In the 21st century, there are many references to the value of maintaining good mental health. In particular, following the traumatic experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are suffering from severe anxiety and other mental health problems. For many, the solution to any kind of anxiety disorder is meditation.
More specifically, meditation is the practice of focusing one’s mind for a period, noticing but not engaging with thoughts. This can be done in silence or with the help of chanting. Meditation is done for several reasons, ranging from religious or spiritual purposes to a method for evoking relaxation.
This means that meditation didn’t help only the mental health of people but is basically a spiritual practice. To be in meditation is to be in tune with the greater spiritual self. Therefore, it is best if you approach meditation in a positive, spiritual way.
But where does it have its roots and how many types of meditation are there?
Meditation has its roots in the ancient traditions of Eastern countries. According to the earliest written accounts, it originated in the Hindu traditions of Vedantism in India from 1500 BC.
Sometimes, many people have in their minds that meditation is a difficult process. This is because most of the time we try to force ourselves to stick to a particular form of meditation that may not suit us.
Different types of meditation
#1 Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, basically through meditation. Actually, the term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali term sati, which is a significant element of Buddhist traditions.
#2 Walking meditation
Walking meditation can be a perfect opportunity to release the anxiety of your life. By bringing all your attention in your steps, walking can be very meditative. The most important thing is that walking meditation can take place everywhere and anytime you want.
Yoga is a type of meditation, in which you use various physical poses to achieve a divine connection with the universe. It is an ancient practice from India that uses breath control. Furthermore, it’s a common practice to calm your mind and enjoy moments of happiness.
Chakras are various focal points used in a variety of ancient meditation practices, collectively denominated as Tantra, or the esoteric or inner traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Chakra is thought to affect how you connect with the world and to control your feelings.
#5 Candle meditation
Candle meditation is also known as trataka, or yogic gazing. In Sanskrit, a classical language of Southeast Asia, the word “trataka” means to look or to gaze. There are many benefits of candle meditation:
- increased cognitive performance and focus
- improved memory and spatial attention
- improved mental health
- improved sleep quality
- improved eye health
#6 Tai chi
Tai chi is a type of meditation, which concludes a series of gentle physical exercises. Tai chi is sometimes described as meditation in motion because it promotes serenity through gentle movements — connecting the mind and body.
#7 Flow meditation
Flow meditation is a combination of mediation, breathwork and mindfulness techniques that will reduce the levels of stress in your body. As a result, you can sleep better and be more productive.
This is a type of meditation that requires concentrating on a mental image or several images to help focus and center the mind and body. For many people, it can feel challenging but may be a successful way for some individuals to treat and cope with symptoms of depression.
#9 South bath meditation
This type includes bowls, gongs and other instruments that create sounds and help your mind to relax. Research shows sound baths can have positive effects on mental and physical health.
#10 Transcendental meditation
This practice involves sitting comfortably with one’s eyes closed for 20 minutes twice per day and engaging in effortless practice as instructed.
Furthermore, there are many other types of meditation that can help people reduce their stress. The most important thing to remember is to find the best type for yourself.
How meditation can help people onboard
According to the data from Seafarers’ Happiness Index 2023Q2, there was a significant drop in overall happiness to 6.77/10, down from 7.1/10.
Nonetheless, the shipping industry is making much progress in terms of its efforts toward people’s well-being.
There are many ways that can help seafarers to cope with stress. Meditation is a practice by which seafarers can take control of their emotions and have a better life onboard.
Finding time and place for meditation onboard should not be a problem for seafarers. Luckily, meditation requires no equipment.
Furthermore, research of Journal of the American Medical Association, said that meditation may be 52% more effective that prescription drugs for depression, 44% for anxiety and 31% for pain.
Firstly, meditation helps to clear away all the information that overload your mind. Furthermore, the benefits can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing patience and tolerance
- Lowering resting heart rate
- Lowering resting blood pressure
- Improving sleep quality
- Help people manage illnesses like asthma, heart disease etc.
In conclusion, during meditation, it’s physical that your mind will roam. You may notice other sensations in the body, things happening around you, or just get lost in thought, daydreaming about the past or present, possibly judging yourself or others. Take a big breath and go on!
“Meditation is not about stopping thoughts, but recognizing that we are more than our thoughts and our feelings.” — Arianna Huffington