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Meditation is what´s called the practice of reaching a heightened level of awareness. It allows you to get into tune with your thoughts without being consumed by them. It therefore makes it easier to focus on what truly matters to you and gives you the chance to quiet your mind.
Maybe you think of meditation and believe that it has a religious or spiritual meaning, but that’s not always true. People who meditate also include agnostics. They find meditation to be beneficial and use it when they need serenity.
There are many different types of meditation. Today I want to show you a few of the most popular forms:
In this form of meditation a mentor or teacher encourages someone to visualize a certain outcome. As example: a football coach may have his players do a guided meditation where they imagine winning the game.
Guided meditation allows you to regain a sense of control in the face of setbacks with enough practice. In an interview with Forbes, Michael Phelps shared that his goggles filled with water during the Olympic race. Other swimmers may have panicked. I certainly wouldn´t have liked it…
But Michael did not panic. He’d spent hours visualizing a successful outcome, so he just closed his eyes and started swimming. He completed the race, winning the gold medal and breaking the world record.
These are meditation sessions focusing on a mantra which some people find helpful. The mantra can be any one that you choose. Often it´s helpful to create a mantra about an area of your life that you’re actively seeking to improve.
For weight loss a mantra could be, “I choose to feed my body with healthy foods.” Should you be looking to earn more money, your mantra could be, “I am worthy of wealth and will spend my money wisely.”
Say the mantra to yourself out loud during meditation. Should you find your mind drifting or you’re worrying about something, relax and keep repeating your mantra. At the same time, don´t worry about your mind drifting off. This will steer you away from focus too. Just let those thoughts come and go. It will get easier after a few sessions to stay on track.
Another form of meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness is focused on staying in the moment without fear or judgment. Instead, you become an observer of your inner self. This is one of my favorite forms of meditation. I often practice this when going to bed, together with some gratitude exercises.
To practice your mindfulness, you can sit or lie comfortably and listen to your thoughts. The main key is not to react to what you’re thinking. As an example, you think about the cookies you have in the kitchen but then remember you’re on a diet. You instantly feel guilty and ashamed.
In mindfulness practice, you could say, “I release this feeling and open myself to joy and peace.” The more you practice mindfulness, the more you’ll become aware of how your thoughts are shaping your life. And the more you practice mindfulness, the more negative thoughts and feelings just come and go. I still get wound up, but it never lasts long, just a few moments.
There are many styles of meditation. Don’t feel bad if you try one method and don’t enjoy it. You may have to try a few different styles until you find the one that works best for you.