The mantra to live through these tough times has been to "stay positive". However, with everything we are facing right now, staying afloat is a basic concern. With the absence of regular social life and the most outdoor recreational activities, our mind invariably focuses on what is going wrong.
Honestly, it does not hurt to dwell on existing issues. Being overly positive can also be harmful, and is considered to be toxic in nature. It expects us to avoid negative thoughts altogether, which is not a healthy coping mechanism. Losing our ability to face difficult situations and scary thoughts can weaken our mental strength and the ability to function normally. Hence, it is important to accept that things are certainly not greatest now, but hopefully will be with time.
But this kind of acceptance is not easy to achieve. It is not easy to let go of negative thoughts in difficult situations, let alone expect your mind to believe that better times are coming. It takes a lot of mental strength to be calm, composed and not let the negative thoughts affect your daily functioning.
To achieve this level of mental strength, it is important to exercise your mind regularly. The concept is similar to the concept of exercising to keep your body physically fit. Your mind also needs to be exercised to keep it fit and fine. And ancient sciences are proof that mental exercises such as meditation, can help strengthen our mind.
However, the same form of exercise does not fit all. It's similar to how interests differ from person to person, exercise for the mind also differs from person to person. Hence there are a total of eight different meditation methods that you should know about if.
The Bridge Chronicle explains all the different forms of meditation for you to better understand which suits you the best:
Mindfulness Meditation: As the name suggests, mindful meditation is a form of meditation that focuses on being mindful. It originates from Buddhist teachings and is a process where you let your thoughts flow, without judgement. The person meditating is only expected to observe the thoughts and look for patterns if any. During meditation, you are also expected to pay attention to bodily sensations and feeling that you might experience. This form of meditation is suitable for people who do not have a guide.
Spiritual Meditation: Spiritual meditation is based on faith. It originates from Eastern cultures and still predominantly followed by many in the region. It is similar to praying where the meditator focuses his/her attention on connecting with a higher sense. All of this while focusing on the silence around you. The practice also involves using aromatherapy for deeper concentration. Here are the oils and scents that are common https://www.thebridgechronicle.com/lifestyle/living/locked-indoors-here-are-five-aromatic-scents-that-can-improve-your-overall-health.
Mantra Meditation: You must have heard people in temples and religious places chanting words such as "Om" or "Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō". Mantra meditation focuses on chanting a word or a phrase repeatedly. The repeated chanting creates a sense of being in tune with the environment and a feeling of being surrounded with good energy. People often prefer this form of meditation as it helps them keep their mind focused on the word that they are chanting.
Movement Meditation: This is an interesting form of meditation, which focuses on gentle movements. Most of the times, it is hard for people to remove thoughts from their mind. Our mind creates fixations on some thoughts which are often difficult to get rid of. However, movement meditation is good for people who find it hard to keep thoughts at bay. Taking a walk, gardening, cleaning your room are all forms of movement meditation.
Progressive Relaxation: Having trouble falling asleep? Try progressive relaxation. The process involves scanning your body to promote relaxation and easing tensions. It also includes tightening and loosening certain muscle groups in the body to promote relaxation. It can be coupled with some relaxing music to induce a sense of greater sync between mind and body.
Focused Meditation: Hear of people using beads to chant, or staring at a candle flame? Focused meditation means using any of your five senses to induce a sense of deeper awareness or mindfulness. The external or internal stimulus helps in bringing back our attention, every time your mind wanders.
Loving-kindness Meditation: Especially in times like these, when a lot of people have shut themselves away from the external world, loving-kindness meditation is essential. As the name suggests this form of meditation aims at strengthening the feeling of compassion and empathy and also opening up our minds to receiving the same.
Visualization Meditation: This form of meditation does not only help relax our mind but also helps in honing mind imagery. It is often better experienced in a guided manner, where the person guiding the meditation creates a mental picture that involves all the five senses. External stimuli such as music can also be included to better the experience. This meditation focuses on calming anxiety, relaxing one's mind and also rejuvenation of self.
It is important to have the right kind of judgement when it comes to your mental health as it is extremely important to ensure healthy functioning in your day to day life. Hence, finding the right kind of meditation and practicing the same for atleat 10 minutes every day can go a long way in maintaining a balance.