trust and can connect with. 

Many guided meditations are available for online streaming for free or can be downloaded to your device for easier access. It is also possible to have a personalized guided meditation made by a teacher or other professional. It is possible to find guided meditations for self-empowerment, health and wellness, manifestation, and other lifestyle improvement topics.

Many guided meditations invoke nature, animals, plants, colors, and other visualizations to engage the mind and body and create a new vibration of energy within the system. 

Why Guided Meditation?

In guided meditation, the teacher leads the listener through a series of visualizations or journeys to engage the mind and body and establish relaxation and the space for insight. Listening to a guided meditation each day helps to reprogram the conscious and subconscious mind. 

When the audio and visualization is done day after day, it is possible to create a new reality and a unique world experience. Meditation is a practice in becoming aware of our ideas about life. So, when we meditate, we reflect on our experiences and allow a different understanding of how we choose to let events affect us.

Committing to listening to a guided meditation every day creates a regularity of practice that is dependable. This practice can lower stress levels and can also allow space for a long-term lifestyle change.

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Meditation and Mantra 

Many people are familiar with the idea or practice of meditation as a silent and contemplative practice. While this is a traditional way to practice meditation, there are also more modern and unique ways to practice meditation. Technology has allowed for new ways to engage with mindfulness practices that can benefit our busy lives. 8306021685?profile=RESIZE_400x

Additionally, many people have heard traditional mantra’s, used as a prayer for thousands of years in ancient and spiritual cultures. The practices of guided meditations and affirmations are deeply steeped in traditional experience and practice and have been proven effective over thousands of years to reprogram the subconscious mind.

Modern medicine and research have shown that these practices can be adopted and implemented in new ways to be useful and engaging. It is beneficial to honor traditional healing practices and meditations and make sure these practices are practical for daily life in modern times. Some techniques can be adapted to ensure that these practices are helpful in our fast-paced society. 

The Subconscious Mind 

The subconscious mind is the aspect of our minds that lies below the surface of our awareness. The subconscious mind is in control of various decisions we make even when we are unaware of them. This is helpful because it allows our brains to conserve energy and streamlines decision-making.

Imagine driving with full awareness of the conscious mind at all times. Instead, we rely on the subconscious mind to remember directions and take over a sort of autopilot. Many of us are already deeply ingrained with the understanding and physical practice of driving regularly. Similarly, the subconscious mind can hold onto experiences we have had that were deemed harmful and can use these old ideas as the framework for new decisions. When this happens, it can become detrimental to our creativity and ability to produce a new outcome. 

So, we sometimes get stuck in a cycle of repeating past choices or actions even though we thought we had learned our lesson. In these instances, the subconscious mind strives to protect us from harm and is guiding our decision making without our consent. 

Accessing and reprogramming the subconscious mind is essential for creating a new reality with greater patience, clarity, and success of our true nature and is not forced or faked.

Reprogramming the Mind with Guided Meditation 

When we regularly participate in guided meditation, we can access the subconscious mind and create a new underlying program for our lives. The subconscious mind is responsible for our underlying belief systems and ideologies.

Instead of allowing our subconscious mind to rule our existence, we can start to program our minds with whatever beliefs and ideas we prefer. Utilize affirmations throughout the day to strengthen our mindset and resolve conflicting ideas in the subconscious mind. Affirmations are phrases and statements that we create and repeat to ourselves to establish a new idea. 

When we repeat affirmations to ourselves, our mind begins to believe the new thought, and it can override any old patterns of negative behavior. Changing paradigms does not happen immediately, but we can reprogram the subconscious mind to a different outlook through devoted practice. Affirmations can be done anywhere and anytime. They can be said aloud or can be repeated silently to oneself. 

Affirmations can also be written repeatedly to engage both the mind and the body into a new state of manifestation. Regular use of guided meditation and affirmations will shift the old paradigm to a new useful response.


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10 Types Of Meditation

Meditation is a mind and body practice that focuses on the interaction between the brain, mind, body, and behavior. While there are numerous types of meditation, the common thread amongst them all tends to be an enhanced focus that trains attention and awareness. 8300599256?profile=RESIZE_400x

Most types of meditation also have the following aspects in common: A quiet spot with limited distractions; a comfortable posture (i.e., sitting, lying down, etc.); a focus of attention (i.e., sensations of breathing, a set of words, etc.); and an open mind that allows distractions to come and go without judgment (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2016). 

