What is Meditation and why should you try it?

Meditation is the practice of mindfulness. The goal is to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. The outcome with regular practice can positively affect every aspect of your life.

There are many different types of mediation. You have to find the one that works best for you. You may practice several types of meditation. Here are some examples:

1. Body Scan Meditation

This meditation encourages people to scan their bodies for areas of tension. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release.

It usually starts with tensing up certain muscles and then releasing them, one by one. Most practitioners start with their feet, working their way up through the body.

This type of meditation can help with chronic pain and insomnia. It promotes generalized feelings of calmness and relaxation. 

2. Breath Awareness Meditation

This is a type of mindful meditation that promotes mindful breathing.

Practitioners start with slowly and deeply breathing while focusing on filling and emptying the lungs and focusing on the airflow itself. The goal is to temporarily erase any other thoughts that might want to come to the forefront. 

When done correctly, mindful breathing meditation can improve concentration and reduce anxiety and stress.

3. Kundalini Yoga Meditation

This type of meditation involves Yoga movements that combine deep breathing, mantras and moving. It is usually performed in a class type environment. 

The regular practice of Kundalini Yoga meditation can lead to reduced pain, improved physical strength and reduced anxiety and depression.

4. Loving Kindness Meditation

Also known as Metta Meditation, the goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything. It starts with deep breathing exercises that involve the practitioners to open their minds to receive loving kindness and then sending it out to the world or to specific people. This might involved speaking words of love and kindness repeatedly to help shift the practitioners attitude towards love and kindness. 

Loving kindness meditation promotes feelings of compassion towards oneself and others. It can help with anger management and reduce frustration and resentment. It can also increase the practitioners ability for self-love and reduce depression, anxiety and PTSD.

5. Mindfulness Meditation

This type of meditation in involved in almost any kind of meditation. It requires the practitioner to become aware and remain present in the moment. Focusing on breath or muscles tensing and releasing without any judgment.

This can be done anywhere and any time.

It can help improve emotional stability, memory and focus. It has the potential to also lower blood pressure.

6. Transcentental Meditation

This is a spiritual form of meditation. It is practiced by remaining seated, breathing slowly and focusing on rising about a person's current state of being.

Practitioners may focus on a mantra, a word or a series of words. 

The regular practice of transcendental meditation can lead to heightened awareness, mindfulness and spirituality.

7. Zen Meditation

Zen Meditation is often a part of Buddhist practice. This type of meditation requires lost of learning, so it is best practiced with a teacher because it involves specific steps and postures. 

The practitioner will find a comfortable position and then focus on breathing and not passing judgment. It is a form of mindfulness meditation but is more disciplined and requires lots of practice.

The benefits range from relaxation to spiritual growth.

Whichever meditation practice you choose, the benefits are quite obvious. In a world were stress and tension are all around us, it would behoove all of us to focus a little more on practicing kindness towards ourselves and others.