Meditation Made Easy: Tools and Resources to Aid Your Well-Being
Are you often stressed out, anxious, or nervous? In small doses, those feelings are normal. But to the detriment of our health, stress has become somewhat of a steady state.
Have you ruled out medicine, and your doctors don’t think you need therapy? If you have come to the conclusion that meditation is a method you’d like to try to calm your mind and achieve well-being, then this list of resources and tools can help you.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is an umbrella term for a broad variety of techniques that have been practiced as part of numerous religious traditions and beliefs since ancient times. Meditation can be used as part of apps for mindfulness and relaxation, and it can help concentration, tranquility, patience, insight, compassion, love, generosity, and forgiveness.
The common denominator of meditation methods is the quieting of the mind. When meditating, you practice still awareness of your surroundings, as well as the thoughts that come up. Rather than engaging with the stimuli that reach your brain, you let it all pass—even your own thoughts.
Online Meditation Resources
Resources for Meditation Techniques
As mentioned above, there are a variety of different meditation techniques. First, they differ in their posture, ranging from sitting, standing, or lying down to walking. Second, they differ in how the mind is used. For example, you can focus on your breathing, repeat a single word or mantra, or simply observe the thoughts that are drifting through your mind.
UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center offers free guided meditation audio files, which provide an introduction to mindfulness meditation. Mindworks has an excellent guide to meditation techniques for beginners, as well as a range of online training courses. U.S. News has also published a beginner’s guide to meditation.
Learning Sitting Meditation Posture
Essentially, any comfortable and stable posture is acceptable for meditation. Ideally, sit or kneel freely, don’t lean against something, and make sure you can comfortably hold the position for the length of the meditation. The Dummies website has a detailed article on meditation postures that explains the characteristics of the most common positions.
Sounds and Music To Improve Meditation
Sounds are a great aid in quieting the mind. You could block out external sounds with noise-canceling earbuds or headphones. Many people use calming background sounds or white noise apps to help, too. What works best for your body may be listening to calming nature sounds, which have similar effects as meditation itself: they reduce your stress levels.
When you have decided to move forward with meditation, digital tools can support you. Here is a small selection of apps that provide facilitated sessions, background sounds, and timers.
Meditating with the Calm app is a great choice whether you’re a beginner or experienced in the practice. One of the most popular meditation and mindfulness apps, Calm contains a whole suite of meditations, stories, and calming music to reduce your stress and help you relax and sleep.
Calm releases fresh content daily. You can check in with your mood and look up a session to match your state of mind. Alternatively, take one of the longer guided courses. A section called Calm Body offers gentle stretches and movements to help you wake up or unwind. There is even an extensive section for kids, making this a great choice for parents.
2. Meditation Assistant
The Meditation Assistant is a timer and a progress meter that controls your phone’s settings during meditation and provides access to a community of people who also practice meditation.
Your meditation can be timed, end at specific times, or be un-timed. You can set up to three preset times. All sessions are recorded in a calendar, and you can add a note to each. The calendar, your individual sessions, and the overall statistics are available under the Progress tab.
In the app’s settings, you can define starting, interval, and ending sounds, control what happens with your phone’s ringtones, notifications, and screen during a session, set daily meditation reminders, and more.
Download: Meditation Assistant for Android (Free)
3. Insight Timer
Insight Timer is an award-winning meditation app with a worldwide community of over 21 million members. It offers a wide range of guided meditations and sleep aids to help you relax. If you’re just learning how to meditate, the Insight Timer app would be a great choice, as it features an extensive library of courses and mentoring in the Learn section. You’ll be able to join in live events and workshops to hone your skills and expertise.
Insight Timer also features a Connect tab, within which you’ll find the worldwide family of users. Here you can join groups with similar interests, and even invite your friends. Much of the app’s content is free, too, although you can subscribe to get full access to all of the courses and the ability to download and listen to content offline.
How Does Meditation Work For You?
Whether you are just starting out or have practiced meditation for a long time, you can always improve your skills with these resources. After all, mindfulness and meditation is a lifelong habit that takes real commitment to master. If you do make the effort, you’ll gain a powerful tool to help you relax and unwind, which is essential for your well-being. Better still, you’ll have some strategies to employ when the going gets tough and you need to stay calm and focused.
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January 25, 2023 at 04:35AM