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How to find your most beneficial personal meditation style

Your approach to meditation

There is not a right or wrong way when seeking a meditation style. Do remember that influences have an impact on you that will affect your approach to meditation.

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How to find your most beneficial personal meditation style

How to find your most beneficial personal meditation style

https://www.happiness.com/en/magazine/inspiration-spirituality/find-beneficial-personal-meditation-style-2/

happiness.com

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Key Ideas

Types of meditation

There are many different meditation styles to suit your personal approach to meditation. Beginners usually choose to start with guided meditation and then experiment with other different approaches.

Length of meditation time

The length of meditation will impact on how successful it will be.

  • One study reported 5 hours' worth of meditation over a two-week period was enough for smokers to reduce their intake.
  • Another study noted that regular 30 minutes meditation sessions can increase the density of brain matter in areas associated with memory, stress and empathy.

Frequency of meditation

10 minutes a day can be enough when it is part of a daily routine. Longer periods might be required if it is done less frequently.

Qualitative considerations

It is not possible to always be successful with your meditation sessions. 

Acceptance of the outcome of a meditation session is a factor when considering if it has been successful or not.

Meditation settings

Try multiple settings to find which place suits your personal meditation style. 

It could be a dedicated spot or a useful place that also serves other purposes.

Finding your personal meditation style

  • A valuable tool to understand your own style is to keep a journal. It can help you to work out the similarities and qualitative considerations for multiple types of meditations.
  • Neurofeedback devices can provide actual quantitative measurements of brain activity during meditation.
  • Feedback sessions with your mentor can also be beneficial.

Self-optimization and mindfulness

Developing a meditation style should not be a self-optimization goal. 

You may find more success if you develop your own style along the way to a wider set of meditative purposes.

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Reducing Stress

Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress.

  • In an eight-week study, a meditation style called "mindfulness meditation" reduced the inflammation response caused by stres...
Controlling Anxiety

Less stress leads to less anxiety.

Regular meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Promoting Emotional Health

Some types of meditation can improve depression and help you maintain these benefits.

  • Two studies of mindfulness meditation found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults.
  • One study found that participants experienced a long-term decrease in depression.

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Loving-kindness meditation

Also known as Metta meditation; the goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything.
During meditation, practitioners send and repeat messages of loving-kind...

Body scan or progressive relaxation

The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to be released.
Practitioners start at one end of their body, usually their feet, and work through the whole. They might tense and then relax muscles or they might visualize a wave moving over their body to release tension.

Mindfulness meditation

It encourages practitioners to notice their surroundings without judgement, instead of dwelling on the past or future.

Mindfulness can be done almost anywhere, even in a grocery store, for example.

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Guided vs. unguided meditation
  • In guided meditation, a teacher guides you through the basic steps of the practice. This is useful for beginners to get the most out of the experience.
  • In unguided meditation, you ...
Calming vs. insight meditation

The intention of calming meditation is to cultivate a quieter, more peaceful state of mind and improved concentration.

Insight meditation often sets an intention to transform the mind by developing qualities such as wisdom and compassion. 

Many meditation techniques combine elements of both.

Focused attention

It uses the object of your breath to focus attention and maintain awareness. If your mind starts to wander, return your attention to your breath.

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