There are many different types of meditation that you can try. All of them have benefits and it’s really a matter of personal choice which ones you enjoy and get the best effects from. Most styles of meditation involve focusing your mind on one idea or activity, such as your breath or a sound, and this focus can make a big difference in your meditation practice and the benefits you get from it. With that in mind, here are ten ideas you can focus on during meditation that can improve your practice.
1. Do a full-body scan
Draw your attention to your body, how it feels and reacts during your practice. Scan it from top to bottom, making note of any points of tension or discomfort. Focus on relaxing every muscle.
2. Your emotions
Part of meditation is becoming more aware of your mind and your emotional responses. Use this time to check in with your emotional state. Are you feeling relaxed? Is there any discomfort or pain and if so, where it is coming from? This kind of self-awareness can be very beneficial in your life as well as in your practice because being aware of your emotions is the first step towards learning to control and direct them.
3. Your goals
This is a good time to concentrate on what you really want in your life and why. So often we find that the outside world drowns out our own thoughts and wishes. Use meditation to cut through the noise and get back in touch with your own inner voice.
4. The present moment
Too often we live in the future or spend our time regretting the past. Use your meditation practice to experience the moment, the feel of your body and the sounds and sensations you experience.
5. Breathe in light and exhale stress
This is a very well-known meditation practice for a reason. Imagine that your stress is being exhaled with every breath and that you are breathing in light and energy and warmth. This practice can be good for increasing energy and reducing the symptoms of stress and overwork.
Play something in the background, something soothing and beautiful, and focus on the sounds of the notes and the emotions the music stirs in you. Allowing yourself to experience the music completely like this can be amazingly relaxing and therapeutic.
7. A mantra
Choose a simple word or phrase, something that you want to bring into your life, and focus on saying those words over and over. This can help to focus and calm your wandering mind.
The imagination is an incredible tool that can transport the body beyond its physical reality. Use it. Picture a beautiful setting and make it as complete as possible, with sights and sounds and smells. It can be like going on holiday without leaving your house.
You can never have enough of this in the world. Concentrate on this emotion, letting it fill you. And then take it into the world with you and see the difference it can make in your interactions.
Whether it’s directed at someone who has hurt you or at yourself, we all need more forgiveness in our life. Concentrate on this feeling, on letting it wash away old hurts and injuries and moving forward without the extra baggage.
These are just a few of the many things you can focus on during your meditation practice that can offer extra benefits to this calming and mind-enhancing part of your day. Try some of them and if they work for you, add them to your meditation practice.