The Benefits of Meditation for Stress Relief
Types of Meditation
Deciding how to start a meditation practice can seem like a daunting task at first. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are many different types of meditation that you can use to find the one that works the best for you.
Learning how to meditate isn’t something that you have to master on the first try to truly enjoy it. It will take a while before you feel that you’ve got a hang on it. I found this to be especially true with my ADHD playing a factor.
It’s important to remember that your goal when meditating is not to have a completely blank slate. There will be thoughts that pass through your mind, especially in the beginning. That’s ok! The key is to let those thoughts pass right on by without giving too much attention to them.
Guided meditation is a great way to get started with meditation. You can ease your way into things by using techniques such as visualization. It’s also a great way to escape from the stress of the day and find your own happy place.
There are many different types of unguided meditation that you can use. Some people prefer to use nature sounds or plain white noise. Others use sound bath meditation with chanting, bells, singing bowls, or other tools often used in zen meditation.
Music is a great tool for meditation when used properly. A favorite meditation type of mine makes use of binaural beats. This “music” uses different tones to directly affect a person’s brain waves. There are types for sleep, for focus, and even for increasing positivity.
The Best Apps to Help with Anxiety
Headspace – If you are a complete beginner to meditation then Headspace just may be the app for you. They do have a subscription fee. However, they offer a trial period to determine if the app is something that you will benefit from. The app breaks meditation up into 10-minute segments making it accessible and easy for anyone. It also offers a guided meditation approach which is nice for someone just starting out.
Calm – This is another app that offers a subscription service. However, Calm is more for mindfulness and relaxation. It is currently rated as the #1 app for mindfulness, meditation, and clarity. They offer two types of meditations through the app including guided meditations and sleep stories. The Calm website is pretty awesome too!
Meditation Studio – This app offers a lower-priced option for guided meditations. Meditation Studio currently sells for a one time fee of $3.99 which opens up all content on the app with no subscription fee. This makes it a good option for those unable or not interested in going with a subscription service.
There are tons of guided meditations available on the app which range from beginner to intermediate focus level. The website also offers a great FAQ for those just starting out on meditation.
Omvana – This app is more or less your one-stop shop for meditation. It offers all levels and types of meditation that you could possibly want. I believe that it is my personal favorite.
Meditation times range from 3 to 60 minutes which offers a wide variety of choices to match your personal style and goals. It is a paid service, but I personally find the cost to be worth the value due to the wide range of leaders and styles available through this app. The convenience level available here alone makes it very valuable.
Happify – This isn’t exactly a “meditation app” but rather a really interesting approach to stress relief and relaxation. It uses several different techniques to help promote a more positive outlook and banish negativity from your life.
I really think this one is interesting so while it isn’t really the same thing as the others, it’s still totally worth checking out! There’s a whole science behind it that you can read more about on their website. It’s really pretty cool.
Relax Melodies Oriental Meditation – Finally, if you are looking for more of a D.I.Y. method or if you are just looking for something peaceful to relax to there is this app. I have been using this app for years and it remains one of my favorite “relaxing” apps. You can choose from a large variety of melodies or nature sounds, or mix them together to make your own aural scenes.
Making Meditation Work for You
As you can see there is a wide variety of meditation apps for stress and anxiety to choose from. You want to really take the time to try a few of them out. Try a guided meditation and the next day do an unguided meditation. Experiment with different nature sounds like birds or waterfalls.
The last thing you want to do is overthink it, though. If you are stressing yourself out because meditation isn’t working for you then you’re not benefitting from it. If nature sounds seem to distract you then try singing bowls. If you need something to keep your mind from wandering go with a guided meditation.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t find yourself levitating with zen after your first try. Most people will do terrible at it the first few times but then it gets easier. Then you start to see the results as your body isn’t holding tension or negative emotions. In about a month or so, if you keep up with it you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start sooner.
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