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Guided meditation

Guided meditation

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Definition

Guided meditation helps you relax, focus, and improve your stress-management skills. Although its origins date back to ancient Buddhist monks, it has recently been discovered by modern psychology as an effective tool to improve your quality of life. It can be administered in person or via a smartphone app. 

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How to Do It

If you opt for using a smartphone app, they usually provide audio for daily guided meditation sessions that last for 10-20 minutes. Of the available apps, Headspace, Smiling Mind, iMindfulness and Mindfulness Daily were  to be the most effective according to a large study of guided meditation applications.

If you’d prefer an in person approach, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy can be administered by a professional therapist and will train you in a variety of meditative techniques. 

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Benefits

  • May Reduce stress anxiety and depression
  • May Reduces blood pressure
  • Can help treat depression
  • May protects against migraines
  • May Improves focus
  • May Boosts productivity
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Time Commitment

10-20 minutes a day

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Why it works

  • Ruminating about the past and worrying about the future threatens your general mental health. Guided meditation teaches you how to focus on the present and separate yourself from these worries.
  • Heightened activity in the amygdala (an emotional centre in the brain) is associated with depression and anxiety. Meditating can reduce activity in this area of the brain, making it easier to deal with stressful situations and negative emotions.
  • Reducing the negative impact of stress on your daily activities allows you to plan and execute productive behaviors more easily.
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Suggested Frequency

Daily, or as instructed by a therapist

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Side Effects

There are no recorded negative outcomes of guided meditation.

Some studies showed adverse effects to regular meditation

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Required Equipment

A smartphone 

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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Richard Gere

Miranda Kerr

Jennifer Aniston

Clint Eastwood

Kobe Bryant

Madonna

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Suggested Time of Day 

Any

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Notes

  • You can easily combine in person therapeutic techniques with audio guides like the ones provided by meditation apps. In fact, they are usually recommended as ‘homework’ by mindfulness therapists. 
  • If English is not your first language, and after trying one of the recommended apps (e.g., Headspace), you think you’d prefer guides in your native tongue - don’t worry! There are meditation apps available in French, Spanish and German, for example. However, their effects are not as well investigated, so may not produce the benefits listed above.
  • There are guided meditations with visualization on youtube 
  • Test multiple apps and soundtracks to find the one that works best for you

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Category

 Mood  Confidence  Stress  Health  Productivity  Focus  Sharpness
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