Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Meditation has been a practice for thousands of years and is a practice that helps to promote relaxation and mindfulness. With access to more information on meditation and the various types, people have been getting more into meditation as a means of stress relief and as a coping tool for mental illnesses.
If it is your first time looking into to meditation, researching information is an important tool for learning what meditation is all about and the different types there are. Meditation can mean something different for everyone as it all depends on why you are meditating to begin with. For me, meditation is a tool for coping with my stress or to help me shut off the thoughts that are buzzing around in my head so that I can fall asleep. For other people, meditation can bring about greater self-awareness, improved emotional well being, management of certain medical conditions, or may be a practice that goes with their religion. Researching and discovering what you are going to use meditation for is a great way to determine what type of meditation will work for you.
There are many different types of meditation out there. The main components that I notice with meditations is that they all require you to focus on something and you seem to take a lot of deep breaths at some point. Some meditations have you listen to a script, some have you focus on an object, and some have you moving around. Doing the research and then trying them out is a great way to see what works best for you. For me, I found that focusing on a single noise or repeating affirmations in my mind just don't work. I could focus for a little while, but my mind would start to get bored and the affirmations sometimes just annoyed me if I wasn't quite in the right mindset for them. I found focusing on an object like a candle would not work well as there was too much other stimuli around to distract me. I found walking meditations (yes, this is a thing) to be kind of weird and again, had too much other stimuli.
The one type that I found that works best for me is guided imagery meditation. This is when you listen to a script, normally with your eyes closed, that describes something that you are experiencing. The scripts usually describe what you are seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling physically, and sometimes what you are tasting. With my vivid imagination, these meditations hit all the right buttons to get my mind focused on something else other than my intruding thoughts. I especially do well when the script takes on the form of a story that I follow along with. Especially since I use meditation as a stress reliever and as a way to fall asleep, I like my meditations to be a little more on the fun side rather then a more serious side. YouTube has been a great tool for finding scripts that work well for me. To see more on this, check out my blog post on my go to meditation.
Overall, meditation can be a great tool to use for many different reasons. There are many different types out there for people to try and find at least one that benefits them the most. Discover what your meditation is and use it on a regular basis. If you are interested in guided imagery meditations, please check out more of my blog as I have written my own scripts. The biggest piece of advice that I can give to people when they are discovering meditation is to figure out what you are going to use meditation for. Be patient as it can take time to find the one that will work for you. And to also keep in mind that meditation may not be for everyone as well. But you won't know if meditation is right for you unless you try it out.