Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Meditation can be a great coping mechanism for handing stressful situations, such as divorce or transitions associated with this life experience (moving, change of jobs, single parenting, and financial changes). There are several different forms of meditations, and you may have to try a few to find those that work best for you.
Research has shown that various forms of meditation can facilitate one’s physical, mental, and social health. For example, engaging in regular meditation practices has been found to
lower cortisol (stress hormone),
increase dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward/pleasure center),
facilitate healthy brain activity and connectivity among brain cells,
enhance one’s understanding of his or herself
reduce high blood pressure and anxiety,
improve work and sports performance, and
help with self-esteem and social openness.
A few types of meditation include:
Mantra meditation. Guides for beginners can be found on sites such as Do-Meditation.com or Live and Dare. Transcendental meditation (TM) is perhaps the most widely marketed form of mantra meditation, and you can find more information here: https://www.tm.org/
Mindfulness meditation. This is about being present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensory experiences, and other things in your environment. For more information on mindfulness or trainings in Champaign-Urbana, see: http://psc.illinois.edu/mindfulness-training/
Walking meditation. You can walk mindfully in nature and clear out negative energy while breathing in positive energy. There are also guided walking meditations; for example, see Berkeley’s Greater Good in Action walking meditation: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/walking_meditation.
Loving Kindness meditation (or Metta meditation). The idea with loving kindness meditation is that you direct loving-kindness to yourself and also to others. There are a few blogs that provide instructions and or background on this form of meditation, including http://emilymentionedthis.blogspot.com/2012/06/loving-kindness-meditation.html and http://www.buddhanet.net/metta_in.htm.
There are several other types of meditations, including yoga and those listed above. There are also meditations specific to certain cultural or religious backgrounds. As a beginner, I subscribed to the Live and Dare blog (it’s free) and received access to many articles and PDFs on meditation, including myths and misconceptions about meditation, benefits of meditation, and various types of meditation. The key is finding what works best for YOU and making the time to fit it into your schedule.