8 Types of Meditation to Find Your Calm

Give yourself permission to let go

<p>Verywell Mind / Stocksy</p>

Verywell Mind / Stocksy

Medically reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS

If you struggle with relaxing and calming your mind, meditation is a simple practice that can significantly help. No matter what your schedule looks like. If you take some time to meditate every day, you’ll find that you generally feel less stressed and more focused at work, school, or wherever. Across the globe, many people are discovering that even just a few minutes of meditation can make a big difference in their day.

Meditation isn’t a complex concept. At its core, it emphasizes the importance of attention and awareness. When you meditate, you’re able to focus on your mind and let go of distractions.

Meditation lets you take a much-needed break from the noise of the world and your own busy thoughts. This break can make you feel more relaxed and clear-headed as you go about your day. Studies show that meditation can help reduce stress, improve how well you focus, and make you more aware of your thoughts and feelings. It can also be good for your overall mental and emotional health.

Finding the Type of Meditation That Works for You

There are different ways to meditate, like focusing on your breath, paying attention to your thoughts, or even moving your body mindfully. Each method can help you find some calmness and clarity.

If you think that meditation isn’t for you, maybe because of some preconceived notion you have of the practice, you may simply not have found the type that works for you.


There’s no single way to meditate that works for everyone. While a friend might successfully meditate by sitting in silence, listening to a meditation guide might work better for you.

“Meditation” simply means to focus. Meditation is an umbrella term much like “sports.” There are many different types of sports, and they all help you get good at different things. There are also many kinds of meditation, and they help you train your brain in different ways, says Dorsey Standish, a mindfulness & brain health expert.

The goal is to explore different types of meditation and find one that fits your life and makes you feel at peace. So take a few deep breaths and prepare to learn about eight types of meditation, how they are practiced, and what benefits you stand to gain by finding the one for you.

Mindfulness Meditation

Being fully present in the moment helps you develop an appreciation for all that life offers, and mindfulness meditation can help you achieve this. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without reproach or judgment. It encourages you to simply observe patterns in these aspects of your life without trying to change them.

Techniques and Practices

The most common technique in mindfulness meditation is focusing on your breath. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and pay attention to how your breath moves in and out of your body. You gently bring your focus back to your breath when your mind wanders. 

For Standish, one of her go-to practices for new mindfulness students is a 1-minute method to stop the stress cycle and calm the nervous system. It’s called the S.T.O.P. technique. When you notice you’re stressed or frantic, S.T.O.P. and take a mindful pause:

  • Stop what you’re doing

  • Take a few deep breaths

  • Observe your experience (thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations)

  • Proceed with something that will support you in this moment

Other techniques include body scan meditation, where you pay attention to different body parts and notice any sensations or feelings.


You can also practice mindfulness during everyday activities like eating, walking, or even while doing chores by focusing entirely on the task, removing distractions, and paying rapt attention to your senses and emotions.

Benefits and Applications

If you are living with chronic stress or anxiety, mindfulness meditation can be very beneficial for you. It helps you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, making you less likely to get caught up in them.

Mindfulness meditation is also helpful for improving your focus and concentration. At work, it can boost your productivity and creativity. In your personal life, it can improve your relationships and overall well-being.

Because it’s easy to practice and requires no special equipment, mindfulness meditation is great for beginners and can be done almost anywhere at any time.

Spiritual Meditation

If your spirituality is important to you, spiritual meditation can help you deepen your connection with a higher power you believe in. Even if you don’t have religious or spiritual beliefs but are looking for a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life, you can practice spiritual meditation.


While other forms of meditation encourage you to focus on yourself, spiritual meditation wants you to look beyond yourself and connect with something greater.

Techniques and Practices

You might use silent prayer, chants, or mantras in spiritual meditation. Many people choose a quiet place that feels special or sacred, like a church, temple, or a peaceful spot outdoors.

The idea is to focus on your breath or a spiritual phrase and let go of your thoughts to feel a connection with a higher power or the universe. You might use candles, incense, or prayer beads to make your practice feel more special or focused.

Benefits and Applications

Spiritual meditation can give you a deep sense of peace and connection to something larger than life. It’s great for people who are looking to grow spiritually. This type of meditation can make you feel more compassionate and connected to the people around you. It can also feel comforting when you’re stressed or sad because it tends to offer a sense of hope.

Practicing spiritual meditation can help you align your life with your spiritual values or beliefs.

