Meditation can be daunting if you are just getting started. A great way to practise is with guided meditation. This simply means meditating with the help and support of a guide. This could be in person or from an audio.
The guide will instruct you step by step allowing you to get into a meditative state. You will be instructed to relax certain muscles, breathe deeply, and then visualise mental images created by your guide.
You meditation could last for a few minutes or many hours, it depend entirely upon you. Either way, the goal is to find mental relaxation.
Benefits of Guided meditation
Guided meditation is an amazing place for beginners to start their journey. Meditating alone can be tricky when just starting, you may find your mind starts to wonder and you don’t get the most from your practise.
Meditating with a guide can combat this problem and can take away some of the pressure that one can feel when just starting out. There are so many proven benefits of guided meditation. Some being:
- Stress relief
- Anxiety relief
- Improving mood
- Combating depression
- Help with drug and alcohol abuse
What to Expect
A guided meditation session can last anywhere from a few minutes minutes to an hour. It is generally recommended that you meditate for at least 15 minutes in order to allow a deep relaxed state and thus experience the full benefits of meditation.
During your guided meditation session, you may be instructed to sit comfortably on the floor or even lie down. You will be guided through visualisations designed to help clear your mind and focus, reduce tension throughout the body, and promote stress relief. Some recordings or instructors may also make use of music or sounds to help ease your transition into deep relaxation.
Guided vs Unguided Meditation
This is based on your own preference. Both have the same goal and outcome. But some prefer to have a guide whilst others prefer to go it alone. There is no right or wrong or one better than the other. It is down to what works for you as an individual. For a beginner guided meditation can be useful to get started.
- Be mindful of your posture: Your posture can influence the effectiveness and quality of your meditation. If you are asked to sit during a guided meditation session, try not to slouch. Sit upright with your head up.
- Focus on your breathing: Maintaining focus is often one of the most difficult aspects of meditation for the beginner. If you have trouble focusing your attention during a guided meditation session, focus on your breathing and pay attention to each inhale and exhale. If you still have difficulty focusing, it may help to count each individual breath.
- Do not force meditation: Many beginners try to meditate for a specific amount of time, or they neglect emotions, sensations, and thoughts and try to force themselves into a meditative state. Guided meditation can help ease a person into deep relaxation and focus on the important parts of the meditation session, without requiring the person to be mindful of the time.
- Make meditation part of your routine: Meditation takes practice, so try to make it part of your daily routine if possible. It will become easier and more beneficial with time and repetition.
- Find your space: Try to pick a specific room or space to practice meditation. Look for a place that calms you, preferably free from daily stressors.
- Start with a warm-up exercise or stretches: Stretching can help improve your circulation and prep your mind for meditation. A few stretches or a brief warm-up exercise can also help relieve tension, which may allow you to achieve deep relaxation quicker.