Meditation techniques are like little brain exercises that trick your mind into slowing down and relaxing when you’re feeling stressed.
See, your brain always needs to be doing something.
Rather than letting it drown in worries about paying bills or what’s for dinner, meditation gives your mind something beneficial to do. It helps center your thoughts and cut through loud, unhelpful brain chatter.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the biggest benefits of meditation include lower stress, improved patience and tolerance, greater self-awareness, decreased anxiety, and happier moods[*].
Meditation techniques allow you to capture all the benefits of a full meditation session in a snack-sized moment of zen.
Meditation Types vs. Meditation Techniques
What’s the difference between types of meditation and these meditation techniques?
We explored the seven most popular types of meditation in a recent guide, which included a rundown of:
- Guided Meditation
- Silent Meditation
- Vipassana Meditation
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Zazen or Zen Meditation
- Loving-Kindness Meditation
- Chakra Meditation
Each type of meditation determines the intention, flow, and goal of your practice. And sessions can last anywhere from ten minutes to a few hours.
But the tips, tricks, and secrets you learn during classes and meditation retreats extend far beyond where and when you learn them.
These specific meditation techniques let you capture all the benefits of meditation anytime, anywhere.
8 Meditation Techniques To Practice Throughout Your Day
Try to sprinkle in these easy meditation techniques for beginners to create a space for inner harmony throughout your hectic day:
Mindfulness is at the heart of almost every type of meditation. It’s what most people think of when they imagine meditation.
Essentially, the practice of Mindfulness combines concentration with self-awareness. To be mindful is to tap into and observe your thoughts and thought patterns.
You can practice Mindfulness by finding a comfortable place to sit and be alone. Pay close attention to what comes up, but don’t judge your thoughts or get involved in them.
Pretend you’re just a bystander noticing your thoughts as easily as you’d notice passing clouds in the sky.
If your mind wanders or you fall down the rabbit hole of one thought in particular, bring yourself back by tuning into your breathing. Inhale deeply and exhale fully, taking note of the rise and fall in your body.
Mindfulness is one of the best meditation techniques for anxiety because you can take yourself out of a stressful situation, identify thoughts that may be triggering panic, and release them.
You can use this technique when you’re angry, unable to focus, feeling overwhelmed, or need a minute to gather your thoughts.
Visualization is the practice of using your mind to sketch out a scene and letting your imagination paint in the details.
It gives your brain a chance to think about something positive, pulling your eyes inward to focus on a specific image instead of your passing thoughts or breathing.
To practice Visualization, start with an intention.
If you’d like to accomplish a specific task, try visualizing yourself reaching that goal. Think about how achieving that mission may feel and look. You might increase your motivation and focus to actually do it.
If you’d like to lower stress, try visualizing a calm setting like a beach, forest, or special happy place. Visualize a stable mountain, a meandering trail, or a sunny, cloudless sky.
Now, use your five senses to add as much detail as possible to your vision to feel as if you’re truly there in your mind. For example, what does the air smell like? What do you hear? Is there anything you can touch or taste?
Let your mind be free to imagine all the possibilities.
This meditation technique can be used to break yourself out of limiting thought patterns, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your mood. Use it whenever you’re feeling trapped in a chaotic situation or feeling unmotivated.
3. Focused Meditation
With Focused Meditation, you’ll concentrate on a single object and use all five senses to grasp every detail about it.
You can focus on something internal, like your breathing or heartbeat. Or you can think about something external, such as counting prayer beads, watching a candle flame, or listening to relaxing music.
If you’re watching a candle flicker, for example, notice all the colors of the flame. Think about basking in its warm glow and see if you can detect the smell of a burnt match or the candle’s fragrance in the air.
You should find yourself so wrapped up in the details of this stimulating object that you fail to think about anything else (i.e., those pesky nagging thoughts that keep you up at night).
Though Focused Meditation may be more challenging for those new to meditation, it’s one of the best deep meditation techniques. Fully immersing yourself in one object will train your brain to focus and ground itself in your present reality, which is super helpful during times of uncertainty.
4. Spiritual Meditation
Spiritual Meditation is similar to saying a quick prayer, no matter which religious or spiritual belief system you follow.
You can use Spiritual Meditation throughout your day to seek a deeper connection with God, nature, or the Universe.
To practice this meditation technique, close your eyes and picture yourself surrounded by a loving, guiding light.
Take a few seconds to corral your thoughts and hand them over to your higher power. Ask for strength during a difficult time or faith during a time of serious doubt. Be open to the messages and feelings you receive.
When you ask for help, it’s just as important to express gratitude. Meditate on all the good in your life and the wonders around you. Try to be more grateful in the moment, focusing on all the positives of a situation instead of the negative.
Making space in your life for a guiding universal presence may help you worry less and trust more.
5. Body Scan Meditation / Progressive Relaxation
Body Scan Meditation is also known as Progressive Relaxation because it trains your brain to relax different parts of your body.
To do this, you’ll mentally perform a scan of your body from head to toe, noticing all the feelings, aches, and tension you encounter along the way.
Check-in with each part of your body by slowly tightening and releasing one muscle group at a time. Go from the crown of your head to your fingertips and toes, and back again.
You can imagine a gentle wave or glowing, healing light washing over each area of your body as you work through tension and pain.
