Answered a Question    Aug 15
Mindfulness & Meditation

It's hard to say which meditation is best for others, as it is a very individual practice. Some may prefer walking meditation, while others may prefer the more traditional sitting down and meditating.

There are many types of meditation, the best recommendation that can be given is to try the different types and find the one that works for you.

Guided meditation is a popular choice for beginners, and even for the more advanced, since it guides you through the whole meditation. During this type of meditation, you be guided and instructed to focus on things such as your breath, the sensations you feel in your body, the sounds around you, and more. This makes the meditation less boring for beginners, since they are usually not used to just sitting down quietly for even short periods of time, and is popular among the more advanced meditators for the added assistance in focusing and having a more structured practice.

If you are just starting out, a consistent but short daily guided meditation practice of just a few minutes can be a great way to get into meditation. From there, you can explore more options to find what works best for you.

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Answered a Question    Jun 16
Mindfulness & Meditation

There are many forms of meditation. One form is guided meditation.
In a guided meditation, there will usually be an element that guides you through the meditation itself. This could be a person talking and guiding you, it could be a sound, or it could even be both.
Many guided meditations incorporate the element of sound. These sounds could be the sound of rain, rivers, wind, bells, or even music.

Sound is a useful element in meditation due to how easy it is to follow and stay focused on the sound.
This is especially helpful for beginners who are just starting out with meditation and find it difficult to sit and meditate for long and even short periods of time.

Many beginners and even more experienced meditators, incorporate sound and music into their meditations as it allows them to focus better and get into a meditative state faster.

It also helps in situations where it is difficult to find a quiet place. Putting on music or meditative sounds can reduce the background noise that would otherwise bother you, and allow you to follow the sounds and get into a meditative state.

There is no real limit to what sounds can be used. Just as meditation is a different experience for everyone, so can the sounds being used be different from person to person. Some people find it calming to meditate to the sound of a river stream, while others may prefer the sound of the wind blowing through the forest trees.
Other common sounds are calming acoustic instruments, and abstract sounds.

There is also no limit in terms of the origin of these sounds. If you live near a forest, a river, or any form of nature, it can be incredibly calming to have a meditation session in nature. If you do not have that option, then even putting on music or sounds on your phone is a great option.

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Answered a Question    Aug 24
Mindfulness & Meditation

It's hard to actually say which meditation is right for you without really knowing you, as meditation is a very personal practice that is different for everyone. So, the meditation practice that is right for me may not be right for you.

With that said, of course, there are quite a few meditation practices to chose from, some very different from others. The best advice that can be given is to just experiment. Find what works for you.

Take some time to think about the reasons you want to start a meditation practice, do some research, and just start practicing. Short 5-minute meditation sessions in the beginning is a great way to start and to get used to the whole practice of meditation, and from there you can build up your time and meditate for longer.

Even if you are not exactly sure which type of meditation is right for you, you can still start meditation by finding a short guided meditation. Guided meditations are a great way to get into the whole world of meditation, as it helps make the practice more bearable and simpler in the beginning, since most beginners aren't used to meditating.

You can find a tremendous amount of guided meditations online, either on YouTube, or on mobile apps, the internet is full of them, so it really is easy and simple to get started.

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Answered a Question    Aug 16
Mindfulness & Meditation

Using meditation apps is a great way to help incorporate a consistent meditation practice into your life.
The reason is that apps help you, first of all, learn how to meditate, especially when doing guided meditations where an instructor is guiding you through the meditation.
They are easy to use, and it's right there in your pocket, which can make a huge difference for those who want to just meditate in their own home but also want to do guided meditations.

It also helps keep the meditation frequency and length at a healthy level. An issue many people have is keeping the habit of meditating every day. With meditation apps, you can set reminders for when to meditate.

Another great benefit is that you can set the amount of time you want to meditate for. This is a big issue with people who are new to meditation. They think that they have to meditate for 30 minutes or even longer for it to be effective, so they start out by meditating for longer periods of time, which end up just causing them to burn out and lose motivation for the practice completely. With meditation apps, you can choose to meditate for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or however long you want, but there is a great emphasis on the 5-minute meditations, which is perfect for beginners as it helps them become comfortable with the meditation practice and reduces their risk of feeling overwhelmed with it.

