Have you ever tried meditation and thought it was completely useless? Or maybe you haven't even tried it because you think it doesn't work. I am here to change your mind.
Let me introduce you to the world of guided meditation. How is it any different from regular ol' meditation, you ask? Well, it's right in the name. In guided meditation, you are guided by either written text, a sound recording, or a mixture of both. Visuals are sometimes used but, most of the time, you are asked to close your eyes and visualise things for yourself.
For a lot of people, it's difficult to focus on anything when the world around is so loud and fast. Luckily for us, guided meditation usually provides a soothing soundscape so that you can be distracted from other external noises. If there is a person speaking, they will speak in a calm manner and help you through the meditation.
These meditations can last anywhere between five minutes to over an hour. It really depends on what kind of situation you are in. Are you headed to a social event and your anxiety is spiking? You can take part in a meditation that helps calm social anxiety. Having a busy day and your mind's a mess? Try to take five minutes out of your day to calm yourself down and collect your thoughts while meditating. Suffer from depression or episodes of anxiety on a daily basis? Meditate every day for however long you want until you're at a point of peace and satisfaction. If you're having sleeping problems, meditation can help put you to sleep since it helps calm both your body and mind.
I know this sounds like a cure-all that's too good to be true so let me explain why guided meditation is so helpful. Guided meditation will often encourage you to create situations in your head and then help you learn and practice how to tackle such situations. For example, if you partake in meditation to help with social anxiety, you might be asked to visualise a party and how you are behaving in it. Doing this before the actual event helps you to be your best version at the event.
So how does it work? First of all, you will be asked to find a comfortable place to sit in an upright position. Then, you will be asked to either close your eyes or focus on one specific object. You will then be guided to concentrate on your breathing, specifically deep breathing, which is a technique used in exercises of mindfulness. After that, your guide will go on to more advanced techniques. You might be asked to focus on each of your senses in order to be more present, or to feel how distinctly each body part is interacting with the external world, in an effort to relax your muscles. The possibilities are endless.
Now if I have sold you on this, you must be wondering where to start. The first thing I recommend is the app “Pacifica”. It contains free guided meditations that all help in various situations. You could also check out YouTube channels like Jason Stephenson – Sleep Meditation Music.
Find what you're comfortable with and stick to it. You might get instant results or it might take you a bit of time to adjust. However, the key is to not give up and to not dismiss the idea of meditation becoming a helpful part of everyday life.
Mayabee Arannya can never say no to a cup of tea or cute doggo pictures. Send her the latter at facebook.com/mayabee.arannya