5 Different Types of Meditation for a Healthier Mind and Body

Created by Beth Rush

Last Updated: October 20, 2023

CATEGORIES: Holistic Health

What comes to mind when you picture meditation? There is no right or wrong answer – everyone has their way of and reasons for meditating. Several types of meditation can help you control stress and anxiety and achieve a healthier mind. 

Knowing one of the techniques can help you feel better at a moment’s notice, and practicing meditation regularly can help boost your quality of life overall. Try it out to determine the best kind for you. Read on to discover five types of meditation you can try today.

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What is meditation?

Meditation is one of the oldest practices of self-care and self-regulation. Spending time with yourself and learning more about how you function can aid you in several situations. Often, it involves slowing down and staying aware of how your body feels at any given moment. The meditation movement has grown dramatically in recent years, and you too, can reap the benefits.

Many people see meditation as an umbrella term encompassing several self-care activities, each with a different method of getting to a calm, enlightened state. Meditation for a healthier mind involves exercises that encourage you to check in with yourself and calm your body and brain down. You can introduce yourself to techniques that can soothe you in almost any situation, reducing your stress and helping you feel more confident in your abilities.

Meditation is excellent mind-body medicine for a holistic approach to wellbeing.

What are some of the benefits of regular meditation?

The benefits of meditation for a healthier mind and body differ from person to person. Some people might feel reduced anxiety when focusing on their breathing or surroundings. Others may feel a rush of confidence when they remind themselves how capable and important they are. It all depends on what you want from your sessions, as that’ll be the result you pursue.

Some benefits of daily meditation include the following:

  • Addiction or withdrawal help
  • Anxiety and depression mitigation
  • Better sleep
  • Less stress
  • More control and confidence
  • Weight loss or maintenance

Truthfully, what you want out of the practice might determine what kind of meditation you opt for. Mindfulness training can improve your emotional regulation, which can help you target other areas of your life, such as breaking bad habits that contribute to unwanted weight gain. Pick a part of yourself you want to work on when you start meditating. Having a clear goal may help you decide which form works for you.

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5 types of Meditation for a healthier mind

You’ll find countless styles of meditation if you look for them. Because it’s such a versatile activity, you can practice just about anywhere, though it might take some time to feel comfortable in any space. Meditation for a healthier mind means sticking to your routine even when it feels difficult. Find something that speaks to you and encourages you to be the best “you” possible.

Read on to discover five types of meditation you can try today.

1. Mindfulness meditation

This type of meditation might be the first one you think of. You may feel more attuned to your surroundings and aware of every part of yourself, from body to mind. You don’t let anxious or restless thoughts bother you. Instead, you opt to notice what’s concrete, using your five senses and checking in with yourself fully.

Since mindfulness can aid in memory retention, you may notice yourself remembering more and dealing with crises better. Staying mindful can increase your concentration and appreciation for the things around you. As you practice meditation for mindfulness, you may transform into a new version of yourself, one who values peace and maturity and handles difficult situations as best as possible.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that can increase your concentration and appreciation for the things around you.

2. Breath awareness meditation

This type of meditation is almost like the previous one, but instead of focusing on your senses to ground yourself, you focus on your breath. Breathwork can be an effective way to help you calm down and steer yourself back to the center. Controlling your breathing leads to controlling your body. Think of what happens during a panic attack – you try to get your breathing under control before anything else.

About 20 percent of American adults live with mental illness, and finding ways to manage the symptoms is essential. Breath awareness brings the focus back to your body and can help ease the physical symptoms of anxiety while encouraging you to focus on the concrete things right in front of you, like your body. 

Breath awareness is one of the types of meditation that can be an effective way to help you calm down and steer yourself back to the center.

3. Progressive muscle relaxation meditation

Those who struggle with insomnia may have tried flexing every muscle in their body until they are tired enough to sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation meditation is similar in that you start at one end of your body and work your way up. However, you don’t necessarily need to flex your muscles unless you want to.

One way to help your muscles relax is to envision a wave of calm sweeping over you. This image can make you feel like you’re standing in the ocean. One by one, your muscles should start to feel relaxed. This type of meditation for a healthier body can also help you identify which of your muscles feels tight.

Tensing and releasing your muscles is another way to feel instantly relaxed throughout your entire body. Start by wiggling your toes, curling and arching them until the muscles relax. Then, move on to your feet and ankles. From there, you’ll move up your body until you’re twitching the most minor facial muscles. By then, you should feel plenty relaxed.

Progressive muscle relaxation is a breathing technique for relaxation you can do while lying down and tensing and relaxing different body parts in line with the breath.

4. Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation relies on the power of words to help you feel calm and confident. This meditation for a healthier mind allows you to understand the power of spoken words – both your own or from a sacred text. You don’t have to be religious to partake in this kind of meditation, though many people choose to quote from something meaningful to them. All you need to do is have a phrase or passage you can repeat to yourself often.

Alternatively, you can lean into affirmations to help you believe in yourself. The right ones can help you feel in control of your thoughts and actions, offering you the confidence you need to make it through your day and any situations with unknown outcomes. Repeating a simple sentence might change your demeanor and confidence levels over time.

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5. Guided meditation

When you follow someone else’s directions to picture a calming scene in your head, you’re participating in guided meditation. This can happen live, in a class, or through a video or audio recording you can listen to at any time. The latter might be the easiest form of meditation you can do in public, but it might not be the quickest option if you’re in a time crunch. 

This type of meditation is perfect for beginners who may need some help relaxing. In time, you may be able to picture your own scene and de-stress by meditating without a guide. However, some people still enjoy the expert advice of someone walking them through a peaceful picture.

Why implement meditation for a healthier mind

Meditation doesn’t take long to work. If practiced regularly, it can improve your life in a week or less. However, how often you practice meditation is up to you. Meditation for a healthier mind means identifying when to check in with yourself to make a change. You might practice mindfulness to keep symptoms of anxiety and stress at bay, or you may only want to do it in a crisis. Whatever your life looks like, there will be room for these types of meditation to help you continually improve yourself.

If you enjoyed this, you might want to read about this personal experience at a Vipassana meditation retreat. Plus, check out these yoga postures designed to help you reduce stress.

Those who struggle with sleep may want to read about the best natural supplements for a better night’s rest.

What types of meditation do you prefer? Do you have any questions or comments about meditation? Feel free to join the conversation below!

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Beth Rush

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