Meditation
Photo: Unsplash
Lifestyle

Meditation Practices That Will Bring You Buenas Vibras in 2021

The new year is upon us, and our stress levels are increasing as we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic. Most of us are still in lock down and it’s hard not to dwell in difficult thoughts when the situation continues to worsen. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to weigh on our lives, our burdens can start to feel heavier especially as we worry not only about ourselves but our loved ones and the economic impact of the pandemic.

With 2021 approaching it’s important to stop and give yourself grace to realize all you can do is take it one day at a time, especially when we still don’t know how this pandemic will play out. As we close out one of the most difficult years in all our lives,  many of us leaned on spiritual practices to help counter the negativity and stress in our lives. Read on to discover the meditative practices you can incorporate into your everyday life to help you find a little peace.

What is Meditation?

GIF via Giphy

Meditation has grown in popularity over the past few years. It’s basically a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness. Aside from increasing awareness and focused attention, meditation’s consciousness-changing techniques have been shown to have a number of benefits on your mental health. Meditation is practiced in many cultures throughout the world and although many people believe that it is used for religious purposes, many people practice is independently of any religious beliefs.

Benefits of Meditation

Keeping Up With The Kardashians Thanks GIF by E! - Find & Share on GIPHY

GIF via Giphy

There are many benefits, both mentally and physically, to practicing meditation. Some of those benefits include:

Meditation can take on many different forms but they all share the same benefits. Finding a type of meditation that works best for your lifestyle will allow you to reap the benefits even more.

Focused Meditation

GIF via Giphy

Focused meditation is when you focus all of your attention on a specific object while tuning out everything else around you. The goal of this type of meditation is to experience what it is you are focusing on. You could focus on breathing, a mantra, a specific word, a specific taste or smell, a sound, or an object. Whatever you choose to focus on, you’ll be reaching a higher state of being.

Loving-Kindness Meditation

GIF via Giphy

Loving-Kindness mediation is also known at Metta Meditation. It’s meant to create an attitude of love and kindness for everything, even towards the Regina George’s in your life. When you practice this meditation you focus on images of different people, regardless of your attitude or view toward them and as you breathe deeply and open your mind to receiving the flows of loving-kindness, you then send those buenas vibras to other people around you and the world. This has J Balvin written all over it.

Mantra Meditation

GIF via Giphy

The word mantra means a “tool of the mind.” If you practice yoga, then you’ve probably heard your instructor share a few mantras with the class. Some are short, one-syllable mantras, while others are long and composed of many words. One of the most popular mantras is the sacred Hindu syllable “Aum” (usually spelled Om). It’s actually considered to be the sound of the creation of the universe. A mantra can be recited or listened to at a fast or slow pace and it can even connect to your breath.

Mindfulness Meditation

Calm Down Taylor Swift GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

GIF via Giphy

Mindful meditation helps you recognize and cope with emotions and physical sensations that overwhelm you in your daily life. It forces you to be in the present and make yourself open, aware, and accepting. This type of meditation doesn’t require any equipment and you can do it practically anywhere. For example, you can do it while waiting in line at the tianguis. You just need to pay attention to your surroundings, including sights, sounds, and smells that you experience in that moment.

How to Meditate

GIF via Giphy

There are many different forms and levels of meditation but what if you’re a beginner? Here are some things you can do if you’re just starting out:

  • Choose a quiet spot, with no distractions. You can play some soothing music but everything else, like your phone and television, should be turned off.
  • Set a time limit. If you’re a beginner, you might want to start with a shorter session of about five to ten minutes in length.
  • Get comfortable. You can sit on the floor or in a chair as long as you feel like you can sit there comfortably for several minutes at a time.
  • Focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths and pay attention to how each breath feels.
  • Notice your thoughts. Focus on bringing your attention to your breath. Your mind will wander, simply bring your mind back to your breathing.

Tips and Tricks

GIF via Giphy

If you’re ready to start meditating, here are some of our tips and tricks that will help you make the most out of your meditation session.

  • Start slow. Start with shorter session of about five to ten minutes a day, then work your way up to longer sessions.
  • Set a schedule. Try to meditate at the same time each day.
  • Breathe naturally. Pay attention to the feelings and sensations you are experiencing in the moment.

Meditation Apps

GIF via Giphy

There are many apps or websites that offer free or low-cost guided meditation services. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Headspace: This app has everything from guided meditation to breath control, and sleep aids. You can set a timer for how long you want to meditate for and it’s full of super cute illustrations. This app is free.
  • Calm: This app has good reviews. It includes breathing exercises, nature sounds, recording of stories that will put you to sleep. You do have to pay for it, but $5 a month is a lot less than your monthly Starbucks bill.
  • Insight Timer: This app is the largest meditation community on earth. It’s all about becoming one with yourself and teaches you the fundamentals of meditation, mindfulness, building confidence, and creating friendships. The best part it, it’s free!