10 Types of Meditation to Elevate Your Wellbeing

Posted November 14, 2023 by in Health + Fitness
woman meditating outside

Many people in the wellness space agree meditation provides vast benefits for the mind and body. However, there are numerous types of meditation, and the best one is often debated. The simple reason for this comes down to individual preference. Some people favor guided meditations over unguided ones. Similarly, some enjoy a calming session, while others prefer an insightful experience. Meditation can be a great group practice to bring your community together, but it is also a sacred personal practice that people enjoy in solitude.

This article explores the benefits and varieties of meditation you can try, alongside choosing one that aligns with your intention.

What Are the Benefits of Meditation?

Over the past few decades, researchers discovered that meditation and mindfulness might aid physical, mental, and spiritual factors contributing to overall wellness. Numerous studies now indicate that this practice may have the following benefits:

  • Lowers blood pressure;
  • Reduces stress;
  • Controls anxiety symptoms; 
  • Promotes emotional health and regulates emotions;
  • Increases self-awareness;
  • May improve sleep;
  • Lengthens attention span;
  • Improves memory;
  • Generates kindness towards others and yourself;
  • Aid pain management.

Another often overlooked benefit of mindfulness and meditation is that it is accessible anywhere, at any time. In fact, many people who practice mindfulness try to embody that presence in various areas of life, including cleaning the dishes, walking, and other seemingly mundane activities.

Picking the Best Type of Meditation for You

Activities that help you focus on the present moment stem from ancient practices, such as prayer as a form of meditation. Meditation, in particular, originates from various religious beliefs, including Buddhism and Hinduism. This is one of the reasons there are many forms of meditation as people adapted the practice, discovering new ways to remain in the present moment and what works best for them.

Guided Meditation or Unguided Meditation

Guided meditation is an excellent option for all experience levels, especially beginners. These can be an audio clip on a meditation app or an in-person class where an experienced teacher guides you through the basics of meditation and different approaches.

Unguided meditations typically include silent sessions, where the meditator may meditate alone rather than with a teacher. Some people like to sit in silence and observe the present moment through a body scan or breathwork. Others use this time to practice techniques they learned in previous guided sessions. 

Insightful Meditation or Calming Meditation

Many consider meditation to be a relaxing practice; however, there are many types of meditation, typically featuring a calming or insightful component. Alongside key relaxation techniques to calm the nervous system, insightful meditations help you work through difficult emotions or memories. These types of sessions aim to develop compassion and wisdom. You should choose a meditation that aligns with your intentions at that moment. With this said, many meditations will offer both insight and relaxation.

10 Types of Meditation to Try Today

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation, also known as Zen meditation, is simply witnessing the moment and letting it ‘just be’. By entering a state of complete presence, you can begin to observe the breath and your body’s response. Some people also use this type to scan the body, observing any physical sensations that arise without judgment.

Loving Kindness Meditation

To encourage compassion throughout life, this type of meditation gets you to focus on an image of a person. As you focus on this person, you direct goodwill, positive energy, and kindness to them. It doesn’t matter if you know the person or not. Likewise, if you like them or not. In fact, the purpose of this meditation is to encourage loving kindness for everyone. Teachers will often get you to focus this energy on yourself first, creating a ripple effect on other people. 

Spiritual Meditation 

Many practices fall under this realm, including prayer, focusing on a higher power that aligns with your beliefs, or, for some, it may involve Chakra meditation referring to the balancing of energy centers.

Mantra Meditation

During the session, you focus your attention on a phrase or word that resonates with you. These repeated phrases create subtle vibrations that promote changes in your life. You may concentrate on mantras on self-confidence, compassion, or health.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation is a specific type of practice featured in numerous scientific research studies. Founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, this silent meditative practice uses mantras to bring a feeling of calm. 

Sound Bath Meditation  

Available online and in-person, a teacher will use singing bowls, gongs, or other instruments to create sounds that engage the mind and body. Different instruments create different vibrations and sounds that calm the meditator.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This technique helps release stagnant energy, relaxing the body and preparing for rest. Focusing on one muscle group at a time, you squeeze the area as much as possible, flexing the muscles for about 10 seconds. After which, you release and relax the entire body. Repeat this process on each muscle group, working from the feet upwards. 

Focused Meditation 

Most meditations require a focus, whether sound, vibration, or breath. However, this is a type of meditation all in itself. Another form of focus meditation is watching a candle flame. The purpose is to maintain awareness, focus on a subject, and practice staying in the present moment. 

Visualization Meditation 

This invites you to picture an image, a scene, or a person to pay attention to rather than the breath. This is another way to observe the mind and physical sensations — many people enjoy visualization sessions to prepare for the day ahead.

Movement Meditation 

Finally, for those who don’t enjoy sitting still, movement meditation offers more flexibility and mindfulness in your day-to-day life. For instance, you may enter a meditative state during a slow yoga sequence while walking or taking part in qi-gong. Together, movement and meditation may regulate the nervous system, balance, and connect the mind and body through synchronized movement.

woman in sports bra meditating next to a grey water bottle

How to Improve Your Meditation Sessions

Some people struggle to start a practice of meditation, whether it be creating a habit, focusing their attention on a specific thing, or sitting still for a longer period of time. It’s entirely natural to face hurdles in your practice, and it’s important to recognize that you’re not doing anything wrong but simply need to find a method that works for you. 

Beginners may find it helpful to start with a shorter session to develop a daily meditation habit. It’s common for people to put pressure on themselves to do long sessions of 30 minutes to an hour when in reality, this won’t work for some people. When starting out, focus on doing a 2-minute session every day — whether in the morning, midday, or evening. When you feel comfortable doing that every day, increase the time by a minute or two. Taking small achievable steps is more effective if you’re keen to make this a habit. 

Moreover, if you’re struggling to sit still, focus on your breath, or get comfortable, you may turn to aids to improve your meditation. For instance, if you’re experiencing physical discomfort, symptoms of stress, and anxiety, then you may enjoy natural supplements like CBD. A CBD-infused cannabis dip is an easy, low-maintenance, and discreet way to reduce these uncomfortable experiences. Known for providing a sense of calm and physical ease, combining CBD and meditation can take your practice to the next level.

Alternatively, you may change positions, use a pillow for extra support or try a more unconventional method like movement meditation. Taking these additional steps could reduce the pressure one feels around this practice, making it easier to get into a state of relaxation and enjoy the potential benefits of meditation.

Meditation has many benefits, including being accessible to everyone. Experiment with some of these types of meditation and find what works best for you. In case you struggle to get into a meditative state, you can experiment with CBD dips, extra accessories, or a different type to induce a state of calm.