What is a Guided Meditation?
A guided meditation is a form of meditation that can be done solo or in a group setting. A guided meditation is different from meditation only in that you have a counselor guiding your through the meditation process with a set intention for the meditation. Meditation is a form of a mindfulness practice.
A common myth about meditation is that you’re supposed to “not think”. The true goal of meditation is to learn how to choose what thoughts / emotions you give your attention to. It allows you to recognize the thought or emotion that presents itself, and then you have the opportunity to let it go. Just as a wave comes up on shore and then flows away.
Guided meditations help make the practice of letting go easier because there’s an intention set by the counselor and a specific topic to focus on within the meditation. This helps you redirect your attention back to the intention / topic of the meditation.
What is mindfulness?
According to the Oxford dictionary definition, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
In short, it helps you learn how to be aware of and focus on the present moment.
How does meditation or mindfulness practices improve mental + emotional health?
Many of our emotional challenges stem from our internal thoughts about a situation, others, or ourselves. Mindfulness practices, like meditation, when practiced consistently over time, teaches your brain how to control your thoughts.
When feeling anxious, worried, fearful, overwhelmed— you are living in the future. When feeling ashamed, guilty, grieving, substance use or trauma triggers present— you are living in the past.
Mindfulness practices teach you how to redirect your mind to the present moment and creates a space for you to find gratitude for that present moment.
- Learn how to control negative, anxious, or fear based thinking.
- Learn how to redirect trauma / relapse triggers.
- Enhance your spirituality.
- Self-explore + connect with your inner self, without judgement.
Other Examples of Mindfulness Practices
- Deep Breathing exercises
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Setting an intention for the day
- Mindful eating- focus on tastes, textures, colors, smells, the thought of / action that you’re nourishing your body and mind rather than quickly eating, overeating, or doing other things while eating, such as scrolling on social media.
- Anything! The truth is you can make anything a mindful practice by directing your focus and attention to the present! Exercise, cooking, showering, drinking tea… just to name a few!