In this hectic world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Luckily, meditation can help to calm your mind and center your thoughts. If you’re new to meditation, it can be challenging to know where to start. Guided meditations are an excellent option for those who are just starting out, as they provide a step-by-step approach to your practice. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best guided meditations out there, so you can start your meditation journey with confidence.
If you are a beginner, you are probably wondering how you can start your journey in the world of meditation. Well, there are many ways to get into the habit. But before we get into that, let’s take a quick look at the benefits.
Benefits of Meditation And Mindfulness
It is no secret that there are tons of benefits of meditation and mindfulness. These are important components of grounding, and self-care, which I have covered in previous posts. Let’s take a look at a few of the proven benefits of meditation below:
- Meditation reduces stress and anxiety and helps calm the mind down.
- It can improve your focus, concentration, and other cognitive abilities.
- It can also increase your self-awareness and mindfulness, which allows you to observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment.
- It improves your ability to regulate your emotions, which leads to greater stability and resilience.
- Meditation can lower your blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health.
- It can even boost your immune system, which leads to improved overall health.
- Meditation promotes better sleep and relaxation.
How To Get Started Meditating As A Beginner
If you’ve never meditated before, or if you’ve only done it occasionally, it might be a little confusing as to how you can get started. But don’t worry, there are easy ways to turn this practice into a healthy habit.
To start, you can select a room or place in your home where you will meditate daily. Make sure the place is private. You might fancy keeping a journal, a candle, a pillow and a blanket in the space to ensure you are comfortable and have somewhere to write important things.
You can practice sitting in a cross-legged posture (or a chair, if that is more comfortable), closing your eyes, and just trying to relax your muscles and focus on your breathing. Start with just a few minutes at a time per day and you will be able to gradually extend the time.
One of the easiest way to get started is by using guided meditations. There are many free meditation apps and videos that can gently guide beginners through the process. In the next section, we’re going to talk about the best free meditation apps and some of my favorite free guided meditations.
The Best Free Guided Meditation Apps
1) Insight Timer App
Insight Timer is a free guided meditation app that you can download from your app store, and currently my personal favorite. Insight timer has the largest collection of free meditations out there, which makes it the choice of 25 million people. It includes a mood tracker, journal functions, and guided, music, or non-guided meditations of all types. The app and UI is seamless and easy to use. For iOS and Android devices.
2) Smiling Mind App
Smiling Mind is a well-rated free guided meditation app built by an Australian non-profit. The app uses over 300 mindfulness programs meant to address mental health challenges in youth and adults. The creators of this app aim to make meditation an everyday thing for children and adults alike. As a beginner, you will love how the app guides you through the concepts of meditation and mindfulness. For iOS and Android devices.
3) Healthy Minds Program
This free app was created by a non-profit science organization called Healthy Minds Innovations. They have done a wonderful job applying the lessons of neuroscience to their podcast-style guided meditations. Its beautiful user interface and experience are an added bonus. For iOS and Android devices.
4) Mindfulness Coach
This is another completely free meditation app that was created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD. It has tons of resources like guided audio meditations, exercises, and articles that aim to make mindfulness a way of life for its users. You can even track your progress over time. For iOS and Android devices.
The Best Free Guided Meditations
1) Davidji – Setting the Trajectory of My Day
Davidji is one of my favorite authors of guided meditations. He has a sort of wise beach bum vibe and am amazingly calming voice and cadence. He began his career as an executive in the finance industry before discovering meditation as a tool for healing and self-discovery. He trained under spiritual leaders such as Deepak Chopra and became the first Dean of Chopra Center University, where he led workshops and guided meditations for thousands of individuals.
You can find his meditations are available on Insight Timer, and on YouTube, featuring his smooth, calming voice. He features meditations focusing on self-love, mindfulness meditation, healing mantras.
2) Jack Kornfield – Mindful Loving Awareness
Jack Kornfield is an author, meditation teacher, and psychologist, who has played a significant role in bringing mindfulness practices to the Western world and integrating them into mainstream culture. After studying Buddhism in Thailand as a monk, Kornfield co-founded the Insight Meditation Society and the Spirit Rock Center. He has written several influential books on meditation and spirituality, including “A Path with Heart” and “The Wise Heart”.
3) Tara Brach – Vipassana (Basic) Meditation
Tara Brach, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, and meditation teacher who has been sharing her insights and guided meditations with students all over the world for decades. Her teachings are grounded in mindfulness and compassion, and she has a unique way of making meditation accessible and relatable for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. YouTube, Insight Timer
4) Sonic Yogi – Heart Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowls
Sonic Yogi is an American musician and sound healer who has become known for his unique approach to creating healing and meditative music. He began his career as a rock musician, but he became interested in the transformative power of sound after suffering from extreme anxiety. Sonic Yogi is particularly known for his use of binaural beats, which are believed to help the brain enter a state of deep relaxation. Spotify, YouTube, Insight Timer
Do you have a favorite meditation track or teacher? Please do tell.