The practice of mediation has been shown to increase calm, enhance relaxation, improve psychological balance, and enhance overall health and well-being.

10 Types of Meditation

  1. Reflection: Reflection involves asking yourself questions as a means of developing greater awareness of feelings. Questions asked should be asked in the second person (you) to discourage the intellectual mind from creating a rational answer for it. The goal is to become more aware of how the question makes you feel instead of the thoughts that arise when the problem is focused on.
  2. Transcendental Meditation: This practice of meditation is taught by instructors trained and licensed by the Maharishi Foundation. Transcendental meditation involves sitting with eyes closed for 20 minutes twice daily and participating in the practice as instructed. These twice-daily sessions are generally practiced as morning meditation and a mid-afternoon or early evening session. 
  3. Visualization: Visualization involves picturing a person or a thing in your mind. The focus on the particular object or person replaces the traditional focus in meditation on breathing or elements of breath. It is via the visualization process that one can observe the mind and focus on physical sensations simultaneously.
  4. Body Scanning: The practice of body scanning is performed by doing a mental scan from the top of the head to the bottom of the toes. Attention is brought to any tension, discomfort, or aches/pains that may be present. This technique helps to sync the mind and the body.
  5. Mantra Meditation: Somewhat similar to focused attention meditation, mantra meditation involved focusing on a mantra (a word, phrase, or syllable) instead of focusing on the breath as a means to quiet the mind. The objective is that repeating a mantra can positively influence change via the subtle vibrations connected to repeating the mantra.
  6. Resting Awareness: This is the practice of letting the mind rest instead of focusing on breath or visualization. When practicing resting awareness, thoughts can enter the mind but are also able to drift freely away without causing a distraction. 
  7. Yoga Meditation: Yoga meditation tends to blend Kundalini yoga with Savasana. Kundalini yoga aims to strengthen the nervous system as a means of better coping with daily stress and problems. Shavasana, known as the corpse or relaxation pose, helps the body achieve relaxation and tension release. Via the implementation of various poses and intense focus on those poses, one is able to connect the mind and body for the better.
  8. Noting: The technique of noting involves paying close attention to what is causing a distraction to the mind. It’s about “noting” particular thoughts or emotions that we are so caught up in that we’ve lost awareness of the object we are supposed to be focusing on. Noting the distraction helps us restore awareness, create space from the distraction, release the distraction, and gain insight into our thought patterns, tendencies, and conditioning.
  9. Zen Meditation: Zen meditation is an ancient Buddhist tradition that involves sitting upright and tracking breath. Special attention is given to how that breath moves in and out of the belly, as well as allowing the mind to simply be. Zen meditation aims to develop a sense of presence and alertness.
  10. Loving-kindness: Loving-kindness is about directing positive energy and goodwill to ourselves and then to others as a sort of ripple effect. This helps us to release unhappy feelings we might be holding onto. 

Practicing meditation in any of its various forms can be beneficial to us- mind and body. Meditating well is about finding the practice that works best for you and helps you accomplish your particular goals.

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Guided Meditation is led by another's voice—either in-person or through a video or audio recording. Typically, Guided Meditation is best for individuals who are new to Meditation because an instructor can lead them through the basic steps of meditation practice. 8300538670?profile=RESIZE_400x

Instructors often walk participants through breathing exercises, mantras, and visual images while also helping them to understand how the mind is operating. Sessions can last from minutes to hours.

Guided Meditation can offer a host of benefits, including the six outlined below. 

  1. Decreased Stress: Guided Meditation is shown to halt and reverse the stress response the body goes into when introduced to a trigger. Rather than inducing a stress response, guided Meditation initiates a relaxation response in the body.

Research shows that just 25 minutes of guided Meditation practiced three days consecutively can reduce stress significantly and prevent the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which can create a damaging effect in the body.