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Answered a Question    Jun 30
Mindfulness & Meditation

Meditation can help reduce stress by helping you clear your mind of the things that cause you that stress.
It does this by helping you ease into a state of calmness.

Depending on how you choose to meditate, and what type of meditation you choose to do, you will probably be following your breath and allowing your thoughts to enter your mind, and to calmly exit it as well.

The reason meditation helps with reducing stress and anxiety is because it causes you to focus on the here and now, instead of the day you had, the things that happened throughout your day, things that you are worried about, and thoughts about the future. All you are doing it following your breath, a sound, or what ever else the meditation follows, and you are observing your thoughts that show up in your mind, without judging them or getting frustrated or upset.

During meditation, thoughts will show up, but it's important to not fight them, to not get upset or frustrated, and definitely to not judge them or yourself. Our minds are full of thoughts, especially when we are stressed or are experiencing anxiety. It only makes sense that our minds will be full of thoughts.
The key with clearing your mind and reducing stress with meditation is to not fight these thoughts. Let them show up, observe them, and let them go, just as they came.

It's the moment we get upset and start fighting our thoughts that we lose control over our minds and over the state of calmness we are in. Accepting these thoughts, what ever they may be, and letting they go is a key element in clearing your mind, and reducing stress and anxiety.

This is a difficult feat to achieve, but with consistent practice, acceptance of your thoughts, and patience, you can use meditation as a tool to help you reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions.
On top of that, you will be able to use it to connect more with yourself, and with others.

It's also important to know what to expect. Most of us live our whole lives with our minds being allowed to conjure up what ever thought it wants. Allowing it to cause us stress, anxiety, depression, and a lot of other negative emotions and feelings. We allowed our minds to do this our whole life, it has grown accustomed to it. Telling it now, after all this time, that it's time to change that habit, is not easy and will require work. It will require time and patience.
So don't expect of yourself to be able to master meditation in a short period of time, and don't expect miracles, because this is a practice that is going to take a while to get used to, it will take a while to retrain your mind, and it will take a while before you can notice that your mind is clearer, and that you are reaping the benefits of meditation.
With that said, it is very well worth the time and effort, as meditation can be the perfect tool for helping reduce stress and anxiety.

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Health & Fitness What yoga is best for beginners?
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Answered a Question    Nov 23
Mindfulness & Meditation

Meditation apps can be very effective, especially for beginners. This is because meditation apps usually have a large amount of guided meditations, which are a great way for beginners to get into the habit of meditating, but also for more experienced meditators.

Many of them also have meditation timers that you can customize to your preferences, and other options such as meditation sessions with different background sounds that you can choose from.

Many of the meditation apps are also community based, meaning, there is a community that uses the app, and in that community you can read other people's experiences, questions, answers, and share your own.

A big reason why meditation apps are so effective is because beginners who are just getting into the practice of meditation tend to overdo it. Instead of slowly getting into it by starting with short sessions, they start with long sessions which they get very bored with, and eventually stop meditating.

Meditation apps usually have courses, and structured practices made for beginners, for example, the first few sessions will be 5 minutes, and as you progress, the sessions become longer and explore other types of meditations.

Having a structure, especially when starting out, can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the meditation practice. And this is where meditation apps excel.

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Answered a Question    Sep 17
Mindfulness & Meditation

I don't think that anyone can tell you what meditation is right for you. It's sort of like someone telling you what your favorite food is. Without knowing you, they couldn't really tell you this unless it's a guess.
You know yourself best. You would know, or be able to find out, which type of meditation is best for you.

The best way to do this is to just try out a few different types, and to see which one feels best for you.
I think the most important thing, at least for beginners, is to find one that you can actually do on a daily basis or at least consistently, otherwise, if you are not consistent with your meditation practice, you may end up not really doing it enough to actually see the benefits. Both not having a consistent meditation practice and not seeing the results could just lead you to not meditating at all eventually.

