Simple Ways to Finally Get Started With Meditation

Find Some Favorite Meditations To Try!

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There are as many ways to meditate as there are people. Here are a few of the most popular and effective. Dougal Waters/Getty Images

There are many benefits of meditation, as well as many meditations to use to attain those benefits. Some meditation techniques bring unique benefits, but all of them can help you build lasting resilience toward stress--generally speaking, the more regularly you meditate, the less reactive to stress you can become. For the attainment of relaxation, stress relief, and overall health, there are no better tools than meditations.

Benefits of Meditations

Meditations have been found to bring far-reaching benefits to those who practice them regularly. If you're new to meditations, you should expect a few benefits with even your first meditations. These benefits can include:

  • slowed heart rate
  • release of physical tension
  • a sense of having a break from stress for a few minutes
  • a calmer mood afterward

With meditations, however, the benefits build over time. After regular meditations, you'll likely see more long-term benefits, such as:

  • less reactivity toward stress
  • lower blood pressure
  • greater mental and emotional clarity
  • better decision-making
  • greater resilience to stress

Types of Meditations

Some practitioners stick with the same meditations indefinitely, but most people like to mix up the types of meditations they use in order to have a sense of variety. Fortunately, there are many type of meditations out there! Researchers generally classify meditations into one of two categories: concentrative meditations and non-concentrative meditations.

Concentrative meditations involve concentrating deeply on one focal point, while non-concentrative meditations can involve different points of focus, but still involve deep, non-judgmental concentration. Some meditations can even seem to fit into both categories. Many beginners find concentrative meditation to be a little simpler to learn, but not everyone feels this way.

I recommend that you try several types of meditations and see what feels best to you.

Meditations To Try

As mentioned, there are many different meditations to try. Below are some simple and effective ones to get you started.

  • Basic MeditationHere's a simple one to start with. Some people find it to be one of the easiest meditations because it involves very little; others find that meditations with more specific focal points are simpler. You decide!
  • Breathing MeditationThis meditation was simple enough for my whole karate class to do at once. It was a great, quick relaxer.
  • Breathing VisualizationHere's one of the simpler meditations--I've used it often and for years. See if you like it, too.
  • Mantra MeditationDon't let the 'I'm not used to talking to myself' factor scare you away from mantra meditations; this wonderful technique can make meditations easier, and the vibrations can be relaxing, too. See if it's for you.
  • Aromatherapy MeditationThis is one of those double-duty meditations: the meditation itself can calm and relax you, and aromatherapy brings a whole new set of benefits for you and anyone else in the room. Enjoy.
  • Chocolate MeditationFor those who know me, it will come as no surprise that it's the 'chocolate' in this meditation that made me appreciate it the most! But the meditation part is good, too.
  • 5 Minute MeditationAlthough longer periods of meditation can bring greater benefits, this briefest of meditations can still bring some benefits. Give it a try!
  • Bath MeditationThis meditation is naturally relaxing and it naturally helps you combat sleepiness, as you're more likely to stay awake in the bath tub than if you were doing meditations in your bed, for example.
  • Music MeditationMusic can be very calming, and can deepen the experience of meditations, especially for beginners. Try this one.
  • Walking MeditationThis is one of my favorite meditations as it combines mild exercise with meditation. I find it to be very useful for people who get 'antsy' during their meditations.
  • Mindfulness ExercisesMindfulness is one of those meditations that can be done anywhere and incorporated into virtually any activity. Learn more about the benefits and practice of mindfulness.
  • Meditation for PerfectionistsIf you've tried meditations and haven't been sure if you've been doing them 'right', or have wondered if you're doing them 'better' than others, or are just stressed because you have perfectionistic tendencies that seem to conflict with meditations, read this.

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