What is Meditation?
Meditation can be explained in numerous ways but simply put, meditation is a technique to bring awareness and peace to your life. There are different types of meditation and some of the most popular are:
- Mindfulness Meditation: this is the type that comes to mind for most people. It involves bringing attention and awareness while not being attached to your thoughts. It can be practiced anytime and anywhere.
- Movement Meditation: This includes way more than yoga. Running, swimming, gardening, hiking, etc. can all be considered movement meditation. This active form of meditation is ideal for anyone who finds peace in movement.
- Mantra Meditation: Many people use mantras to focus on a useful phrase or word rather than focus on their breath.
- Spiritual Meditation: This type of meditation connects strongly to your spiritual side. It involves prayer and finding a deeper connection to your God.
- Guided Meditation: Guided meditations involve someone else directing your thoughts. This is a fantastic option for anyone new to meditation or anyone who has a hard time sitting with their thoughts.
Many people practice more than one form of meditation to enjoy the maximum benefits it has to offer.
What is Guided Meditation?
Guided meditation is a great way to get started in the meditation game. It typically involves someone else guiding your thoughts, telling you where to take them or not take them. People take advantage of guided meditations for tons of reasons. They can be used in therapy sessions, yoga classes, and/or retreats or on your own. You can find many examples online of guided meditations.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
There are endless benefits to practicing mediation both physically and mentally.
- Lowers blood pressure
- Combats insomnia
- Combats tension headaches
- Aids in managing chronic pain
- Aids in healthy heart function
- Boosts immune system
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves concentration
- Teaches patience
- Increases creativity
- Increases imagination
- Decreases symptoms of depression
What Does Self Acceptance Mean?
As a definition, self-acceptance is, “an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative.” It’s not easy to accept the parts about yourself that you don’t like but that is the challenge.
Finding self-acceptance can bring inner peace to one’s life and really improve your mental health. It can greatly impact anxiety and depression, improve confidence and self-esteem. It can help addicts get into recovery and stay there and help someone with disordered eating seek the help and relief they need.
Many people interchange the meaning of self-acceptance with self-esteem, however, there is a distinct difference between the two. Self-esteem deals with how you feel about yourself as a whole. Whether that is positive or negative, the feeling you put to yourself is known as self-esteem. Self-acceptance is acknowledging these feelings and being okay with the while of yourself just the way it currently is.
How Can I Gain Self Acceptance Through Meditation?
The biggest thing about gaining self-acceptance is that it’s a daily practice and meditating is a great tool to use in that practice. During your meditation, you learn to focus your thought and then change them. Meditation also helps you become more aware of yourself and who you are as a person.
Meditation helps you become familiar with your strengths and weaknesses and can help turn your weaknesses into strengths.
A Short and Sweet Meditation for Self Acceptance:
- Start by getting into a comfortable position. This can look like laying still in a quiet, dark room, sitting next to the ocean or another outdoor location. You also have the option of sitting up tall with criss-cross legs.
- Ensure your phone is off or the do not disturb is on so you aren’t distracted during your mediation.
- Close your eyes or set your eyes on a fixed object.
- Begin to focus on your breath.
- Seal your mouth shut and take slow, deep breath in and out of your nose
- Imagine your breath as a magnifying glass and with each inhale take a look into different parts of yourself.
- After your breath has become long and even, bring your awareness to your thoughts.
- Start to scan your body, inside and out. First, think of all the things you like and accept about yourself. Think about all the things you are good at and the talents and skills you have
- Give thanks for all those things you love about yourself. You can use mantras like:
I am grateful for (_)
Thank you for (_)
I am blessed with (_)
- Next, start to think about all those things you may be less than happy with about yourself.
- As you think about those things use mantras like:
I am enough
I am me
I am love
I am great just the way I am
I am doing the best I can
I am worthy
I am strong
I am not my feelings
I have power over my thoughts and emotions.
I can choose how I perceive every situation
- Take as long as you need to examine yourself with that magnifying glass and when you’re ready start to bring your awareness back to your breath.
- Slowly start to flutter your eyes back open.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, April 22). A beginner’s guide to meditation. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org
Ackerman, C. (2021, May 31). What is self-acceptance? 25 exercises + definition and quotes. PositivePsychology.com. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://positivepsychology.com
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