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Meditation: Which Is Right For You?

By Sara Butler

Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation is something many people have heard of but haven’t practiced. Sure, it may seem like it’s a practice for the Dalai Lama and not everyday folks, but that’s the wrong impression to have! Meditation has been shown to be a great form of stress relief. It offers time for you to block out the stresses of the world and truly relax -- something everyone could use more of.

Plus, there’s not simply one type of meditation, there are several. That means there is surely a type of meditation out there to suit you. Here are some of the best-known styles of meditation you may want to give a try.

Progressive Relaxation

This type of meditation helps you to scan your whole body for tension and release it little by little -- progressively! During a session, you start with one end of your body and work your way through it all piece by piece.

This is a great type of meditation for those who want to promote feelings of relaxation and calmness, but it is also really helpful for those with chronic pain. It’s also a great practice to add to your nighttime routine to help you get to sleep.

Breath Awareness

This type of meditation encourages breathing mindfully. When you practice it, you breathe in deeply and slowly, counting slowly as you focus on your breathing. This allows you to focus your mind and forget about outside distractions.

This is a great type of meditation to help you deal with anxiety, but it’s also good for those who want to improve their concentration.

Mindfulness Meditation

This form of meditation encourages you to remain present and aware in the moment. So, rather than thinking about things that have happened in the past or fretting over what is going to go on in the future, you focus awareness of you and your surroundings right in the moment.

This meditation can really be done anywhere, which is one of the best things about it. Waiting in line at the grocery store? Perfect to whip out your mindfulness meditation mantra! Simply focus on what is happening around you -- the sights, smells, and sounds to feel a sense of calm wash over you.

Mindfulness meditation is a great tool for people who want help letting go of negative emotions, want to improve their memory and focus, or who want to learn to have less impulsive and emotional reactions to things.

Loving/Kindness Meditation

If you’re looking to cultivate an attitude of kindness and love toward things in your life, then this is the meditation practice for you. To practice it, you simply breathe deep as you keep your mind open to feelings of kindness and love -- sending out your own messages to those around you.

When practicing this meditation, you repeat the kind and loving messages over and over until you start to feel it. It can be a boon for those who want to help control anger issues, struggle with frustration, have a lot of resentment, or who are experiencing interpersonal conflict. It helps to increase positive emotions and has actually been revealed by studies to be great for people who struggle with PTSD, depression, or anxiety.

Sometimes it can feel as if the world is on your shoulders. Get comfy and let all that negativity go with a meditation practice that works for you.

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