Meditation: Different Strategies for Beginners

I remember first learning about meditation and how useful of a tool it was for managing stress, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, etc. Not knowing where to start or even what to do to start was a very overwhelming thought. Once I learned a few different techniques, I knew my life was in for a better change. There’s so many different ways to meditate, and most of the time, you don’t even have to sit in one place to meditate (especially if you’re neurodivergent). Continue reading if you feel like you could benefit for a form of meditation, and even if you don’t think so, you definitely should still read on!

Meditation is an ancient practice that has been around for centuries. Many people stuck in their faith think of cults and non-Christianity whenever they head meditation, but it’s important to know that meditation has zero to little to do with faith and is more about altering your consciousness, finding awareness, and achieving peace.

Meditation is a tool that can be used anywhere you are without bothering a coworker, neighbor, sleeping child, etc. Whether or not you use medication, meditation is sure way to keep your emotions grounded and stable. It’s something that won’t slow us down; it won’t disrupt our busy schedules.

Before we dive into the details of the different ways to meditate, it’s important to know that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Whatever is comfortable for you and helps you is the correct way for you, because we all experience things differently. Not wrong.

Types of Meditation

Remember, not all meditations types are meant for everyone so if a certain style doesn’t work well, don’t get discouraged. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and it’s the most popular in the west.

With mindfulness mediation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts, just let them flow and find the patterns that they take. This usually helps you find if you are focusing on negative or positive emotions or thoughts.

It’s helpful to focus on an object, your breath, or your heartbeat while you observe any feelings, body sensations, or feelings.

This is usually the easiest form that you can do without a guide or teacher walking you through it. Most people can do this type of meditation while doing everyday tasks or hobbies like cleaning, drawing, playing a video game, writing, etc. Alternatively, you can lay down or sit somewhere comfortable and just take deep, counted breaths to center your thoughts and digest them.

Click here for more information on how to practice mindfulness meditation.

2. Spiritual Meditation

This type of meditation is usually practices in Eastern religions such as Hinduism or Daoism, and even in Christian faith (like Catholicism). It’s similar to prayer where you focus on the silence around you and seek a connection with God or the Universe. This is generally where some people have problems meditating because they don’t practice a religion that focuses on a spiritual connection.

Certain essential oils are commonly used in spiritual meditation such as frankincense, myrrh, sage, cedar, sandalwood, or Palo Santo. It is usually practiced at home or in a place of worship. It’s most beneficial for people who seek spiritual growth.

If spiritual meditation is something you feel interested in, you might experience feelings of joy and peace. Many people use this type to achieve a type of spiritual awakening that allows you to let go of the past events and future possibilities. Some people feel much more free after using spiritual meditation.

For more information on how to practice spiritual meditation, click here.

3. Focused Meditation

Similar to mindful meditation, this type of meditation also uses focus on a particular object. The only difference is that its generally focusing on one of the five senses or something internal to your body. By focusing on your breath, heartbeat, touch, something that you see or smell, you can focus on something other than whatever it is that is triggering anxiety or anger.

Some examples are listening to meditative music (gongs, soundscapes), staring at a candle flame, or counting mala beads.

To find more information on focused meditation, click here.

4. Movement Meditation

This can also be a different form of mindfulness meditation that I had already described. This is generally the practice that includes any gentle movement such as yoga, chores, conventional stretching, etc.

This type of meditation is great for people who prefer to move and allow their minds to wander freely, instead staying stationary and allowing your thoughts to sit in one place.

For more information on movement meditation, click here.

5. Mantra Meditation

Prominent in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, this type of meditation uses repetitive sounds to help clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or sound (such as Om).

It doesn’t matter if it’s spoken loudly or quietly, after time of repeating whatever sound, you’ll feel more alert and aware of your environment. Essentially, you’ll be able to experience more levels of awareness of yourself and surroundings.

The trick for this is to actually repeat the sounds yourself, breathing and focusing on your breath while letting the sounds vibrate through you.

By repeating a sound, you don’t really have to mindfully focus on your breathing because you’re using your voice to create the sound which forces you to breathe at an even pace. Most people find this form of meditation easier than solely focusing on their breathing.

For more information on mantra meditation, click here.

6. Transcendental Meditation

This type is said to be most efficient and straightforward meditation technique for relaxation and self-development. Deriving from the Hindu religion, it is based on Vedic traditions. This practice has been the subject in numerous studies in the scientific communities, further proving how efficient it is.

It’s more customizable than mantra meditation, allowing the practitioner to use a mantra or set of words that are specific to them.

This practice is best for people who like structure and are serious about maintaining a meditation practice.

If you would like more information, click here.

7. Progressive Relaxation

Also known as body scan meditation, this is a practice that focuses on reducing tension in the body and inducing relaxation. Generally, it involved slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body. It may also guide you to imagine a wave flowing through your body that reduces tension, used to help relieve tension and aid in bedtime routines.

For more information and steps on how to practice, click here.

8. Loving-Kindness Meditation

This type of meditation is used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance towards yourself and others.

It usually involves opening your mind to receive love from others and then sending a series of well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and living beings.

This is great for people who struggle with anger and resentment towards themselves or others.

If you would like more information on how to practice loving-kindness meditation, click here.

9. Visualization Meditation

Like the name, this type of meditation works by inducing thoughts of relaxation, kindness, and peace by visualizing positive scenes or images.

With this practice, it’s important to imagine the scene vividly and use all five senses to add as much detail as possible.

Another form of visualization meditation involves imagining yourself succeeding at specific goals, which is intended to increase focus and motivation.

Many people use this type of meditation to boost their mood, reduce stress levels, and promote inner peace.

For more information on how to practice visualization meditation, click here.

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