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What is Guided Meditation

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Meditation has been recommended to me several times and I was so resistant to it. I finally decided to see what the fuss was about and started doing guided meditations to help with stress relief. It’s been a wonderful practice I’ve added to my life that has allowed me to slow down and check in with myself each day.

a woman with her hand on her abdomen meditating

What is meditation?

According to the Mayo Clinic, Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress.

What are the benefits of meditation?

In a world where everything is fast and loud around us, there are few moments where we can find stillness in our day. Meditation has many benefits, such as

  • Stress Relief
  • Relaxation
  • Becoming more self-aware
  • Reducing negative thoughts and/or feelings
  • Learning to focus on the present
  • A tool to help with anxiety
  • A way to calm down for sleep
a photo of trees and the word "breathe" lit up on it

What happens during a guided meditation?

During a guided meditation you are led through the meditation by someone else. The person guiding you through may give you specific imagery or breathing practices to do as you are quieting your mind and body.

Why would someone do guided meditation?

Guided meditation can be helpful if someone has a hard time quieting the mind. By being led into meditation by someone else, it can help the person focus on what they are being instructed to focus on instead of self-guided where the individual relies on themself to stay focused and grounded on the practice.

It is a great option for someone who is just starting to meditate and isn’t quite sure how to do it. That’s why I have chosen guided meditation. I find it to be incredibly helpful to have someone help me quiet my mind and guide me through calming down my mind and my body.

a group of women laying down with their hands on their heart and abdomen, meditating

Is guided meditation or self-guided meditation better?

This is a very personal and individual question, and the answer will be different for many. There are some people who believe that guided meditation isn’t as good for you as self-guided, but I think it’s better than none at all.

I had tried meditating on my own when it was recommended to me and I couldn’t get my mind to stop racing. Therefore, it led me to believe that meditation was way too difficult. When I discovered guided meditation on the Peloton app, it changed my perspective and my approach to meditation.

How has guided meditation helped me?

I have been working on dealing with stress by incorporating guided meditation. By meditating it is allowing me to quiet my mind, and be still (which is rare for me) allowing myself to find calm in my day.

Guided meditation forces me to slow down. And it always leaves me feeling more calm and better able to tackle my day.

When is the best time to meditate?

The best time to meditate is when you will do it, and when you will receive the most benefit. For me, I usually meditate in the afternoon after lunch and after my daughter goes down for nap as it’s the first time I’m alone all day. I turn on a guided meditation and take 10 minutes to unwind. I look forward to those 10 minutes!

I also like to meditate before I go to sleep some nights if I find I might have a hard time going to bed. I can play the guided meditation while laying in bed and slowly drift off to sleep, many times before it’s even completed.

Where can I find guided meditations?

a picture of a living room with plants and a gray couch with white pillows and two wooden coffee tables and a fabric poof

Tips for meditating

  1. Have an open mind. I was SO resistant to it. I thought it was a bit weird and strange if I’m honest. But, when my stress reached an all time high, I knew I needed to take the suggestions of my health providers seriously and give it a try. Now I wish I would have done it years ago.
  2. If you don’t like the first type of guided meditation you try, try another one! If you don’t like guided, do some research on self-guided meditation and see if that’s a better fit for you.
  3. Do it when you will feel the most benefit from it. I make sure I am able to give it the full 10-20 minutes so I can receive the most benefit from the stillness.
  4. Make it a habit. Try to incorporate it daily, or several times a week. Pay close attention to how it effects your attitude and your mindset.
  5. Do it where you are most comfortable. You don’t need anything fancy to meditate. Just yourself and a quiet space. I often meditate on my couch. You can also sit on the floor or lay down if you are able to better relax that way.

Have I convinced you to give it a try yet? I hope so. I think we all are dealing with far too much stress these days and it’s nice to be able to have a way to intentionally unwind and come back to ourselves even if it’s just for a few moments each day.

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  1. I never regret spending time in meditation. I’m with you on the guided, though. Even then I have a hard time staying focused on the meditation. My mind likes to wander! I use the Insight Timer app. There are soooo many mediations to choose from!

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