Meditation is in vogue. In fact, many psychotherapists recommend it thanks to its multiple benefits. In this article, you’ll discover what guided meditation is and its proposed benefits.
There are several kinds of meditation. For example, kundalini or chakra-based. However, this article focuses on guided meditation. This is the best kind for beginners. Let’s find out why.
Guided meditation is carried out with the support of a person experienced in the art. They tell you what to do and guide you through the entire process. They also offer you emotional support in the face of any uncomfortable feelings you may experience. These might be nervousness, impatience, boredom, or lack of concentration.
The journal Mindfulness: General Concepts, Psychotherapy, and Clinical Applications states that mindfulness practices such as meditation involve “an objective observation of reality in the present without a judgmental attitude and with full openness and acceptance”. Indeed, it’s a myth that you have to leave your mind blank or not think about anything.
In guided meditation, the instructors are fully aware that you’ll have thoughts in your mind. However, the goal is to look at them as if you were lying on the grass and they’re the clouds in the sky. You watch them pass, without judging them. They then pass by, and the next ones come. With practice, you’ll be able to be more relaxed and aware of the present moment.
“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness…”
The benefits of guided meditation
Now that you’re aware that guided meditation is a good way to get started in the art of meditation, let’s look at some of its benefits. These are obtained by beginners and advanced practitioners alike.
The article “Mindfulness-based Psychological Interventions and Benefits: State of the Art” mentions some of the benefits:
- It allows for greater emotional regulation. Furthermore, it prevents stress and impatience. This is because the person guiding you reassures you that, even if you get distracted, nothing will happen. In fact, you’ll find that you’ll be more concentrated some days.
- It improves stress levels. This doesn’t mean that it eliminates stress altogether. However, you’ll respond to it differently. Your meditation guide will help you in this.
- It stops you from getting lost in the process. Indeed, with guided meditation, you’re accompanied and understood throughout the entire exercise. Therefore, you’ll know exactly what to do at each moment. For example, focusing on your breathing, letting it flow, concentrating on the sounds around you, etc.
- It reduces rumination. These kinds of obsessive thoughts are often due to anxiety. Furthermore, they’re exhausting. The fact that meditation works in the here and now stops you from clinging to those thoughts and helps you detach yourself from them.
These are just some of the benefits of guided meditation. Nevertheless, something we haven’t mentioned is the possibility of performing different kinds of meditation. Some of these are based on visualization. Others focus more on breathing and some involve mental dispersion. As a matter of fact, there are many types of meditations, all of which allow you to practice and explore the different ways of undertaking this process.
Nowadays, you’re lucky to have a really valuable tool at your fingertips: your cell phone. On it, you’ll find many apps you can download. Some are even free. You certainly shouldn’t miss the ones that offer guided meditation. In fact, explore them all so you can find the one that works best for you. One example is Insight Timer.
If you’ve never been encouraged to meditate, using these apps will help you get started in the practice of guided meditation. However, you should bear in mind that it’s better to spend two minutes a day practicing than half an hour once a week. That’s because, in order to see the benefits meditation can bring, you need to make it a daily habit.
If you want to manage your emotions better and feel calmer, don’t hesitate to take up guided meditation.
“The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.”
Five Types of Meditation and their Benefits