How to Reap the Benefits of Guided Meditation

Boost your wellness with this easy mindfulness practice.

woman listening to guided meditation in nature

(Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock)

Meditation has grown in popularity throughout the world and its many mental and physiological health benefits are widely known. But for beginners who find the idea of sitting in silent contemplative stillness boring or daunting, guided meditation is an easily accessible way to integrate the practice of meditation into their lives.

There are many pre-recorded or live guided meditation options available in a wide range of styles and lengths so that people can find a guided meditation to suit their personal needs and start feeling better.

How to get started
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in the United States mediation practice has risen from 4.1 percent to 14.2 percent in recent years. But not everyone is capable of successfully calming themselves and listening to their inner voice in a way that is necessary to develop a practice of meditation independently. Instead, many have turned to guided meditation as a way to help them get started on the meditative path. 

According to The Healthy, guided meditation is a mind-body practice that is led by a guide or teacher who assists people attempting to achieve a meditative state. The guide often sets the tone by talking calmly and creating visual imagery to focus the mind. 

A quick google search will reveal that there are a variety of guided mediation options available online, from meditation apps, to podcasts to youtube videos - and many of these sources are free. Most meditations can be adapted to a guided format. 

In mindfulness meditation the guide draws people’s attention to the present moment, by focusing on breathing. Transcendental meditation has the guide repeating a mantra to help clear the  mind. During body scan meditation and progressive muscle relaxation the guide draws awareness and focus to all parts of the body. 

In some meditation practices the guide will set a specific  intention for participants to focus on. The guide generally talks calmly, gently serving as the narrator during the meditation, but silence, calming music or sounds are often interspersed throughout the meditation practice.

Restoring calm
Mind is the Master reports on that of the many benefits of guided meditation, one of the most prevalent benefits is the restoring calm. Guided meditation can calm the body and mind and quiet stress inducing thoughts that trigger anxiety. The calm state experienced during a guided meditation can give the body a chance to repair itself from the damage of  stress and can serve as a powerful tool to combat ailments like depression and anxiety.

Good night’s sleep
Many people plagued by insomnia are turning to guided meditation to help them get back to sleep. Meditation can increase melatonin production by setting the relaxation response in motion, Mind is the Master reports. There are many meditations available in varying styles and lengths designed to accompany people as they peacefully drift off to sleep.

Guided meditations are easy to use and can be accessed almost anywhere, even in the most remote settings. By detaching from negative stressful thoughts and focusing instead on the here and now, guided meditation is helping millions of people around the world access inner calm and set them on a path to improved overall wellbeing. 

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