Focused Meditation

Ever find yourself lost in thought for several minutes, staring at one spot for too long? That’s a great way to begin focused meditation. This type requires you to concentrate on a single object, sound, or thought. You could even focus on your breath, as with many other meditation styles


It trains your mind to focus on one thing and ignore distractions. If your mind wanders, don’t fuss; gently bring it back to what you’ve chosen to concentrate on.

Techniques and Practices

To practice focused meditation, pick something to concentrate on. It could be the sound of a ticking clock, a spot on your wall, or a simple word or phrase you repeat in your mind. Sit in a comfortable place and direct all your attention to what you’ve chosen to focus on.

If you notice your mind drifting, gently redirect it back to what you’ve been concentrating on. It might be hard at first, and you’ll get easily distracted. However, practicing it regularly makes it easier to maintain focus. 

Benefits and Applications

If you have a short attention span or find it hard to focus on tasks, you can benefit from practicing focused meditation daily. It can help you feel less overwhelmed by turning off the noise and reducing the clutter in your mind. Focused meditation can also help you stay calm and centered, even when things around you feel chaotic. 

Movement Meditation

Movement is medicine is a mantra people who practice movement meditation live by, and it couldn’t be more accurate. While many meditation styles require you to be still, this form encourages you to find calm and focus through gentle, mindful movements.


Movement meditation is perfect for people who have trouble staying physically still for long periods.

Techniques and Practices

You may already be practicing the most common movement meditation forms without realizing it. Yoga, tai chi, and simply walking can be used to practice movement meditation:

  • With yoga, you move through different poses, focusing on your breath and how your body feels.

  • Tai chi involves slow, graceful movements combined with deep breathing.

  • On a walk, focus on how your feet feel as they touch the ground and the rhythm of your steps.

With any form you choose, the key is to be fully present and mindful of your movement, letting it ground you in the moment.

Benefits and Applications

If you’re naturally restless or find seated positions for meditation uncomfortable, you’re likely to prefer movement meditation over more traditional forms. This doesn’t mean you don’t get the same benefits, such as stress relief and better mental clarity.

You can achieve both with movement meditation while improving your physical strength, flexibility, and balance. You get a two-for-one, enjoying the benefits of a workout and meditation in one exercise.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation (TM) is a technique that involves silently repeating a mantra to help settle your mind and put your body into a state of deep relaxation.

For people new to meditation, the simplicity of TM makes it easy to learn and practice. As you repeat your mantra, you don’t have to think too deeply or concentrate too hard; you simply let your mind naturally quiet down. 

Techniques and Practices

In TM, you sit comfortably with closed eyes and silently repeat a specific mantra. The mantra could be a word or sound that you use to help focus and calm your mind.

TM practitioners recommend doing this for about 20 minutes twice a day. Unlike other forms of meditation, you’re encouraged to let your mind drift until it quiets while your body remains alert and awake.

Benefits and Applications

Research shows that transcendental meditation can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. It also improves heart health, mental clarity, and well-being. It’s often used in schools to help students focus and in offices to improve employee well-being by assisting people to stay calm and focused.

TM doesn’t require you to have any specific beliefs or make any lifestyle changes, so it’s suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s a simple practice that can significantly impact your overall mental and physical health.

Guided Meditation

Some people prefer to practice meditation with the guidance of a teacher or practitioner. However, this doesn’t have to be done in person; listening to a medication podcast or video can get you the same results.

Newbies who prefer having a voice to direct and support them will prefer this form of meditation. The guide can help you visualize your thoughts, focus on your breath, or become more aware of your body.

Techniques and Practices

Guided meditation is usually done through a recording or in a group led by an instructor. The guide might ask you to picture a peaceful scene, focus on different parts of your body, or think about certain words or phrases. The idea is to follow along with your guide’s instructions, letting them help you relax and focus.

Benefits and Applications

Guided meditation is particularly helpful for reducing stress and anxiety because it often includes relaxation techniques. It can also help improve your mood and sense of well-being. For those new to meditation, it’s a simple way to start and learn the basics.


Guided meditation can also be used for specific purposes, such as pain management, improving sleep, or dealing with difficult emotions. It’s a versatile form of meditation anyone can practice regardless of their experience level.

Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana means “to see things as they really are” and is one of India’s most ancient forms of meditation. One of Vipassana’s goals is to improve your self-awareness.


During practice, it encourages you to observe your thoughts and feelings without reacting to them. The idea is to see things as they are, not how you want them to be.

