How to Achieve Calm: A Guide to Meditation
Co-Editor in Chief
If you’ve had a rocky start to the new year, or even if you’re just looking for a way to have a more positive mindset, practicing meditation may be for you.
You’re probably tired of hearing meditation and breathing exercises being exhausted by counselors and the internet alike. Though it may seem overrated, and it won’t fix all of your problems, meditation is a very useful habit for busy and non-busy people alike.
The goal of using a meditative method of your choice is to train your brain to pay attention to your environment in the present moment, as well as achieve mental clarity and emotional stability.
Most people don’t know that there are multiple types of meditation. There are many ways that you can go about it, and you should never feel like you have to conform to a specific type.
First of all, the easiest way for most beginners to get started is through guided meditation. Having somebody else instruct you on when and how to check your breathing and when to let your mind wander will help you to get the feel for it if you’ve never tried it before.
There are many guided meditation videos online, along with podcasts and free mobile apps. One of the most well known apps is called Headspace. There is a show based on the app on Netflix called “Headspace Guide to Meditation”. Some other apps include Calm, Insight Timer, Aura, Inscape, and Smiling Mind.
If you can’t sit in a quiet place and participate in a 10+ minute meditation, mindfulness meditation can easily be done wherever you are and almost whenever. It is a great way to ease anxiety and to focus, especially if you are busy and feel overwhelmed.
To practice mindfulness, all you have to do is to take a moment, close your eyes, and take deep breaths while observing your thoughts and emotions without judging them. .
In the case that you have more time, drawing your attention to where you are can be done by performing a body scan. A body scan usually only takes five minutes or less.
Sit in a comfortable position, then start by paying attention to the way that your body feels, starting from the top of your head to your toes. If you notice tension in any areas, you may be tensing your muscles due to stress and need to relax your body more.
Other types of meditation besides for guided and mindfulness include transcendental, Vipassana, loving kindness, chakra, and yoga meditation.
Transcendental meditation is when a person repeats a mantra in a certain way for 20 minutes twice a day, the goal of Vispassana meditation is self-transformation, the focus of Loving Kindness is to direct well wishes towards others, Chakra meditation draws attention to the centers of energy in the body, and practicing yoga meditation requires balance and concentration.
Considering its accessibility and the numerous physical and mental health benefits that meditation offers, it is worth a try for anyone who is looking for some more peace in their life. With all that may be going on in your life or the world around you, it is important to remember to always take care of your mind.