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Currently, there are many different types of meditation techniques being used to manage mental health issues. Meditation is a great way to decrease stress and allow space for consciousness in an overstimulating world. Research has found meditation to help in those suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Read on to learn more about two popular and effective techniques you can adopt in your routine.
One technique that has taken the community by storm is Transcendental Meditation. This technique was derived from the ancient Vedic tradition and brought to us by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. What sets TM apart from other techniques is that it’s absolutely effortless and does not require controlling the mind.
TM is a heavily evidence-based technique having hundreds of research studies done on the benefits of practicing, regarding stress and anxiety, brain function, and even cardiovascular health. A 2012 meta-analysis linked TM practice with reduced anxiety, negative emotions, trait anxiety, and neuroticism while enhancing learning, memory, and self-realization.
TM is practiced 20 minutes twice a day sitting with the eyes closed. It must be learned from a certified instructor who will give you a mantra to use for the practice. It has been adopted by more than 6 million people worldwide who continuously report mental health benefits.
To learn more about TM visit www.TM.org.
Mindfulness meditation is another popular technique being utilized by many to improve the quality of life. The American Psychological Association defines mindfulness as “those self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calmness, clarity, and concentration.”
The research shows that mindfulness meditation decreases rumination leading to fewer depressive symptoms, reduces stress, boosts working memory, and improves focus and relationship satisfaction.
This technique involves being truly present; it’s about bringing your attention to experiencing the current moment. Mayo Clinic defines mindfulness as “a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.”
It involves paying attention to your breath and whatever else you may be feeling. The idea is that if we can re-train our minds to stay in the present moment, we can experience the peaceful benefits and decrease racing thoughts leading to stress and anxiety. Currently, there are many mobile applications that teach and guide you through mindfulness exercises, including Calm, Insight Timer, and Headspace.
Anyone can experience the benefits of either of these techniques. It’s just about finding out what works best for you. Many people have reported experiencing the benefits of both Transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation. Like with anything else, one must commit to consistently practicing meditation to experience the benefits and see results.
Over time, practicing meditation will become more and more effortless and become an important, stable part of your day that you look forward to and cherish. Think of it as a commitment to yourself and your self-care routine to improve your mental health.