Did you know that the benefits of daily meditation practice are scientifically proven? We’re thinking you do due to the amount of press coverage on the subject. The quantity of science-backed research on the most effective types of meditation is impressive to say the least. There are 100s of meditation techniques, in fact probably thousands and each one has its own unique purpose, but they all seem to work towards a similar end goal; inner calm and control.
So whether you’re a beginner to meditation, or your daily meditation practice is already in full ommmm swing, we think you may find a couple of new-to-you meditation techniques you’ll want to try from our list below. Let’s begin!
1. Kundalini Meditation
Dance! Dance! Dance! Kundalini Meditation is all about embracing your lack of rhythm and dancing like no-one (or everyone) is watching. You can join classes where you’ll discover your inner beat and embrace grooving to the max. With a few random shouts, cheers and hollas thrown in too (cringe factor = high if not embraced.)
This is a fantastic way to dip your tapping toe into meditation. A study by David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa found that Kundalini can be used to help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), “the fourth most common psychiatric disorder and the tenth most disabling disorder worldwide.” He found it can also help with anxiety disorders, managing fear and “tranquilizing an angry mind.” Dancing shoes at the ready.
2. Guided Meditation
This form of meditation utilises meditative resources such as our sleep app Peak Sleep. Peak Sleep uses voices of experts to guide you through different types of meditation. Guided meditation is great for newcomers and for those who are more advanced.
Research has found that guided meditation is the perfect addition to a day at the office. The research compared a seated 15 minute yoga posture and guided meditation practice in the office to normal work and how the participants responded to physiological and psychological markers of stress. They found that meditation reduced heart rate and respiration rate and “domains of heart rate variability were significantly reduced versus normal work” concluding that “meditation performed in the office can acutely improve several physiological and psychological markers of stress.” So long meetings, hello meditation.
3. Visualisation Meditation
In your mind, picture yourself in a place that makes you feel completely at ease and relaxed. Now think of a person that fills you with that warm, syrupy feeling. You’ve just done a whirlwind course of visualisation meditation, woohoo.
This form of meditation can be done anywhere as you don’t have to have your eyes closed (although it does help.) There’s so much science-backed evidence for this technique, especially in the world of sports and elsewhere. It’s a great tool to use if you feel yourself bubbling over with anger from road rage or stress at work; the minute you think of that special place your mood will switch and you’ll most likely end up smiling!
So, don’t look back in anger… Look forward in happiness and find your chilled oasis.
4. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is a phrase which is thrown around a lot. And that’s the understatement of the year. It does, however, deserve its due. The technique allows you to be present in and aware of the current moment. This in turn can calm the mind, decrease stress levels and create a better way to cope with potentially anxiety-inducing situations.
Studies have found that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction methods, for example when used on medical students, “may be an effective stress management intervention.” They also found that “significant effects were also observed on Tension-Anxiety, Confusion-Bewilderment, Fatigue-Inertia and Vigor-Activity subscales.”
The best thing about mindfulness meditation is that it’s free and can be done in most places. So the next time you’re in the subway shoved up against someone’s moist armpit (yuk, so vivid) then why not take note of the other surroundings and sounds? Tune into a conversation between two people in suits, listen to the melodic undertones of the train on the tracks, see what book someone is reading, or think about how fast you’re travelling in a tiny little hole underground.
One study subjected a group of healthy individuals to an 8 week mindfulness meditation program. After this period they were vaccinated with the influenza vaccine. By measuring brain electrical activity, they found that the group who took part in the meditation program had “significant increases in left-sided anterior activation, a pattern previously associated with positive affect.” They also found significant increases in the amount of antibodies in the blood concluding that “a short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function.”
I suppose all that’s left to say is; on your marks, get set, meditate.
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