I am often asked this question. The short answer is the one you will do. There really is no right or best way to meditate, but there are different paths of focus within meditation. What does that mean? It means that it depends on what you are trying to experience with meditation. Are you trying to decrease your overall stress load and calm your central nervous system? Are you trying to work through some emotional issues where a specific guided meditation is helpful to bring awareness and relief to that particular topic? Are you trying to improve your sleep or reactionary behaviour? Or are you trying to go deeper into quieting the mind?
It can be helpful to identify what you are trying to achieve through meditation when deciding what kind of practice is best for you. If you aren’t sure what you are trying to achieve and are just testing the waters, then start with something you will stick to. For this reason and many others, I like guided meditation. Guided meditation gives you a roadmap to explore your consciousness. If you can find a teacher with whom you resonate and connect, then you will start to establish a relationship with your practice. Establishing a relationship is helpful because it gives you an opportunity to compare your experiences and observe how your mindset changes as your practice continues.
It’s also good to establish some kind of plan or routine so you can compare results. Much like watching your numbers or times improve during exercise training, perhaps you would notice how much less stress you feel throughout the day or how much more easily you are able to calm down. Having a consistent method and type of meditation can give you this baseline comparator.
“While meditating on your habits you may start to identify thoughts or actions that cause harm or undue stress. “
Another reason I like guided meditation in the beginning is that it can help bring awareness to some of the emotional issues or energy blocks that can be causing heightened stress in your life. For instance, while meditating on your habits you may start to identify thoughts or actions that cause harm or undue stress. From a space of thoughtful guidance, issues that are affecting you can rise to the surface.
Finding the right meditation style often involves trying different things and seeing what sticks. However, keep in mind that whatever you do may require effort to transition to a habit. Make sure you try the new technique for at least 3 weeks, which is the approximate time to form a habit. If you don’t pass this threshold, it is difficult to work through that first bout of resistance. If you haven’t already taken our 21-day guided meditation challenge, this is a perfect way to decide if this meditation style is the one for you. Many of our “Bees” report that our 3-week meditation challenge helped them create a real relationship with their practice and that those effects are long lasting. Find out if it can do the same for you by joining the next challenge here!