What Is Guided Meditation?
Guided meditation is known to have many benefits. Learn about the techniques used and how to get access to guided meditation at Boardwalk Recovery.
People cope with stress, anxiety, and worry in different ways. Some of these methods may be healthy, while others might not. Still, guided meditation can make all the difference in pursuing inner peace and calmness. According to a survey carried out in 2017, the number of U.S adults practicing mindfulness and meditation tripled between 2012 and 2017. The popularity of meditation has continued ever since. Meditation as an activity helps individuals cope with life activities while providing numerous physical and health benefits.1
By adding ancient meditation practices to your daily routine, you can create habits that aid the revitalization and relaxation of the mind. However, mindfulness and meditation can seem complicated in certain situations. In such situations, expert help is recommended to explain the meditation process, basic steps, and techniques.
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What Is Guided Meditation?
Guided meditation is a form of meditation where an individual is slowly led through the process of meditation by an expert, either in person, through audio, or via video. Guided meditation helps people inexperienced in the art of meditation to learn the best approaches to practicing meditation.
Guided Mindfulness Meditation
Some people feel overwhelmed or uncertain while going through meditation alone. However, with guided mindfulness meditation, individuals can focus solely on the process by knowing they are using the proper methodology.
Phases of Guided Meditation
Using a guided meditation script, the instructor would normally take the student through three major phases:
These processes, when followed correctly, can help an inexperienced person maximize the benefits of meditation.
How Is Guided Meditation Different from Unguided Meditation?
Unguided meditation is also called silent meditation; it involves meditation alone without any guidance or explanation of the meditation process. It generally involves being in a state of stability or quiet while paying attention to the body and thoughts. Individuals may repeat techniques learned from other guided meditation sessions while meditating alone.
Is Guided Meditation Better Than Unguided Meditation?
Well, this would depend majorly on the experience level of the person meditating. People with limited knowledge about meditation or who have trouble meditating the right way would benefit from guided meditation sessions with an expert or the use of guided meditation scripts.
Why Do People Use Guided Meditations?
Overall, guided meditations are easy to do and have numerous benefits. People generally engage in guided meditations for reasons including:
Stress is a biological experience marked by the elevated release of stress hormones such as cortisol in the brain. This stress event could be due to persistent worrying or a physical trigger. Guided meditation for relaxation can help enhance feelings of ease and boost stress relief.
Guided meditation for sleep is quite common because of the ability of meditation to help the mind shut out external distractions while spurring feelings of calmness in the body.
In many cases, meditators also use guided meditation for mental health improvement. Meditation can significantly numb the mood effects of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Guided meditation sessions generally improve an individual's ability to meditate properly and get the most benefits from each session.
People with chronic pain may utilize guided meditation for pain relief by building tolerance to pain through redirection of the mind from the source of pain.
Guided meditation for healing may also be used to cope with the impact of illness. This can be through enhanced feelings of calmness, allowing patients to commit fully to treatment and accept the prognosis of the condition.
Guided Meditation Techniques
There are different ways people practice meditation. Some of the best guided meditation techniques that meditators practice during sessions will be detailed below.
This technique entirely focuses on senses and feelings while being in the moment without judgment. Mindfulness uses guided imagery and breathing methods to help relax the mind when stressed or distracted.
This technique is built on being more intentional and analytical about ordinary day-to-day activities. Walking meditations are designed to enhance feelings of awareness of the body's movement and the mind's thoughts while walking.
Breath Awareness Meditation
This guided meditation technique allows the meditator to be conscious of breathing while observing the natural rhythm throughout a meditation session. This can be very helpful in guided meditation for sleep sessions.
Focused Attention Meditation
This meditation practice encourages a meditator to direct attention to a particular point of focus, which may be a sound, sensation, or object. This technique teaches attention control and concentration.
Resting In Awareness Meditations
This technique encourages the listener to be fully aware of the present. This technique is beneficial when dealing with anxiety and depression and is also used in guided meditation for healing.
Body Scan Meditation
Calmly scanning the body encourages the meditator to bring awareness to the body and the different parts interacting with aspects of the environment. This technique allows a person to move attention from one part of the body to another analytically.
Emotional Release Meditation
This technique is generally seen in guided meditation for anxiety and other emotional states. It helps an individual notice and accept emotions they may be avoiding while releasing them and the tension associated with these emotions.
This technique involves the meditators thinking back about their lives and past actions and experiences. This can be done by analyzing who they are as individuals, including their strengths, weaknesses, and priorities.
These are sometimes called Metta meditations. They help meditators to develop warm feelings toward friends and family. It involves mentally sending goodwill towards others, including those with whom the meditator may have a difficult relationship.
The guided meditation script focuses on guided imagery to develop certain qualities that will prepare the meditator for high-performance activities.
Benefits of Guided Meditation
All meditators, irrespective of experience, can benefit from setting meditation goals, exploring the best guided meditation techniques, and understanding how meditation can positively affect the brain and overall well-being. The following are some of the benefits of guided meditation:
Using guided meditation for relaxation helps reduce psychological stress by eliminating jumbled thoughts that may be troubling the individual.2
Research shows that guided meditation improves sleep quality in cases of insomnia and people without pre-existing sleeping disorders.3
Helps to Control Anxiety
These benefits are seen during guided meditation for anxiety and panic attack sessions. A meta-analysis including almost 1,300 adults found that meditation may decrease anxiety. Notably, this effect was strongest in those with the highest anxiety levels.4
Guided mindfulness meditation over time has been shown to strengthen patience. Mindful meditation practices help individuals to be calmer and more patient while carrying out daily activities.5
Improves Physical Health
Meditation can improve physical health by strengthening the immune response and decreasing cellular inflammation.6 Also, guided meditation for anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions has several psychosomatic benefits.
How to Get Prepared for Guided Meditation
Methods to best prepare for guided meditation will be discussed below.
Prepare the Space
Try to prepare a meditation space with as minimal distractions and disturbances as possible. Also, choose the most comfortable way to meditate, depending on your preference. This could be lying down, sitting, standing, or even walking.
Have A Goal/Purpose
Gathering intentions and goals for a guided meditation session can improve the outcomes of meditation. Every goal serves as a reminder of what a person wants to achieve with each meditation session. This will consequently deepen focus and determination towards this goal.
Set A Definite Length of Time for Meditation
Deciding on a particular time for meditation and committing to it will help every individual get the most out of each session. This would also prevent time overlaps with other activities.
Write Down Distractions
It's easy to let thoughts wander away while meditating. Try to note these distractions while analyzing why and how they come about and the best ways to prevent them.
Listen to Guided Meditation
Several guided meditation scripts are crafted for various purposes. Try listening to guided meditations and find which variant suits you the most.
Where Can You Find Guided Meditations?
At Boardwalk Recovery, we specialize in the best guided meditation by gently guiding each person through the proper ways to meditate. We do this by breaking down the process and curating a guided meditation script for you. In addition, we provide guided meditation for healing to help individuals deal with physical and emotional life issues.
Contact us at Boardwalk Recovery for more information on guided meditation for sleep, guided meditation for anxiety, and all forms of guided meditation today!