Guided meditation is a great starting point for those new to meditation and a great way to refresh your practice if you are a seasoned meditator facing inner obstacles to meditation.
Even the most experienced meditators experience obstacles, such as excessive internal chatter, dozing off, or restlessness, on occasion. All meditators benefit from fresh guidance now and then.
This article describes the differences between guided and silent meditation, introduces three types of guided meditation scripts, and offers tips on how to offer guided meditation online.
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Guided meditation involves a relationship between a teacher, who guides the meditation using oral instructions, and the student, who is listening to learn meditation
Typically, guided meditation is necessary for beginners, but seasoned meditators may also benefit from refreshing their practice by relaxing into a guided session with a beginner’s mind
Guided meditation can be very useful for keeping meditators on track during meditation.
Guided meditations can include oral instructions about meditation posture, attention to the breath, body scanning techniques, and guided imagery or visualization. They can also include reciting mantras, expressing aspirations aloud, or chanting. They may include specific types of movements or activities conducted in a meditative way.
Meanwhile, silent meditation is generally recommended for seasoned meditators who have internalized previous meditation instructions and can now practice the techniques above without guidance.
Silent meditation can be practiced in groups and alone, guided meditation is always offered in the context of a relationship, even if that relationship is with an app or online audio or video.
How Can Guided Meditation Help?
Guided MeditationGuided meditation can be a valuable adjunct to therapy and counseling by providing a client with a sense of containment between sessions.
Mindfulness meditation has positive effects on health and well-being in several areas, including stress management and preventing relapse in those with depression and anxiety.
Other guided meditations such as loving-kindness meditation and self-compassion meditation are effective methods of emotional regulation that can also enhance prosocial feelings and improve a sense of connectedness.
This is effective at countering harsh inner criticism and high expectations of others. It is also effective for those experiencing and loss of meaningful connection, such as the bereaved and those recovering from addictions
Guided kindness-based meditations in general, including loving-kindness and compassion meditation, enhance empathy, perspective taking, and self–other discrimination. These skills are crucial for maintaining and developing relationships of all kinds.
How can meditation ease anxiety?
Participants that completed an eight-week guided mindfulness meditation course reported a reduction in some anxiety According to Blum et al. it could be a useful intervention in anxiety in adolescents (2019), and some research shows it can ease anxiety symptoms associated with depression
It can also alleviate the anxiety caused by stress
Other forms of guided meditation can soothe anxiety and provide a sense of containment by using mantras, visualization, and sound.