Guided Meditation for Personal Development and Growth--Discovering your Ideal Self
How to Meditate for Self Discovery
Meditation is a practice of mindfulness and concentration that can allow you to gain important insights about yourself and the world around you. For those looking to better understand themselves and experience self-discovery, meditation can help you calm your mind and better evaluate your life. However, meditation alone will not grant you personal insights. By regularly meditating and living a more thoughtful life, you may be able to better understand who you are and what you are capable of.
Find a quiet place.Before you begin meditating, you will want to find a quiet place that is free of any distractions. Make sure that there is nothing in the room that might break your concentration. Turn off all electronic devices or leave them in another room.
- Try to avoid places with lots of people or that have heavy foot traffic.
- If there is outside noise that you find distracting, consider playing some soft ambient music.
Get comfortable.In order to facilitate your meditation, you will want to get as comfortable as you can. You should wear lose fitting clothes that breathe easily. Be sure to sit on a chair or cushion in a way that is comfortable for you. Although practitioners of meditation are often depicted sitting cross-legged, this is not an essential pose. However, you will want to sit in a way that facilitates your breathing, so be sure to keep your back straight.
- If you intend to make meditation a regular practice, you may want to consider purchasing a meditation pillow.
- You may be interested in walking meditation. However, this is typically done by more advanced practitioners.
- Avoid lying down, which might cause you to fall asleep. With meditation, you want to be relaxed yet alert.
State your goals.Once you are in a comfortable position, state to yourself what you want out of your practice. If you are looking for self-discovery, say things like “I want to know myself better” or “find my strengths.” Stating your goals will give your practice purpose and help you better focus.
- Try to make your goal a mantra. For example, “strength” or “knowledge” may be good mantras for self-discovery.
Close your eyes.After you state your goals, close your eyes. In your mind, check out how your body feels.Concentrate on and investigate any sensations that come along.Take some time and mentally move through your body, examining all its sensations.
Emphasize your breathing.Take deep breaths in and out. You will want to fill your lungs with air and slowly release it. Concentrate on your breathing and the movement of your body.
- Try to breathe from your diaphragm. This will help you take in more oxygen and slow your breathing, helping you relax.
Focus your attention.Once you have started your breathing, continue to concentrate on each breath. Place all of your attention on your breathing. This frees your mind from the stress and anxiety that can cloud it.
- You might want to try repeating a mantra to help you focus. This is a word that you will repeat to help your focus and express your intention. For example, if you are trying to better understand yourself, try mantras like “truth,” “discovery” or “authentic.”
- You may also find that looking at an image or stationary object helps your practice. Some people concentrate by looking at the flame of a candle.
Improving Your Meditation Practice
Meditate consistently.In order to strengthen your practice and continue on your journey of self-discovery, you will need to meditate regularly. For introspective meditation, you will want to practice for 10-20 minutes every day or for at least 3 to 4 days a week.This regular practice alters your brain activity by strengthening the parts of your brain connected to empathy and understanding yourself and others.
- The act of disciplining and committing yourself to a practice may itself provide you with insights about what you are capable of.
- Regular meditation will help you hone your concentration. Eventually, you may be able to meditate in busy and noisy situations.
Practice mindfulness.One important way of enhancing your meditation practice is to engage in mindfulness throughout your day. Instead of allowing your anxieties to distract you from the world around you, focus on the here and now. Concentrate on the things that you are doing in the present and the people you are with. Being able to stay present will help you strengthen your focus by limiting negative thinking and anxiety.
- Practicing mindfulness may also help improve your mood and help reduce stress.
Take care of your body.Maintaining your physical health is an important step towards developing your practice. In the short term, you should stretch well before meditating to avoid cramping or discomfort during your practice. In the long term, try to eat healthy and live an active life. This will ensure that you are physically able to develop and grow in your meditation practice.
- Being disciplined about your diet and exercise may grant you knew discoveries about yourself.
Be patient.It is important to recognize that you will not immediately arrive at a point of self-awareness and discovery. It takes a lot of time and practice. In fact, meditation alone will not help you better understand yourself. Meditation, in combination with daily mindfulness practices, will help you achieve your goal of self-discovery.
Consider guided meditation.If you are having a difficult time focusing on your own, a guided meditation may help you get started. In this practice, an experienced practitioner verbally guides you through the meditation process. This can help you work on your focus by allowing your mind to relax and follow someone else as they lead you through the practice.
- You can find audio and video clips of guided practices online.
- There are also guided meditation tracks on Spotify.
Promoting Self-Discovery through Everyday Practices
Pay attention.Be intentional about concentrating on whatever you are doing. If you are eating and drinking, do no watch TV or look at your cellphone. Instead, focus on the sensations of the food. Also, fully engage in conversations with others. This will help you be a more empathic and conscientious participant when you interact with others.
- By focusing on the things you are doing, you will gain insights about yourself. For example, are you able to concentrate on a discussion or are you easily distracted?
Do normal things in different ways.If you perform a task each day in a certain way, try changing it a little bit. This might give you a new way of looking at your actions and how you move through the world.
- If you regularly walk to work along a certain route, try going another way.
- If you typically perform a task with your right hand, try it with your left.
Practice your breathing.During your day, try to concentrate on your breathing as if you were meditating. This will help you relax and be better able to take in the present. You can practice this while you are sitting at your desk, standing in line at the grocery store, or on your bus ride home.
- Even twenty seconds of slow and rhythmic breathing will help you gain some mental space and a little perspective.
Engage your senses.Pay close attention to your body and your sense’s responses to stimuli. Concentrate on how things taste, smell, sound, feel and appear. Investigate any thoughts or emotions that might arise from certain sensations. This might help you develop some personal insights.
- For example, eat one of your favorite foods and concentrate on the sensations that you feel. These sensations might help explain why you like this food and dislike others, which can lead to revelations about who you are.
Be curious.Investigate the world around you. Explore new experiences and push yourself to try different things. Examine your reactions to these new situations and experiences. Try to understand why you enjoy certain things over others and what that says about you. An increased curiosity about the world around might help unlock insights about who you are.
- This may also help you become a more empathic and thoughtful person.
QuestionHow can I be safe from distractions?HistoryLadyCommunity AnswerSometimes it is best to remove yourself from the place you are most likely to be distracted. People often find quiet and time to meditate in safe natural places such as botanical gardens. Meditating at night when everyone is asleep and right before you do the same is often a good time for managing fewer distractions. Or, take the time to get up one hour earlier to meditate before others awaken. It's a great way to start a day! If the "distraction" is coming from your own mind, simply be aware of it and "bring yourself back" to focus on your breathing. After some time of applying this practice, you will begin to automatically redirect yourself each time you begin to wander off.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I feel some fear during meditation?Vamsi DhariCommunity AnswerSelf-discovery may be scary. "What if I don't like what I see?" Envision your fear and embrace it. Let yourself know there is no need for this feeling because you have decided to love and accept yourself.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I use meditation during cool-off time from my partner so I can stop thinking about texting him?OMalley567Community AnswerYou must clear your mind, don't let anything in. Minds tend to wander during meditation, so just focus on your breath.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I feel a heavy weight all over when I meditate?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBecause when you meditate, you relax your body, and that make you feel a lot heavier.Thanks!
I've been meditating for a while and I haven't seen changes am I doing it wrong or should I be patient what should I do?
Would I find out what to do with my life before I ruen it? I'm eleven years old and there's to many obstacles that stop me from achieving, would doing this help?
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