How to start meditating, and some meditation recommendations

I’ve been meditating for about two and a half years and it has absolutely changed my life. I do think that better things have come into my life since meditating, and that it’s helped me handle disappointments and stress. It’s also given me a different and more spiritual outlook. I only do it about 15 minutes every other day, and I use guided meditations off YouTube. Prior to this, I always found meditation intimidating because I thought I would have to sit still and either clear my mind or observe my thoughts. When I listen to guided meditations, it’s so much easier. I’m very suggestible and have always responded to hypnosis though.

One time I went to a group meditation by an organization called Heartfulness. I fully expected them to collect donations, to plug retreats or services and to sell materials. They didn’t do any of that and we just talked to each other afterwards, it was absolutely wonderful. I talked to a husband and wife who said they’d gone to Heartfulness group meditations in New Jersey and that they were the same: gentle, kind and not spammy or culty at all. It’s just a very decent organization. That was the only time I’ve done a meditation without music or someone talking to me and I was surprised at how deep I was able to go. Maybe I will try that again but usually I just fall asleep when I try it on my own. They have a youtube channel and website if you’re interested in silent meditation.

For those of you who are new to meditation or who are looking for new guided meditations to try, these are my favorites. I’ve done all of these at least once. Note that I do not cosign or believe everything that they say. Some people may find affirmation and manifestation-type messages annoying or even offensive and that’s completely understandable. There were parts of the book The Secret that I found so obnoxious, particularly that people are always responsible for their health problems and even for accidents. I don’t believe that. These meditations have helped me, and some of them are weird. Your results and beliefs may vary. I also do affirmation videos and try to listen to relaxing music so I’ve included some of those. Also, if meditations are not something you’re interested in, I would like to recommend naps. I take one every day.

Ten minute guidance abundance meditation, wakes you up

This is my favorite meditation. I don’t know if it’s the music, her soothing voice or the ideas, but I love it. It’s about abundance in money, friends, love and more. Another manifestation meditation I like from that YouTuber is this ten minute one which wakes you up. (She has a new meditation for corona anxiety which I plan to listen to before my nap this afternoon.) Here’s a 15 minute manifestation meditation from another youtuber which wakes you up. I’ve done that one a few times.

Ten minute guided meditation, wakes you up

If you’d just like to relax, this ten minute guided meditation is perfect. He just tells you to let go of everything and that you’re not trying to control anything. Here’s another relaxing ten minute meditation which also wakes you up.

Guided visualization meditations for stress and worry

The Honest Guys have vivid descriptive meditations for letting go of stress and anxiety and for falling asleep. If you’re just getting started meditating, I recommend their channel. One of my favorites is this 14 minute one that wakes you up. It sounds bizarre but you talk to a bird with a face like a human who takes away your anxiety. It works for me every time.

Meditations to help you sleep
This 20 minute meditation by The Honest Guys is so nice to fall asleep to. You walk next to a river, sit and have your worries taken away by a passing cloud. The Honest Guys have other meditations that are specifically designed as talkdowns to sleep. Also YouTube has so many long positive affirmation videos designed to listen to while you’re sleeping. I usually don’t bother with these as I prefer the shorter videos, but I’ve fallen asleep to this one a couple of times.

Healing meditations

Here’s a really gentle 15 minute healing meditation (wakes you up) which I’ve found helpful. This ten minute self healing mediation (wakes you up) helps you control your thoughts and mood. I’ve done this 11 minute healing meditation (does not wake you up) from The Honest Guys a few times. You imagine healing energy throughout your body and it feels incredible. This half hour healing meditation (does not wake you up) claims to influence your body’s cells. I’ve done it probably three times and liked it.

Affirmation videos

Sometimes I listen to this relaxing love affirmation video in my car when I’m feeling stressed. I can also listen to it when I’m working without getting too distracted. The affirmations fade and it’s just the vaporwave type music in the middle. Here’s an uplifting 11 minute general affirmation video meant to listen to in the morning. The Honest Guys have a seven hour positive affirmation video with upbeat music that can also improve my mood.

Relaxing music and scenery that may help you focus and calm your mind

My doctor recommended alpha wave music to me a while ago. Here are my two favorite background music videos to listen to, this “chakra healing” one by Jason Stephenson (I don’t think that’s a thing, I just like the music) and this alpha wave study music video. Jason Stephenson has so many meditation and music relaxation videos to choose from on his channel if you’d like to see more.

If you’re looking for relaxing music and/or beautiful scenery to play on your TV, there are videos with beautiful drone shot scenery with music and some with nature scenes and ambient natural sounds. If you’d like to find more, just search on whatever scenery you want with the words 4k and youtube like “fall 4k youtube,” “islands 4k youtube” or “aquarium 4k youtube.”

Finally, I don’t use apps but I’ve heard good things about Calm and Headspace. Hopefully these were helpful. Thanks for reading and please share your favorites and recommendations!

Photos credit: Suraphat Nuea-on, Marlin Martinez, pixabay and Lina Kivaka from Pexels

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