Did you know that there are different types of meditation and that the kind of meditation you practice will impact the outcome you get?
Studies show that meditation impacts your cognitive processes. It can affect how you perceive the world and how well you regulate your emotions, making meditation a valuable tool in your kit.
In this post, we’ll look at focused Vs opened awareness meditation, the difference between them, and how they can help you.
The name gives a good idea about the nature of this type of meditation. During focused meditation, the goal is to concentrate on a single internal or external thought or activity.
Some of the things you can choose to focus on include:
- Your breathing
- A mantra, chant, or affirmation
- Different parts of your body
- The sound of a bell from an app or device like a meditation singing bowl
As you practice focused attention, you’ll find that your ability to concentrate on single activities becomes easier. You’ll improve your attention span which will help you gain more knowledge when you’re studying, reading, or building a skill.
Open Awareness Meditation
This type of meditation is the opposite of focused meditation. Instead of focusing on any single idea or on a sound, you simply sit and allow thoughts and feelings to surface as they will.
There is no goal to this meditation except to practice the skill of noticing what happens. Awareness and mindfulness are the key aspects of this type of mediation.
You’ll notice that as you sit down and remain still, thoughts arise, as will feelings. Avoid entering these thoughts and feelings and dismiss them as if they are clouds sailing across the sky.
Practicing meditation in this way helps with managing your emotions. You’ll find that you’re able to deal with emotions like anger, sadness, and others without getting overwhelmed in the moment.
What type of practice you should use
Meditating is like working a muscle. The more you meditate, the stronger your mental abilities become. And the meditation practices discussed here help build different mental skills.
If you would like to become better at paying attention so that you can study well or build a new skill, then practice focused meditation. It will help you concentrate on your work and avoid procrastination.
Do you want to manage uncontrollable feelings like anger, jealousy, or waves of low self-esteem? Then open awareness is the right tool for you.
We cannot always control the feelings that arise in us but we can prevent them from taking over us and affecting how we behave.
With open awareness meditation, you’ll learn to cope with strong feelings better. As difficult emotions arise, you’ll learn to observe them and let them go. Over time, this becomes more natural and may even help you erase personal issues.
So based on what you’re trying to accomplish personally, use the right meditative practice to reach your goals.
We’ve just looked at the difference between focused attention and open awareness meditation. They are very different practices and have different effects on your mind. However, you don’t have to do choose between one or the other. You can work with each type of meditation over time and build your mental capabilities.
There are several ways to meditate and you can even use apps or work with social media as a way to become present and stress-free. Around 42% of people use YouTube to relax and 39% to distress, making it a great source for meditative practices. There are meditation apps with timers, music, and more to help you develop peace of mind and become a better version of yourself.
So, use the tips and practices mentioned here and you’re bound to see a positive change.