Just like different exercises target different body parts, each type of meditation targets something different in your brain. Because there are so many different ways to meditate, you can be sure to…

Just like different exercises target different body parts, each type of meditation targets something different in your brain. Because there are so many different ways to meditate, you can be sure to find one that will suit you regardless of your personality or lifestyle. There is no right way to meditate and often, finding what works best is a result of trial and error.

Here are the 8 different types of meditation, what they do to your brain and for whom they’re for.

1. Loving-kindness meditation

What is it?

Also known as compassion meditation,the loving-kindness method is all about connecting with the feeling of love and care for something or someone else.

While breathing deeply, practitioners open their minds to receiving loving kindness. They then send kind and loving messages to the world, to specific people, or to their loved ones.

Who is it for?

It can help those affected by:

  • anger
  • frustration
  • resentment
  • interpersonal conflict

This type of meditation may increase positive emotions and has been linked to reduced depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress or PTSD.

2. Body scan or progressive relaxation

What is it?

Progressive relaxation, sometimes called body scan meditation, is meditation that encourages people to scan their bodies for areas of tension. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release.

Who is it for?

Helps people suffering from chronic pain or having trouble sleeping. Progressive relaxation can help to promote generalized feelings of calmness and relaxation. It may also help with chronic pain. Because it slowly and steadily relaxes the body, some people use this form of meditation to help them sleep.

3. Mindfulness meditation

What is it?

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that urges practitioners to remain aware and in the moment rather than dwelling on the past or stressing about the future.

Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere: on public transport, in the queue at the supermarket, while eating, etc. It can easily be added to your daily routine. The key is to be aware of what is happening in the present moment, without judgment. What are you feeling externally and internally? What do you hear? Every time you notice that your mind is wandering, take it back to the present moment. Take note, don’t judge.

Who is it for?

I would suggest everybody to practice mindfulness.

Research has found that mindfulness can:

  • reduce fixation on negative emotions
  • improve focus
  • improve memory
  • lessen impulsive, emotional reactions
  • improve relationship satisfaction

Some evidence suggests mindfulness may improve health. For example, a study of African-American men with chronic kidney disease found that mindfulness meditation could lower blood pressure.

4. Breath awareness meditation

What is it?

Breath awareness is a type of mindful meditation that encourages mindful breathing.
Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting their breaths or otherwise focusing on their breaths. The goal is to focus only on breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind.

Who is it for?

As a form of mindfulness meditation, breath awareness offers many of the same benefits as mindfulness. Those include reduced anxiety, improved concentration, and greater emotional flexibility.

5. Kundalini yoga

What is it?

Kundalini yoga is an active form of mediation blending body movements with deep breathing and mantras. This type of meditation is usually taught in a class.

Who is it for?

Just like any other type of yoga, kundalini can improve physical strength and reduce pain. It may also help reduce anxiety and depression.

6. Zen meditation

What is it?

Zen meditation, or Zazen is a form of meditation that can be found in Buddhism. This kind of meditation requires specific steps and postures and requires a teacher.

It is very close to mindful meditation as the practitioner focuses on breathing and observing their thoughts without judgement. However, it requires more discipline and practice.

Who is it for?

This meditation technique is most suitable for people looking for relaxation and spiritual enlightenment.

7. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation is a spiritual form of meditation where the goal is to rise above the person’s current state of being.

Who is it for?

Practitioners remain seated, breathe slowly, and focus on a mantra.
People who practice Transcendental Meditation report both spiritual experiences and heightened mindfulness. More recent studies suggest that transcendental meditation helps people suffering from depression or PTSD and can even reverse the symptoms.

8. Guided meditation

What is it?

Guided meditation is when you are guided by a narrator to elicit a specific change in your life. You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.

The brain does not distinguish between an imagined event and a real one so the experience in a guided meditation is just like having a real one.

Who is it for?

Because of neuroplasticity, guided meditation can help you change your neurological pathways by creating new ones. Guided meditation is highly effective for people who need sustainable lifestyle change.

To conclude:

Meditation is much more than just a stress reliever. There are hundreds of different types of meditation, so you can be sure that you will find one that will suit your personality and lifestyle.

Have you tried meditation? How was it? Do you meditate regularly? How did it help you? Let us know in the comments below!