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Meditation is an ancient practice that has become more popular in recent years, with countless studies showing its benefits for mental health, stress reduction, and overall well-being. However, despite its widespread popularity, not everyone finds meditation helpful, and some struggle to reap the benefits that others claim to experience. If you're someone who has tried meditation but hasn't found success, don't give up hope just yet. There are still ways to tap into the benefits of meditation, even if traditional meditation techniques haven't worked for you.
- One option to explore is integrating biofeedback with the meditation practice of your choice. Real-time biofeedback shows how your body is responding to meditation in the moment, which can be more engaging. That’s why the Flowly app offers guided meditation that combines immersive technology with biofeedback. Each Flowly session utilizes Virtual Reality to guide you through a relaxing experience that allows you to learn to control your nervous system in real time. Smart devices such as an Apple Watch or Oura Ring also collect data for long-term nervous system benefits, such as heart rate variability.
- Visualization is also a helpful tool for those who struggle with traditional meditation. Visualization meditation involves creating a mental image of a peaceful or calming scene, and focusing on it as a way to reduce stress and anxiety. You can do an “eyes closed” visualization, led only by speech such as this exercise from St. Luke’s Hospital. Or you can choose an “eyes open” variation like a Flowly session, where you choose from a variety of immersive experiences that range from floating in the ocean to walking through a forest. Because these scenarios are explored using virtual reality, these experiences can be especially helpful to escape from the stressors of daily life and find a sense of inner peace and calm.
- Finally, breathwork can be an excellent alternative to traditional meditation. Breathwork is a form of meditation that involves deep, rhythmic breathing exercises. It can be a powerful tool for reducing anxiety, increasing focus, and improving overall well-being. While there are many different breathwork techniques to choose from, a variation like box breathing can help create a sense of calm focus and reduce anxiety.
If traditional meditation techniques haven't worked for you, know that there is still hope. There are many other techniques and practices that can help you tap into the benefits of meditation, such as biofeedback, visualization, and breathwork. With resources like Flowly, you can find a practice that resonates with you and take your meditation practice to the next level.