Science is proving what many have known for centuries: the benefits of meditation are exciting and profound. There are countless ways to meditate and innumerable advantages. Discover what works for you by exploring different approaches, and then be sure to invest the time in making it a routine part of your life.
A regular meditation practice enhances creativity and productivity at work, and it improves long-term health outcomes in a variety of areas. As little as five minutes of meditation a day can quickly reduce stress and anxiety. But the benefits of meditation go beyond that. Spending 20 minutes to an hour each day meditating (even for just a few weeks) is scientifically demonstrated to:
Mindfulness Meditation – This technique aims to create a non-judgmental and relaxed ability to observe thoughts, sensations, and emotions as they arise on a moment by moment basis. The technique is as simple as setting aside time each day to sit, focus on deep belly breathing, and experience these internal events as they unfold. Mindfulness trains us to declutter the mind, and become more present and observant of the world around us. Instead of operating on auto-pilot, we learn to pay attention in each moment of our lives.
Apps for Mindfulness Meditation Training
Headspace - A great app for people learning meditation for the first time, Headspace offers 10 free beginner-focused, mindfulness meditation sessions of 10 minutes apiece. Once you have completed this “Take 10” set, the app unlocks additional meditation sessions for purchase as you progress.
Smiling Mind - This app offers meditation sessions for all age groups, from children to adults. Educators can also use Smiling Mind to create meditation time in the classroom.
Stop, Breathe & Think - Offering 55 guided mindfulness meditation sessions, as well as a mood tracker and customizable chimes, the Stop, Breathe & Think app has programs designed to assist with depression, sleep, anxiety, and cultivating greater compassion.
Transcendental Meditation – This technique is taught for a fee by a certified teacher. Transcendental Meditation is a silent mantra style of meditation which does not involve the self-monitoring of mindfulness techniques. TM is considered helpful as a way to increase relaxation, stress relief, and personal development.
Vipassana Meditation – This technique is one of the most ancient, and has been taught in India for more than 2500 years. Vipassana is taught free of charge by trained instructors, with donations requested as able, during 10-day training sessions around the world. This training involves mental focus on the breath while contemplating the nature of impermanence, or change, in order to generate greater peace and self-understanding.