Studies has shown, people who meditated daily for 8 week, develop more grey matter in prefrontal cortex (part of the brain associated with higher order of thinking) and shrinks amygdala (our insecure reptilian brain)
Just like our body needs rest to stay fit, our mind also needs meditation to stay healthy. I have been meditating daily since last five months. And if there is one thing that everyone should do, it would be mediation.
However the problem is, most people either don’t know what exactly meditation is or how to start. Right ? So in the post we will understand the core concept of meditation and how to achieve it.
What is Mediation ?
Mediation ( or mindfulness) is a state where you think about nothing. Most people while meditating close their eyes, take few deep breaths and then try to clear their minds. When you get distracted and start thinking gently bring your focus back. So simply put when you meditate, you let go of all your thoughts.
Why Meditate ?
I meditate because it boost my productivity. But there are several other health and physiological benefits as well. For instance low anxiety/BP, clear thoughts, improve thinking, inner peace, happiness etc.
Some of you may be thinking, it’s a placebo effect, but it’s not. Daily meditation can actually change the brain structure.
How to meditate ?
There is no fix guide to meditation. You can do that, when you are sitting alone, walking in public, listening to binaural music, feeling your breath, repeating a mantra etc. Whatever works for you, is the best way.
Nevertheless there are few methods that work better for most people, especially if you are beginners. And a popular one of them is Guided Meditation. It’s a practice where an instructed or recorded voice guide you step by step.
Guided Meditation Apps
Warning: Before we start, note that following apps are great way to develop a habit for meditation, but in no way a necessary medium. Try to get rid of them as soon as you can.
This is a king of all guided meditation apps. Why ? Well because the audio sounds warmer and the app is well structured.
Andy-the founder and also the person who speaks in the headspace app, really knows what to say and how to say. He has practiced meditation for decades. There is also a ted talk by him on mindful meditation.
Once you sign up for headspace, you get 10 days of free program. Each program is about 10 minutes long and is meant to listen on day at time. Though you can repeat the free program as long as you want, if you want content than you will have to pay for subscription.
After you are finish listening to the free content, you may want to pay for more. However, I suggest avoid this temptation, because we don’t want to get dependent on external source for meditation.
Other than good content and smoothing audio, the app also comes with helpful option like reminder, tracking progress.
HeadSpace is available for Android, iOS and web.
Calm is similar to headspace, It has some free and some paid content.
However unlike headspace, the free version also support beautiful background sounds of rain falling from the leaves, water flowing in rivers and many more. This app focus more on relaxation then mediation.
To quickly release stress, you can always goto their website listen to calm music with beautiful animation. No login require.
Calm is available for Android, iOS and web.
#3 Insight Timer
Unlike above two apps, this one don’t have guided meditation from one single person but it lets you stream it from other online resources. However if you want it offline than there is an option for that as well.
There are few hundred guided meditation in the list, ranging for 1 minute to an hour. And to make the selection process easier, there are reviews and rating.
Like calm, it also offers inbuilt soundtracks. But instead of rain raindrop or water flowing from course, in this app you can set the bells to ring after every minute. Some options here require in app purchase though.
Insight Timer is available for Android and iOS.
#4 Spotify Playlist
There are some good playlist on guided mediation on Spotify. However its a good options for paid members only. Because in the free version, you get ads between your meditation session, which is a mood killer.
Also see: How to get Spotify in restricted countries
#5. Audio Dharma
This site has some huge collection of dharma talks and guided meditation.
All audio tracks are available for free under creative common license. The content is good, but some of the audio I listened, didn’t sound quite professionally in terms of audio quality.
Available only on web.
#6 YouTube playlist
YouTube has got everything. There are few YouTube channels that produce nothing but HQ guided meditation. I like the channel called TheHonestGuys, they are regular and produce quality content.
Here we have seen some of the useful guided meditation apps and online resources. They are helpful for newcomer, but make sure you don’t dependent on them.
Meditate daily and it will change your life for good.