Guided vs Unguided Meditation | How Can it Help the Mind, Body & Soul?

by Angy
GUIDED VS UNGUIDED MEDITATION

Social work practice can come with many challenges.

These challenges can make you feel stressed or low.

That is why engaging in mindfulness practices such as meditation can help calm you as a social worker.

Listening to a calming voice, coaching you through a meditation practice is ideal for those finding it difficult to be still.

Indeed, the mind can easily wander! 

What is Mindfulness Practices in Social Work?

Mindfulness practices in social work practice are about paying attention to your thoughts and bringing your attention back whenever the mind wanders. 

This takes time to master. 

What is Guided Meditation?

Guided meditation is when a teacher or meditation expert guides you through a meditation practice either in a group setting or virtually. Listening to guided meditation can be one of the best ways to practice being still, help focus the mind and build mindfulness muscles.

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Which is Better, Guided or Unguided Meditation?

Thoughts and ideas can distract you during meditation, drawing your attention and focus away from the present moment.

This is why guided meditation is a good starting point if you’re new to meditation.

You can also build mindfulness muscles!

Prior to engaging in a guided meditation, I do a mind search and analyse the contents of my mind.

I decide whether to do a guided or an unguided meditation.

I usually go for guided meditation because for me, it seems to be more effective and I think this is because I am new to the practice of meditation.

I listen to the meditation expert who explains the approach – they explain the composition of the mind and how it is likely to behave during the process.

There is also an explanation of the techniques involved in the guided meditation – the practice.

The expert then explains how the techniques can be used in my day-to-day life – integration.

There are a lot of guided meditation resources online that offer meditation for empowerment, anxiety and stress, and guided meditation designed to give you a positive and energising morning and practices for a peaceful night’s sleep.

You can join a guided meditation group, watch an expert online, or listen to a soothing guided meditation while in the comfort of your own home. One of my absolute favourite is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQxTUQhVbg4

How to Start a Guided Meditation Session

When you have found a good guided meditation video or audio track, find a quiet space in your home or place of work. If you can, sit down and close your eyes.

If you feel comfortable, place your hands together in a prayer pose or lay them palm up on your knees or lap.

Now take in three deep and calming breaths.

Press play either on the video or the audio track and begin. People often like to light candles or incense to create a relaxing atmosphere to meditate in.

Types of Mindfulness Meditation

When Can You Practice Guided Meditation? 

You can enjoy guided mindfulness meditation if you’re struggling to focus or allocate time to meditate during the day.

By watching a video or listening to audio, to guide you through your mindfulness meditation practice, the session will probably be more effective than going it alone.

Like anything in life, you can’t be an expert at once or with a few attempts, so benefit from meditation experts who have years of experience and truly understand the techniques needed to get the most out of daily meditation.

Advantages of Guided Meditation 

Welcoming guided meditation into your life will bring an abundance of benefits.

From improving cognitive abilities to retraining your mind to be more focused on personal and career goals, guided meditation is scientifically proven to ease symptoms of stress and anxiety.

In this fast-paced technologically advanced world, we often forget to take time to be still and breathe.

This is why guided meditation is so important.

When practiced on a daily basis, meditation can improve mental health and quality of life.

So, if you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, stress or panic attacks, we urge you to try guided meditation.

By giving yourself time to self-reflect, put things back into perspective, especially if you’re worried about a personal issue or problems at work, your body’s fight-or-flight response will ease.

When your body is able to relax, it can begin to repair itself and fight off infection or disease.

For an improved immune system, mental clarity, and to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, try guided meditation today.

What is Unguided Meditation?

Benefits of Daily Guided Meditation

Unguided meditation is also sometimes referred to as silent meditation.

With this type of meditation, the individual meditates alone and without a teacher or meditation expert explaining the process.

Personally, when I practice unguided meditation, I would sit in silence for about 10 minutes and focus my attention to my body and thoughts.

Practices or techniques such as those highlighted below may also be used.

Types of Unguided Meditation

There are 10 popular types of meditation practice.

  • Mindfulness meditation.
  • Spiritual meditation.
  • Focused meditation.
  • Movement meditation.
  • Mantra meditation.
  • Reflection
  • Visualisation
  • Yoga Meditation
  • Chakra Meditation
  • Body scan

Advantages of Unguided Meditation

When it comes to unguided meditation the style, goals and techniques vary greatly, but we use unguided meditation at anytime for any purpose the individual chooses.

