When life becomes stressful and you are in need of a break, meditation can allow for a peaceful and relaxing escape. However, it can be hard to get started with something new like meditation and figuring out the best way to begin. For this article, I tried guided meditations through three different platforms, a YouTube video, a Spotify playlist and an app on my iPhone. I evaluated each of these methods and came up with what was the easiest and best to use in my opinion.
The first method I tried was a YouTube video. I decided to choose a video called “Ujjayi Breathing + Letting Go of Pain or Anxiety (Meditation).” Ujjayi Breathing, also known as “ocean breath,” is meant to relieve tension and help you feel present in the moment. The mantra of this video was “I release and let go.” The goal was to let go of pain, fear, and anxiety and to be at peace with the way things are.
The video was eight minutes long, so it was not too long but not too short either for beginning meditators. There was a guiding voice at the beginning and end, but during the actual meditation, there were ocean and nature sounds, which allowed for better concentration.
The ujjayi breathing helped me focus on my breath in the present moment rather than on lingering thoughts. I felt relaxed during the meditation exercise and feel significantly less tense and more relaxed after. This would help if you are feeling anxious or stressed about something or if you need to let go of a thought that has been bugging you. It provides a break and brings you back to reality.
The next method I tried was a recording through a Spotify playlist called “Guided Meditation: Deep Relaxation, by The Honest Guys.” The video was 12 minutes long, and it was soothing and relaxing, with a man’s voice guiding the meditation. It went through deep breathing techniques, and ocean sounds were playing in the background, which were very relaxing. My focus was on the voice and on the ocean rather than my thoughts. This helped me get more relaxed and less tense. It wasn’t too long or too short; it was simple, and the guided voice helped and was very soothing.
I would recommend this playlist — there are many different meditation options other than deep relaxation. You can pick and choose which you prefer. However, the problem with the YouTube video and the Spotify playlist is that it can be hard to find a good video on YouTube or a good Spotify recording since there are so many options, and you never know which one would be best for you, which made this method a bit inconvenient.
The best method for starting with meditation was the app I used. It’s called “Oak – Meditation & Breathing.” There are several different options it gives you; you choose between guided meditation, breathing, or sleep, and each guided section has two to three different options. I chose the guided meditation. I thought it was very good for beginners. I got to choose my background noise (I chose soft rain) and the amount of time I meditated (I chose 10 minutes). There was a soothing female voice guiding me who didn’t talk the whole time, so there was a lot of room for mindfulness and just focusing on breathing and letting thoughts pass without engaging in them.
Overall, this app was easy to use while also having many different options available. Most meditation apps require a paid subscription after a few days, but this one is completely free.
Meditation is a great way to cope with stress or anxiety because it allows you to take a break from reality and escape into your own relaxing world. Problems soon vanish, and you are able to step away and put things into perspective and be more connected with yourself and the world around you. It is important to find the best method to begin meditating, which is why it is essential to try many different options.