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Different Styles of Meditation

What are the different styles of meditation?

There’s no right or wrong way to practice meditation, but it’s important to find a style that feels comfortable for you.

Popular types of meditation practice include -

  • Mindfulness – paying attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind, without judgement or involvement. You simply observe and take note of any patterns. This practice combines concentration with awareness. You may find it helpful to focus on an object or your breath while you observe any bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings.

  • Spiritual meditation – focusing on developing a deeper understanding of spiritual/religious meaning and connection with a higher power. This practice is beneficial for those who seek spiritual growth and a deeper connection to a higher power or spiritual force.

  • Focused meditation - involves concentration using any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention. If your mind wanders, you simply come back to the practice, and refocus. This style is ideal for anyone who wants to sharpen their focus and attention.

  • Mantras – using a repetitive sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or sound, one of the most common being “Om”, (representing the primal vibration from which all other sounds and creation emerge). Your mantra can be spoken loudly or quietly. After chanting the mantra for some time, you’ll be more alert and in tune with your environment. This allows you to experience deeper levels of awareness. Some people enjoy mantra meditation because they find it easier to focus on a word or a sound, than on their breath. Others enjoy feeling the vibration of the sound in their body. This may be a good practice for those who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition.

  • Progressive relaxation - also known as body scan meditation, is a practice aimed at reducing tension in the body and promoting relaxation. This involves mentally scanning each part of the body and can include slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time. In some cases, it may also encourage you to imagine a gentle wave flowing through your body to help release any tension. This form of meditation is often used to relieve stress and can be a helpful practice for unwinding before bedtime.


  • Loving-Kindness meditation – used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward yourself and others. It typically involves opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living beings. This practice is intended to promote compassion and kindness, it may be ideal for those wishing to release certain feelings or trapped emotions.


  • Visualisation – a technique focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by visualising positive scenes, images, or figures. This practice involves imagining a scene vividly and using all five senses to add as much detail as possible. It can also involve holding a beloved figure in mind with the intention of embodying their qualities. Another form of visualisation meditation involves imagining yourself succeeding at specific goals, which is intended to increase focus and motivation. Many people use visualisation to boost their mood, reduce stress levels, and promote inner peace.

​What are the health the benefits of meditation?

Through meditation, you are essentially deactivating your sympathetic nervous system and turning on the parasympathetic branch. Studies have found that over time this practice can help reduce pain, depression, stress and anxiety. 

Meditation can offer general health and mental/emotional benefits, including:

  • lower blood pressure

  • reduced stress

  • better sleep

  • improved emotional regulation

  • increased focus

  • enhanced mood

  • reduced aggression

  • greater adaptability

  • a healthier aging process

  • a greater sense of empathy

       and connection with others

Meditation has also been shown to enhance focus and mood, and encourage positive coping strategies in times of stress, and may help with symptoms of specific conditions, including:

  • depression and anxiety disorders

  • cardiovascular disease

  • dementia

  • insomnia

  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • chronic pain


Studies have also shown that daily meditation improves cognitive functioning in new meditators and can decrease negative mood and anxiety and improve attention, working memory, and recognition memory in non-experienced meditators after just 8 weeks.

Can meditation replace traditional treatments?

 No. Meditation should not be used as a substitute for the consultation of a physician or a psychotherapist.

Meditation complements other types of medical and therapeutic treatments, and it can increase the efficacy of other types of healing.

If you’re already in good health, though, regular meditation can enhance your ability to respond to stress and serve as a form of preventive medicine.


What does meditation feel like?  

Everyone has different experiences when meditating and you are likely to find each of your meditation sessions is different to the last one. However, the most common reported sensations people experience when meditating are a feeling of calmness or deep serenity. The mind is slowed, satisfied and present in the moment. Through this can come vastness which acts like an expansion of the mind. This is when you feel mentally decluttered – some people even report crystal clear mental vision. However, it is also common to feel frustrated, even when you’ve been practicing meditation over a long period of time. You might feel as if it’s not going well or is pointless which leads to feelings of fatigue and restlessness. It’s important to work through these feelings and try to stay present and focused.

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