Techniques and Practices

When practicing Vipassana, you usually sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Then, you start paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, noticing them without trying to change or judge them. The key is to observe and understand how often these elements change, helping you learn not to react to every thought or feeling you have.

Benefits and Applications

Vipassana is great for improving mental clarity and emotional intelligence. It can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, like many other forms of meditation. Practicing Vipassana teaches you to respond to situations more calmly and thoughtfully rather than impulsively.

Vipassana is used in various programs like in schools, prisons, and rehabilitation centers to help people develop better self-control and emotional understanding.

Visualization Meditation

Visualization meditation is about using your imagination to relax and find calm. In this type of meditation, you mentally picture a place or situation you find relaxing, using your imagination to create a calm and peaceful space for yourself.

It benefits people who like to think in pictures and find focusing on images easier than breathing or physical sensations.

Techniques and Practices

To practice visualization meditation, find a quiet spot to sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes and start by taking some deep breaths to relax. Then, imagine a peaceful place. It could be a beach, a garden, or any relaxing place. Think about what you see, hear, and feel in this place. Try to make it as real in your mind as you can.

Some people use guided recordings where someone describes the scene to help them imagine it more clearly. The main goal is to immerse yourself fully in this peaceful environment and allow it to calm your mind.

Benefits and Applications

Visualization meditation does wonders for helping you cope with stress and anxiety. It can also help boost your mood and bring you a sense of peace. Athletes and professionals sometimes use it to imagine themselves succeeding, which can help them perform better.

During visualization meditation, the brain grapples with distinguishing between perceived mental images and actual events, which means what you do during a visualization can have a real-life impact, says Dana Hall, a clinical therapist with over 15 years of experience.


For instance, if you’re using visualization to navigate a stressful situation, all the coping skills you try create new neural pathways, inducing positive changes in your nervous system. This, in turn, impacts a range of new emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that you can now access to solve problems and regulate your emotions.

Getting Started

Any form of meditation, in its own way, can help you find calm and focus. Choosing the right one for you depends on what you’re looking for. If you need to calm a busy mind, try mindfulness or guided meditation.

For a spiritual connection, try spiritual meditation. If you like to move, movement meditation can get your mind and body going. Those looking to understand themselves better might like Vipassana or transcendental meditation.

It’s okay to try different types and see what works best for you. Depending on your feelings, you might start with one and then switch to another or use a few different kinds.


Meditation is personal, and what works for one person might not work for another. It is essential to keep an open mind and see how it can help you daily.

Other Meditation Types to Try

Of course, there are more than eight types of meditation. But here, you might find a lesser-known style of meditating that appeals more to you:

  • Acem Meditation: A simple Norwegian technique that helps you relax and reflect by focusing on your thoughts non-confrontationally.

  • Biofeedback Meditation: This uses technology to show you real-time data about your body, like your heart rate or muscle tension. It helps you relax by learning to control your body’s responses.

  • Chakra Meditation: Involves focusing on the body’s different chakras (energy centers) to achieve balance and healing.

  • Dance Meditation: This form of movement meditation combines dance and meditation. As you dance, you express yourself and find a sense of calm and peace.

  • Eating Meditation: It’s about eating slowly and mindfully, paying attention to the taste and texture of your food, and enjoying each bite.

  • Forest Meditation: It involves simply being in nature, taking in the sights and sounds of the forest to relax and feel more grounded.

  • Gazing Meditation (Trataka): Involves staring at a single point, such as a small object, black dot, or candle flame, to improve focus and calm your mind.

  • Loving-Kindness (Metta) Meditation: Focuses on developing an attitude of love and kindness towards everything, even sources of stress.

  • Pranayama Meditation: This is a part of yoga that focuses on breath control to improve physical and mental well-being.

  • Qigong Meditation: A Chinese practice that combines meditation, relaxation, and physical movement for balance.

  • Sufi Meditation: Focuses on deepening your spiritual relationship with God through love and devotion, often with dance and music.

  • Vedic Meditation: Similar to Transcendental Meditation, this practice uses a mantra to help you relax, reduce stress, and achieve self-realization.

  • Zen Meditation (Zazen): A form of seated meditation that is a foundational practice of Zen Buddhism, focused on sitting in awareness and observing your thoughts without judgment.

It only takes a few minutes a day to get started, but once you find a meditation practice that works for you, you have the chance to reap life-long benefits.

Read the original article on Verywell Mind.