Been hearing a lot about the benefits of mindful meditation, but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Read on for an introduction to this incredibly popular relaxation technique, and learn how to make it a part of your morning routine.
Guided meditation: an introduction
Ready to crunch some numbers? When it comes to stress in the workplace, 46% of all employees report feeling overworked or having too much to do, with almost a third of us struggling to sleep as a result of our jobs. What’s more, over a fifth of us say we don’t regularly engage in activities to help manage our stress - so if you’re not familiar with guided meditation, now’s the time to find out more about it. This technique has been suggested to help reduce stress levels, improve productivity and promote a healthy sleep cycle, with some studies even finding a link between regular mindful meditation and reduced symptoms of anxiety or mental illness.
Different types of meditation
While traditional meditation tends to focus on inner peace through silence, guided meditation often involves repeating - aloud or in your head - a series of mantras designed to combat negative or recurring thoughts, retraining your brain to associate relaxation with positive or mindful thinking. Another form of this technique, guided visualization, works by encouraging us to imagine alternative ways of approaching stressful situations or circumstances that tend to trigger our anxieties in everyday life.
Incorporating guided meditation into your everyday life
Before you begin, make sure you have access to a quiet area where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Try and incorporate some gentle breathing exercises into your routine, and pay attention to your posture, particularly if you’re sitting at your desk. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles of meditation! Some guided visualizations may require headphones, with many featuring relaxing music, while others encourage you to repeat or even create your own mantra - it’s up to you to find out which techniques suit you best.
If you’re looking for a more active way to get going in the morning, yoga expert Anna Khuade recommends combining meditation and yoga (The perfect 5-minute yoga morning routine) as a way of synchronizing the body and mind as soon as you wake up. Whatever your meditation style, taking the time to center yourself each morning before beginning your daily tasks is a great way to deal with feelings of stress or unpreparedness - even if it’s the only time you get to yourself all day!