What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that makes use of mindfulness as it is a vital technique. It focuses on a particular thing or thought and helps train the mind to be aware and attentive. This helps in achieving a clear mindset that is stable and calm emotionally. It is an elementary practise that everyone can do, and it reduces stress effectively. It is seen to reap all the benefits at a fast pace promoting instant happiness. Meditation is the guide to acceptance and equanimity.
What are Guided Meditation Programs?
A guided meditation program is one where a narrator or a guided image or music elicits a change in the meditation program and brings a relaxed mind and body. The program helps one walk through the series of demonstrated series of steps in a comfortable posture with proper breathing. The guided meditation program also helps one visualize mental images of places or situations to enhance the relaxation process and deepen the meditative state to reach a target goal easily. The various steps are:
Scanning the body
Becoming aware of breath and sensation
Concentrating and keeping the breath in the centre
Opening the heart
Welcoming the feelings
Breathing out negativity
Filling the heart with love
Re-entering the real world
How Effectively Can We Do Guided Meditation Programs at Home?
A guided meditation program is effectively done at home with just a recorded voice of the guide or teacher after the initial sessions. Without the instructor's physical presence, it is possible to effectively perform the meditation effortlessly in a serene quiet atmosphere everywhere. Here the person has to listen to all the steps and focus on each part of the body, and one can master it only with practice and repeated performances. As a meditation, on the whole, does not require any special equipment or accessory, it can be performed without any interruption or disrupted sessions every day. This thereby leads to better and quick results.
Who Can Do Guided Meditation Programs?
All the age groups can do a guided meditation program, provided they have an idea of what a basic meditation is and if they had taken up the first session in the presence of the guide or instructor. This reduces the risk of any mishap or injury by performing the meditation in the wrong manner. But with the right music or stepwise guided instructions, anybody can practice and complete it. It does not have any age restrictions.
Who Should Avoid Guided Meditation Programs?
Mentally unstable people should not perform a guided meditation program as it triggers the unresolved trauma and aggravates the condition by making it worse. It is also not suggested for people with other problems related to the neural condition. The other specific group of people who should avoid a guided meditation program is:
People with anxiety
Folks under serious medication
List of Guided Meditation Programs
The list of all the schedules in a guided meditation program is mentioned below. They are:
5 minute guided meditation starter pack: This is the primary step to meditation that has seven sessions and each of which contains five minutes of guided steps. When one completes all seven sessions, he/she will be able to effortlessly meditate for five minutes and start to feel the benefits of meditation.
Guided meditation beginners pack: This guided meditation beginners pack consists of five series that introduce one to the art of meditation and all the tips and techniques involved. It also helps to maximize the gains with a 15 minute guided meditation under each of them.
Foundation series 1: This is a 10 minute guided meditation that has seven sessions and will help one through all the basic steps, and by the end of this session, a person will be easily able to meditate for up to 10 minutes.
Foundation series 2: This is another set of seven sessions with 10 minutes each, and it will help one to deepen the body, sound and breath experience in meditation.
Foundation series 3: This will further deepen the mindfulness practice with seven sessions of 10 minutes at each level.
Foundation series 4: This is the final stage of the foundation series which also has 10 minutes of seven sessions, and here, a person develops the ability to understand, witness and observe how the mind works.
Intermediate series 1: This is the next level in a guided meditation program with 11 minutes of seven sessions, and it uses silence to deepen the practice.
Intermediate series 2: This level handles a wandering and restless mind and deepens the practice levels efficiently with yet another seven sessions of 11 minutes of guided meditation.
Intermediate series 3: This contains seven sessions of 11 minutes each to concentrate more on managing the feeling and emotional quotient of a person with tips, proper breathing and mindfulness of sensations.
Intermediate series 4: This is the pro level of guided meditation program that enhances the awareness of metacognitive ability by observing the state of mind. This again consists of seven sessions of 11 minutes each.
Health Benefits of Performing Guided Meditation Programs
The various benefits that are associated with a guided meditation program are:
It reduces ageing by helping the mind and the body to be young. It improves longevity by diminishing stress on the system.
How to overcome anxiety
? It helps to overcome fear and is seen to relieve all its symptoms by improving the prana levels in the body.
It helps in managing pain by also initiating faster healing processes for all chronic conditions.
Guided sleep meditation is seen to cope with depression and creates the same effect as antidepressants.
It increases memory power, attentiveness, concentration and mind focus. This is efficiently done with the help of meditation
by improvising the grey matter in the brain.
How to control anger
? It helps to reduce the anger conditions by calming the mind effectively.
How to build self confidence
? It creates a positive mind frame and builds self-esteem and awareness about oneself through the primary change of self-acceptance.
Besides all the above, the physiology of the body also undergoes a tremendous change, and they are:
It lowers high blood pressure and therefore used effectively to treat and manage blood pressure conditions.
Guided sleep meditation decreases headaches and other tension-related pains and problems like insomnia.
Guided morning meditation decreases the amounts of lactate in the blood that effectively reduces all anxiety attacks.
Best guided meditation improves immunity levels in the body.
Guided mindfulness meditation helps to improve sleep patterns and increases the quality of sleep.
Guided morning meditation increases the production of serotonin which helps in developing the mood and behaviour.
Best guided meditation helps to fight addictions and creates awareness of trigger points of the mind.
Disadvantages of Guided Meditation Programs
Few disadvantages are linked with a guided meditation program. They are:
Under unsuitable circumstances, it is seen to change the sensory perception like the way we hear, taste, smell and see things.
There may be some physical side effects of performing guided meditation for relaxation. They are headaches, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, dizziness and general weakness along with involuntary body movements.
It, at times, changes the way one interacts with others and tends to make him/her anti-social.
Guided breathing meditation creates delusional and paranormal thoughts under unfortunate situations, because of which the motivation in a person might drastically reduce. This might also lead to a loss of interest in day-to-day activities and result in depression.
It causes one to relive all the negative memories and bring up the emotions from the past, leading to fear, paranoia and grief. This destroys the sense of self and further affects all the other relationships resulting from this essential self.
Dos & Don'ts
The do's that are related while practising guided meditation programs are:
Focus on the physical body and relax and scan all the parts of the body.
Set the intention on the onset of the guided meditation program itself in an unambiguous manner.
Always breathe and concentrate on both inhalation and exhalation throughout the program.
Make sure that the body is filled with energy all the time by enhancing breathing properly.
Feel free to welcome all the emotions and feelings. It can be anger, sadness, bitterness or anything.
Always stay calm and composed and practice guided meditation for deep sleep in a serene environment.
Practice the guided meditation program where there are soft lights as research states that it aids relaxation.
The don'ts associated with guided meditation programs are:
Do not practice it when feeling upset.
Do not practice it immediately after the meals.
Do not practice guided meditation for anxiety is a hard and cold floor.
Do not wear tight-fitting clothes or any uncomfortable attires.
Try to avoid bright or harsh lights.
Things Required to Do Guided Meditation Programs if You Are at Home
To practice guided meditation programs at home, an individual needs the following things:
A comfortable mat.
The individual must wear socks or thermal wear if he/she wants to stay warm.
He/she should place bolsters on the sides of the bed while doing it.
The recorded instructions are a mandatory item.
The performer must always empty his/her bladder and stomach.