Meditation began in Eastern cultures but was soon adopted by cultures throughout the world. Through meditation, you can find a sense of inner peace, harmony, and awareness. Over time, people adopted meditation to reflect their needs or culture, creating different forms that were suitable to them.
How do you decide which form of meditation is right? One way is to explore the various methods and discover what works best. Sometimes you find a few types that suit you, that’s okay. Whatever and however you choose to engage in meditation, remember you should choose a style that fits your personality.
Why Do People Meditate?
Often, the pressures of work, social expectations, friends, or family demands can create stress, anxiety, or increase feelings of depression. A sense of peace or tranquility while in everyday situations can provide relief from these pressures. Meditation can improve your physical and mental well-being.
You don’t need to block off a large chunk of time so you can practice meditation. In truth, you can take whatever time you need. The benefits of meditation aren’t limited to a prescribed amount of time spent finding inner peace. Also, you don’t need to be in one pose to meditate. Additionally, you can practice meditation without a guide or teacher. Learning which types of meditation you can do anywhere can help you in your exploration of meditation.
You can practice meditation anywhere. Whether you are at work, on a bus, or waiting for someone or something, you can find time to practice.
Tips to Begin Your Meditation Practice
- Find a comfortable position. A comfortable position is anything where you remain grounded. Relax your upper body. Drop your shoulders, relax your arms, and release tension.
- Place your hands on your thighs or in your lap. Some people prefer palms facing up, and others prefer palms facing down. Choose which way feels right for you.
- You can sit in a chair, lie, or sit on the floor. When you sit in a chair, place your feet flat on the floor. If you are seated on the floor, check your knees; are they below your hips? How you choose to sit is up to you; crossed legs or legs straight out doesn’t change how you meditate.
- Another option is standing up while you meditate. Standing is not the typical way to practice, but it is an essential part of practicing meditation anywhere. For example, you can practice while standing in line or waiting for the elevator.
- Your breath is essential. When you settle into a comfortable position, you don’t need to clear your mind. Instead, focus on your breathing. If or when you see your thoughts are wandering, find your breath and focus on how it feels.
- You can keep your eyes open or closed them while you meditate. Closing your eyes pulls you into your body while open eyes can ground you in your space.
- Time is not an essential part of meditation. There isn’t a set amount of time you need to meditate to feel the effects. The frequency of your practice is what counts. When you commit to taking time out to meditate, you commit to your well-being. Make meditation a part of your routine, even if you only have one minute!
To begin a mindfulness meditation session, you only need to be aware of what is happening around you. You focus on the present, not the past or the future. Regardless of where you are: grocery shopping, walking your dog, brushing your hair, the key to mindfulness meditation is to focus on that activity and become aware of what is happening at the moment. In the beginning, concentrating on the present can seem daunting. Don’t worry; try listening to your breath. Once you are comfortable listening to your breath, you can try focusing on the activity. Take your time, and don’t worry if you’re doing it right; your practice is what works for you.
A few benefits of mindfulness meditation are:
- Reduction in stress levels
- Fewer depression symptoms
- Increased memory capacity
- Better attention span than those who don’t practice meditation
Observer meditation means observing your thoughts, feelings, and senses. Unlike mindfulness meditation, those who practice observer meditation don’t saturate themselves with their thoughts, emotions, or sensory reactions. They think of these aspects as short-term. When you detach yourself from outside influences or your conscious mind, you can begin to observe your inner thoughts, emotions, or sensations.
By silently observing your situation, you can increase your awareness of what is going on in your life. With this awareness, you can begin to view everything in your life as a part of a bigger scheme. In cases where you are overwhelmed with everything going on, you can step back, process your feelings, look at the bigger picture, and find a healthy way to preserve your sense of inner peace.
When you practice loving-kindness meditation, you learn to love yourself and others without judgment. Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Find a mantra, for example: “May I find peace. May I find joy. May I find health.” You make your mantra and repeat it to yourself. You can direct your positive thoughts to yourself or someone else. You can do this while standing in line, waiting for someone, or if you are stuck in traffic.
Body scan meditation requires you to focus on different parts of your body, tightening the muscles, then relaxing them. Start with your feet. You can curl your toes, take a deep breath, and as you breathe out, relax your toes, relax your feet. Move to your legs, then your abdomen, arms, hands, shoulders, neck, and head. If you’re not comfortable tightening and relaxing, don’t worry. Instead of that process, focus on an area, take a deep breath, and exhale as you release any tension you are holding.
Meditation isn’t controlled by rules or restricted by procedures. You determine your forms of meditation, how much time you spend, or how many times a week you practice. Find what feels suitable for you and practice meditating wherever you find yourself.
Meditation is a form of holistic therapy that is easy to incorporate into your life. There are several different types of meditation, and you can explore, experiment, and discover the methods that work best for you. There is not a one-size-fits-all in life, so do not allow yourself to limit yourself to one kind of meditation. Wherever you are, you can practice one of the forms mentioned or a type your therapist suggests. Focus on your well-being, mental needs, and take positive steps to help discover your inner peace. At Alta Centers, we believe that you deserve specialized care that addresses your needs. We encourage you to find a holistic therapy like meditation to aid you in substance addiction treatment. We are available to discuss how we help you in your substance addiction treatment. Call (888) 202-2583 for more information and to speak to one of our caring, experienced professionals.