  1. Improved Sleep: Studies have shown that guided Meditation, including mindfulness meditation, has been linked to improved sleep among individuals who have insomnia and other sleep conditions. Research shows that consistent meditation practice can aid in falling asleep sooner and staying asleep for a more extended period, and helping to ease racing thoughts that may keep someone from falling asleep.
  2. Pain Reduction: Evidence shows that guided Meditation reduces pain sensations in the body and helps improve the body's ability to cope with pain. Research by Leeds Beckett University found that just 10 minutes of guided mindfulness meditation could be used as an alternative to painkillers. Other studies have shown how Meditation was useful in the comfort of the terminally ill by mitigating chronic pain towards the end of life.
  3. Better Management of Depression: Guided Meditation can be beneficial in the management of depression symptoms. One way it helps is by promoting awareness of and separation from negative feelings. Meditation helps people recognize negative thought patterns and interrupt them so as not to get caught in a negative thought loop. Guided Meditation can also help change brain chemistry for the better by promoting positive thinking and optimism. This can ease depression symptoms such as sadness, low self-esteem, and poor mood.
  4. Better Self-Image: Guided Meditation can also improve emotional health by increasing self-confidence and self-esteem. One study looked at brain activity using an MRI scanner before and following participation in a two-month meditation course. 

Results showed increased self-esteem, increased brain network activity related to regulating attention, increased positive and decreased negative self-endorsement, and reduced activity in brain systems related to self-image.

  1. Improved Memory: Guided Meditation can also influence brain networks responsible for many cognitive tasks such as working memory, which allows the brain to hold onto information for the short-term. Meditation can also work to prevent or slow age-related memory loss. 

A scientific review of 12 studies looked at the impacts of Meditation on age-related memory loss and cognitive decline and found that the practice improved attention and mental quickness. One study found that just ten minutes of guided meditation practice each day can improve working memory by 9%. 

It is evident to see that guided Meditation can be an asset for many reasons. From improving mental health to aiding in physical outcomes, guided Meditation should undoubtedly be considered an option for people looking to improve overall health and wellness. Via regular practice, one is sure to see benefits that will enhance the quality of life for the better.

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5 Ways To Practice Stillness

When you hear the word “stillness,” you probably think of the act of physically sitting still without any sounds, movements, or feelings. This is true, in a sense, but stillness also refers to a sense of inner peace and serenity (or calmness).

Because stillness involves the body, mind, and spirit, there are plenty of ways that you can practice stillness and improve your overall mental state. Let’s go over some of the easiest ways that you can practice stillness in your life right now!4740118093?profile=RESIZE_400x

1. Take Time to Reflect

How often do you find yourself just going through the motions of life and never looking back? While this is an excellent strategy to avoid harping on the negatives and reliving bad experiences, it also denies you the opportunity to reflect.

One of the best ways to practice stillness is by sitting down and reflecting on past events that have happened to you. Think about things that have happened, ideally happy moments, and think about what they meant to you and how they’ve changed you as a person for the better.

2. Focus on Gratitude and What You’re Thankful For

As humans, we spend a lot of time looking toward the future and continually setting new goals. This is great for advancing yourself as a functioning member of society, but it’s also good to slow down a little and take a look around.

Take the time to think about what you do have currently in your life. This could be friends, family, physical items, and experiences you’ve had. Just focus on the positives that have happened in your life and identify what you’re thankful for and jot them down in a gratitude journal.

3. Just “Be”

How often do you just merely “exist” as a human? We’re talking about just sitting or lying there, not doing, not thinking busy stuff, anything that’s going on in your life, and not distracted by your phone or other technology.

Take time just to relax and do nothing. You can do it in your home or at your favorite place, but only focus on breathing, passing by any negative thoughts that might be lingering, and just work on the concept of existing.

4. Try Meditation

It’s hard to go a minute in your life without being stressed by something, let alone being stress-free for an hour or more. Therefore, it’s a great idea to proactively rid your mind of the stress you’re experiencing, at least for a little while.

Find a comfortable spot and play some soft music or a guided meditation track. Focus on taking deep breaths, clearing your mind of any lingering stress.

5. Explore the World

When was the last time you went any further than 30 minutes away from the house (and not to go to work or the department store)? Now, think about the last time you went off the beaten path and explored nature a little bit.

You don’t have to go on a road trip or go anywhere further than the local hiking trails at the park. But, spend a little time engulfing yourself in the beauty of the world around you, and you’ll begin to recognize that there’s much more to life than your little world.

Final Thoughts

When you begin to practice stillness in your life actively, you’ll start to notice that you feel much calmer than you usually do. It takes a little bit of time and effort on your part, but this is honestly one of the best ways to achieve a sense of inner peace. My book on Gratitude will help you practice stillness. Use the link below to purchase my book.

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