If your mind wanders, return to the body part you last remember working on.
Progressive Relaxation is one of the best meditation techniques for anxiety. Rather than unconsciously tensing up the muscles in your neck and shoulders, you can take a minute to consciously release them.
If you like Body Scan Meditation, you’ll love Chakra Meditation!
This meditation technique syncs your body and mind into a state of deep relaxation. It gives your brain a task (relaxing) and your muscles a chance to unwind.
Body Scan Meditation is great to practice before bedtime or whenever you’re feeling physical tension, muscle pain, or aches.
6. Walking Meditation
Movement Meditation takes an active approach to mindfulness as opposed to remaining seated and still in one place.
Walking Meditation encourages you to pay attention to the actions guiding you along your path and journey.
To practice Walking Meditation, all you need is a space where you can walk around for a few minutes undisturbed. You can take a hike through the woods with your dog, go on a quick stroll through a park or garden, or even use a long hallway in your home.
Walk at a natural pace and keep your hands wherever comfortable; at your sides, on your belly, behind your back, etc.
With each step you take, pay attention to how your foot lifts off the ground and returns again. Notice the movements in your legs and the energy shift throughout your body as you propel forward.
If it helps to keep your mind focused, try counting your steps from one to ten. When you reach ten, pause and take a deep breath. Move in the next direction with intention until you hit ten again.
This technique helps when you need physical distance to clear your head, making it one of the best meditation techniques for stress.
If you feel restless or unable to sit still for long, this active movement into mindfulness may be more beneficial than other types of meditation.
7. Yoga Meditation
Yoga Meditation falls under the Movement Meditation umbrella, just like Walking Meditation.
If you’re not familiar with yoga, it’s when you practice a series of postures and controlled breathing to promote a more flexible body and mind.
As you move through each pose, you’ll need to focus all your attention on your breathing and concentrate on keeping your balance. This leaves very little room in your brain for negative, stressful brain chatter.
Our bodies and brains tend to run and think on autopilot, causing us to get stuck in unhelpful ruts. But every time you intentionally enter and remain in a new yoga position, you tell your brain that you’re in control and making good decisions for your body.
When you fall in love with yoga, book your Yoga Meditation Retreat somewhere you’ve always wanted to go!
Try to add a Yoga Meditation to your weekly workout or meditation routine. You can also practice specific poses to stretch and release tension during your work day, after a long commute, or whenever you’re feeling stuck.
8. Chanting or Mantra Meditation
Chanting Meditation calls for you to repeat a chant (such as “om”), mantra (“Happiness is love”), or phrase (“I am enough”) over and over again.
Your goal is to embody the meaning of your chant and embrace its message.
As your mind focuses on getting this repetitive chant out, the positive sound vibrations will eliminate any other distractions crowding your thinking.
Chanting Meditation is excellent for people who find comfort in repetitive tasks and become easily uneasy with silence. Finding and chanting your personal phrase of empowerment can be a natural stress reliever too.
For example, you may want to give yourself a pep talk before a presentation to tell yourself I’m ready and capable! Or you could talk yourself out of an emotional situation (“Serenity now!”) and prevent doing or saying something you may regret.
Repeat your chant, mantra, or phrase at least five times and deeply inhale and exhale between each one.
How To Use These Meditation Techniques
The most essential part of any meditation practice is just starting. This becomes the moment when you allow yourself to take care of your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Ideally, you should aim to meditate for at least 15 minutes every day. But sometimes, life gets in the way of your routine, and you don’t have this type of time or focus.
That’s the best time to sprinkle in these eight meditation techniques.
You don’t have to commit to a meditation class or block off a chunk of your schedule to soak up the benefits a few moments of mindfulness brings.
Just take a minute to try one of these meditation techniques instead of worrying or stressing. This one small move will have fantastic ripple effects throughout the rest of your day, week, and life.
Maybe you’ll begin your day with a few minutes of quiet Visualization. Think about how you’d like your day to go and what you’d like to accomplish.
Mindfully make your breakfast or morning cup of coffee or tea using Focused Meditation. Be aware of each detail and find gratitude in having enough.
Later, take a break from your desk with a Walking Meditation, and combat the perils of sitting too long. Go outside in nature for double the stress relief.
Finally, you might incorporate a Body Scan Meditation or a few yoga sequences to check in with your body and unwind for the day.
Do whatever feels comfortable, and you’ll be encouraged to keep practicing these meditation techniques until you naturally form a daily habit. You may even build up the confidence to try a longer meditation session or sign up for a meditation retreat.
Keep a meditation journal to jot down how you feel after each day with or without mindfulness breaks. See how these days compare and learn which techniques bring you the most joy and relief.
Ready for More Meditation Techniques?
These meditation techniques prove you can meditate anytime, anywhere. You can become more mindful in the briefest of minutes to help counteract life’s stress and anxiety and improve your outlook and mood.
With these tips under your belt, you’ll be on the path to finding greater self-awareness and adding more peace to your interactions with yourself and others.
But don’t stop there!
Open yourself to a world of possibilities by signing up for a meditation retreat.
You’ll learn how to radiate positivity, heal tension, and gain more mental clarity with the tips and tricks experienced teachers have to share.
Visit this link now to browse our current meditation retreats, and discover new styles you may not have considered before.