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Answered a Question    Jun 19
Mindfulness & Meditation

A problem many people face when first starting out with meditation is that they find out just how busy and loud their minds are.
It's a common problem that not only beginners face, but also more advanced and experienced meditators.
Those that are more experienced may just know how to better deal with these situations and how to solve them and quiet their minds quicker than those that are just starting out.

One way to quiet your mind and to stop thoughts from coming while you meditate is to first try to understand what those thoughts are, why they are appearing, and to not fight them.
It's when we try to fight the thoughts that the stream of thoughts become uncontrollable, louder, and more intense.

Instead of fighting them and trying to forcefully expel them, leave them alone. See what those thoughts are and where they lead you to. Allow them to be there, present with you in that moment, and when the time is right, calmly release them and let them go.
Though this may take time to get better at, trying to force your mind to be quiet will probably not work and may just result in you not being able to meditate and quiet your mind.

Don't get angry, upset, or irritated at the thoughts. If they are showing up, it may be for a reason. These thoughts may be what is stressing you out, they may be what is causing your depression, anxiety, or other negative thoughts and emotions. Getting angry or upset will do no good. Instead, accept the situation, and allow it to be until you are able to calmly release those thoughts.

If new thoughts appear, that is ok. Repeat the process, allow them to be. Learn from them, see where they take you, and when you are ready, release them.

As you progress, you will be able to do this much easier and quicker, and eventually will be able to start your meditations with a clearer mind, free from the stream of thoughts. It just takes time, like any other practice.
Expecting to start a meditation practice and not have thoughts is a fair way to burn out from practicing at all, since this is just usually not how meditation works.

Throughout our lives, we have allowed our minds to run wild, without control. Being quiet, for most people, is just not something they have trained themselves to do. Meditation and quieting the mind are skills that need to be developed, and for many, they go against who they have been their whole life, as their whole life was spent without controlling their minds and thoughts.

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When starting meditation, don't try to have a strict meditation session length, it can lead to burn-out, causing you to give up the practice.

Meditation may seem simple to some, after all, you are just sitting down and not moving. But, its actually much more difficult than it seems, both mentally and physically.

Sitting down for long periods of time can be very difficult for some, even sitting down for 10 minutes without moving.
Besides the physical part, it can be very difficult to sit with yourself in silence while tying to stay clear in mind and to be focused.

A big reason why many people give meditation a try but quickly give it up is because they have the wrong understanding about what to actually expect and what to do.
They see and hear that people sit for a long time, so they also try sitting for a long time.
They know that meditation means that your mind is clear of thoughts, so they expect their minds to be clear of thoughts.
These are wrong assumptions and expectations that can easily lead to burn-out and not wanting to continue the practice.

The main point being made here is that meditation, just like other exercises, takes time to master and get good at.
Just like you don't go to the gym and, without prior training, except to lift 100kg, the same logic should be applied to meditation.
To lift 100kg you have to train for it, you have to go through the weights, starting at a lower weight until you are strong enough to lift the heavier weights.

The same applies to meditation. Start small and short.
Start with short, 5 minute sessions. Don't expect to have no thoughts, don't expect miracles, just go in to the practice with an open mind, and understand that it just takes time.

Slowly, once you get used to sitting still, being quiet, and to the physical aspect of it, you can add more time to each session.

Another great way to start meditating is to use guided meditations. There are many free apps available for this.
This is great for beginners since sitting quietly can be difficult as it can be pretty boring for people who are not used to it. It can also be overwhelming since part of the expectation people have of meditation is to stop the thoughts, but as we all know, when you are told not to think of something, that is precisely what you will be thinking of.
When people start meditation, its difficult for them to clear their minds or focus on their breath or sounds.
Guided meditation helps with this as it guides you through the meditation, giving you tasks to do, such as counting your breaths, scanning your body, noticing certain things that are going on around you such as sounds, and things about your body such as tense muscles.

So, don't go in with too many expectations, start small, and work your way up.
It will be worth it.
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