Guided Meditation is led by the voice of another—either in-person or through a video or audio recording. Typically, guided meditation is best for individuals who are new to meditation because an instructor is able to lead them through the basic steps of meditation practice.
Instructors often walk participants through breathing exercises, mantras, and visual images while also helping them to understand how the mind is operating. Sessions can last from minutes to hours.
Guided meditation can offer a host of benefits including the six outlined below.
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 practised 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.
Improved Sleep: Studies have shown that guided meditation, including mindfulness meditation, has been linked to improved sleep among individuals suffering from insomnia and other sleep conditions. Research shows that 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 thoughts that may keep someone from falling asleep.
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 how meditation was useful in the comfort of the terminally ill by helping to mitigate chronic pain towards the end of life.
Better Management of Depression: Guided meditation can be beneficial in the management of depression symptoms. One way it helps 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 brain chemistry for the better by teaching it to promote positive thinking and optimism. This can ease depression symptoms such as sadness, low self-esteem, and poor mood.
Better Self-Image: Guided meditation can also improve emotional health by increasing 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.
Improved Memory: Guided meditation can also influence brain networks responsible for many cognitive tasks such as working memory which allows the brain to hold onto information for the short term. Meditation can also work to prevent or slow age-related memory loss. A scientific review of 12 studies looked at the impacts of meditation on age-related memory loss and cognitive decline and found that the practice improved attention and mental quickness. One study found that just ten minutes of guided meditation practise each day can improve working memory by 9%.
It is evident to see that guided meditation can be an asset for many reasons. From improving mental health to aiding in physical outcomes, guided meditation should certainly be considered as an option for people looking to improve overall health and wellness. Via regular practice one is sure to see benefits that will improve quality of life for the better.
Until then, many blessings and much peace!
Blink. (2020). BlinkBlog. BlinkBlog. https://www.blog.blinkfitness.com/8-reasons-to-try-guided-meditation
Hayes, A. (2020, July 31). 13 proven benefits of meditation. Netdoctor. https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/mental-health/a33441611/benefits-meditation/