Guided Meditations are led by the voice of another person – either in-person or through a video or audio recording. Typically, guided meditations are helpful for individuals who are new to meditation, because an instructor is able to lead them through the basic steps of starting a meditation practice. Even if you’re not new to meditation, guided meditation can introduce you to a new style of meditation or encourage you to stretch and grow beyond current boundaries.
Instructors can help to walk participants through breathing exercises, mantras, and visual images while also helping them to understand how their mind is operating. Sessions can last from minutes to hours, depending on their focus, subject matter, and your needs as the student.
Guided meditation can offer a number of positive benefits including the ones outlined below.
Benefit One: Decreased Stress
Guided meditation is shown to halt and reverse the stress response the body goes into when introduced to a trigger. Rather than inducing a stress response, guided meditation initiates a relaxation response in the body.
Research shows that just 25 minutes of guided meditation practiced three days consecutively can reduce stress significantly and prevent the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which can create a damaging effect in the body. This can be accomplished over a long weekend, during the week (first thing in the morning or before bedtime), or during your lunch hour.
Benefit Two: Improved Sleep
Studies have shown that guided meditation, including mindfulness meditation, has been linked to improved sleep. Individuals who are suffering from insomnia and other sleep conditions may be great candidates for this practice, along with anyone experiencing interrupted sleep patterns.
Research shows that developing a consistent meditation practice can aid in falling asleep sooner and staying asleep for a longer period of time, as well as helping to ease racing, chaotic thoughts that may keep you from falling asleep.
Benefit Three: Pain Reduction
Evidence shows that guided meditation reduces pain sensations in the boy and helps improve the body’s ability to cope with pain. Research by Leeds Beckett University found that just 10 minutes of guided mindfulness meditation could be used as an alternative to painkillers.
Other studies have shown that meditation can be useful in comforting terminally ill patients by helping to mitigate chronic pain towards the end of their life.
Benefit Four: Better Management of Depression
Guided meditation can be beneficial in the management of depression symptoms. One way that it can help is by promoting awareness of and separation from negative feelings. This helps people recognize negative thought patterns and interrupt them so as not to get caught in a negative thought loop.
Guided meditation can also help change your brain chemistry for the better by teaching it to promote positive thinking and optimism. This can help to ease depression symptoms such as sadness, low self-esteem, and poor mood.
Benefit Five: Improved Self-Image
Guided meditation can also improve your emotional health by boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem. One study looked at brain activity using an MRI scanner prior to and following participation in a two-month meditation course.
Results showed increased self-esteem, increased activity in the brain network related to regulating attention, increased positive and decreased negative self-endorsement, and reduced activity in brain systems related to self-image.
Benefit Six: Improved Memory
Guided meditation can also influence your brain’s networks that are responsible for cognitive tasks such as working memory. A positive change in this network allows the brain to hold onto information for the short term. Meditation can also work to prevent or slow down age-related memory loss.
A scientific review of 12 studies looked at the impacts of meditation on age-related memory loss and cognitive decline. They found that a consistent meditation practice helped to improve attention and mental quickness. One study found that just ten minutes of guided meditation practice each day can improve working memory by 9%.
Guided meditation can have marked positive effects on physical outcomes, and should certainly be considered as an option for people looking to improve overall health and wellness. Starting and building a regular meditation practice can produce multiple benefits that will improve your quality of life for the better.
Hayes, A. (2020, July 31). 13 proven benefits of meditation. Netdoctor. https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/mental-health/a33441611/benefits-meditation/
Comment below and tell me: which of the benefits of Guided Meditation that were mentioned above appeals to you the most? Think about where you are now, and where you’d like to be with respect to improving your stress levels, sleep patterns, self-image, memory or another area of your life. Where would you like to begin? What resources do you need to get started?