As the holiday season grows ever closer, gratitude is probably on your mind. Thanksgiving, especially, is an important time to review things that you are grateful for and truly focus on the good things in your life.
If you already have a meditation practice, you likely know how powerful it is to meditate with certain mantras or intentions. Guided meditation is also a great way to increase your focus on certain topics that are a priority for you, especially if you haven’t found specific words or phrases for those topics that resonate with you yet.
Here are some styles of meditation that you can choose from and some guided meditations to help fill your life with gratitude this Thanksgiving.
Styles of Meditation
While a common way to meditate involves attempting to completely clear the mind, there are many styles of meditation that encourage you to focus on a specific word, concept, or character trait instead.
Some examples of these styles of meditation are listed below.
- Spiritual meditation typically focuses on further connecting with a higher power or thinking about a particular religious text or practice. Guided spiritual meditations may include references to texts from your religion on a specific topic or thoughts on the nature of a higher power you want to connect with.
- Mantra meditation uses repetitive sounds to clear the mind and, in some cases, bring attention to a particular quality or desire. For example, some people may use the traditional “om,” while others may prefer words or sounds that are personally meaningful to them.
- Loving-kindness meditation is focused on opening the mind to receive and send well wishes while strengthening feelings of acceptance and compassion. These meditations may include phrases regarding positive wishes toward oneself or others. Often, they will also include some form of affirmation.
Each style has its own unique history and benefits, so it’s always exciting to try out a different style! Whether you’re interested in expanding your routine or haven’t found a style that quite works for you yet, learning new things can be its own reward. The more open-minded you are about trying different styles and lengths of meditation, the more enriched your practice can become.
A great way to try out some different styles of meditation and expand your practice is by using guided meditation. These recordings are made by people who also value meditation and mindfulness and wish to share meditations they have created or found to be powerful with others. Guided meditation can be especially helpful for people who want to try a new method of meditation or are early in their mindfulness journey, but really, they are valuable tools for anyone building their mindfulness practice with meditation.
Now, let’s go over our 5 favorite guided meditations to build a sense of thankfulness this holiday season.
1. A 5-Minute Guided Meditation for Gratitude
For those of us with busy schedules, 5-minute guided meditations are a great way to enjoy the benefits of meditation in the few moments we may have before getting up in the morning, going to bed, or moving on to the next task.
This 5-minute guided meditation for gratitude is a great option to use on a regular basis throughout this season to encourage mindfulness and thankfulness. Because it is so short, it can be done in a variety of places, but we recommend finding a comfortable seated position if possible.
2. A Guided Meditation for Gratitude with Background Music
If you have a bit more time, a 10-minute guided meditation can be a great way to further solidify your intentions and really be able to get deeper into your practice. This 10-minute guided meditation has a soothing backtrack of musical sounds, making it a great option for people who prefer to use music in their practice. This can be especially helpful if you find it difficult to focus in complete silence, as the musical sounds can help ground you to this time and place.
3. A Mantra Meditation for Gratitude
If you’re interested in trying mantra meditation, this is the perfect gratitude-focused guided meditation to start that journey. In the beginning, the creator is gently guiding you into your practice with deep breaths, after which this guided meditation will take you through several repetitions of the mantra, “My life is filled with blessings, and I am grateful.” Toward the end, the creator gives you space with some gentle background noise to either continue repeating that mantra on your own or add your own gratitude mantra.
4. An Evening Guided Meditation for Gratitude
While many gratitude meditations are meant to be done in the morning or throughout the day, this evening gratitude meditation is perfect for helping you unwind at the end of a long day. It begins with progressive muscle relaxation, which can help people fall asleep faster, then guides you through processing your day and picking out things that you are grateful for. It ends with a minute of silent contemplation.
5. A Thanksgiving Guided Meditation
If you’re up for a 15-minute meditation or simply want to get into the holiday spirit, this Thanksgiving guided meditation is a perfect way to build a stronger sense of thankfulness. Throughout this 15-minute practice, you will be guided to consider a wide variety of things that you have to be thankful for, including people in your community whose work you benefit from, your loved ones, and tools that you use each day.
While some benefits of meditation may be enhanced by meditating more often or for longer periods of time, the best meditation practice for you is one that you are able to enjoy and do often. Whatever style or length of meditation works well with your preferences is a great way to pursue the benefits of meditation, especially in this season of thankfulness.
As you build these meditations of gratitude and thanks into your regular mindfulness practice for the season, what do you find yourself being most grateful for?