Preferred by professionals and entrepreneurs, this particular technique can help you to move forward in your life and manifest things you want or desire.

The experience is directed and led by the individual who decides what to focus on.

For a more positive and optimistic approach to life, unguided meditation can help individuals visualise goals they wish to achieve.

This style of meditation can be practiced almost anywhere and at any time.

Whether you’re taking a five-minute break while at work, or you’re practicing mindfulness meditation before bedtime, it is an effective way to retrain your mind and reach personal goals.

Conclusion

Both guided and unguided meditation have their own advantages.

The option an individual would choose will vary based on the outcome they hope to achieve.

Guided meditation may also be integrated with unguided meditation.

In guided meditation, there is the need to learn the crucial art of balance between guidance and silence.

This is because meditation is most effective during moments of silence where we are able to reflect.

On the other hand, unguided meditation gives us the freedom to experience the benefits of meditation whenever and wherever we please.

The choice to engage in either guided or unguided meditation will depend on individual circumstances.

I am super excited to hear your views on how you have used either guided or unguided meditation in your day to day living.

Kindly share your views below!

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12 comments

C.N. June 30, 2020 - 10:38 pm

Thank you so much for this highly informative article! It’s vital that we have a set time everyday to breathe in, breathe out, and connect with God-no distractions, no outside noise, just you and God. I have tried both guided and unguided meditation, and I find that 1) unguided meditation works better for me in the mornings (I know exactly what I want to do and how I want to do it), and 2) guided meditation works better for me at night (when I tend to get tired and my mind begins to wander). I appreciate how thorough you were in describing the two, their similarities and differences, as well as their pros and cons. I have saved your site and will share it with my friends and family. God bless you!

Reply
socialworkhaven June 30, 2020 - 11:10 pm

Hello C.N. Many thanks for taking the time to read this article. Glad to read that you choose to do your guided meditation at night. I usually do mine in the morning but will try night time too as I can imagine it having a calming effect on your mind and body before retiring to bed.

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Miriam July 1, 2020 - 1:31 am

I like this. meditstion in any form is good for a person I do like guided I love the sounds, the voice,the running water, the thunderstorms and more. I love the way it relaxes my mind and my body . Recommend trying meditation .q

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socialworkhaven July 1, 2020 - 9:19 pm

Thanks for stopping by Miriam 🙂

Reply
kevin July 1, 2020 - 4:51 am

I really wanted to get back into meditation, I’ve done it a couple times but never really found the time for it anymore. I remember my first time I was so overcome with emotion as I reopened my eyes I tore up haha, it was a very relaxing 30 minutes of an otherwise stressful day. I think guided meditation does help me out a little better too as I never can concentrate fully when I do it myself. Amazing post, thanks for sharing. Love you x

Reply
socialworkhaven July 1, 2020 - 9:21 pm

It certainly worked if you tore up 🙂

Guided meditation is a ‘hold my hand’ process. It certainly is my ‘go to’ option when pressed with time. Love you right back x

Reply
samuel July 1, 2020 - 10:23 am

Thanks for sharing this great content! It has allowed me to learn more and understand how do I can start guided/unguided meditation and what the advantages are.

Keep it up for more great content!

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socialworkhaven July 1, 2020 - 9:14 pm

Many thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked it 🙂

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Habib July 1, 2020 - 5:08 pm

I am massive on meditation whether that’s guided or unguided. Both types help me focus and recharge in their own way. When I am not doing the guided meditation I tend to focus on visualisation and the end results of my goals. They say even if you can just focus on breathing throughout the day without buying into your thoughts and emotions, that’s a great success. Please advise what other way someone can do the meditation throughout the day without having to sit down?

Many Thanks

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socialworkhaven July 1, 2020 - 9:18 pm

Great to read that you engage in both guided and unguided meditation.
If you choose not to sit, you may want to engage in walking meditation. I personally do this in the evenings. The main aim is to train the mind to concentrate and pay attention to the steps you take. Hope this helps 🙂

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Yoana July 2, 2020 - 10:15 am

What a great article. I have started meditating 2 months ago due to stress caused by Corona virus. I have started with unguided mediation but my thoughts were flying in the wrong direction. I have then started guided meditation and after 2 weeks I started observing myself as more calm and less anxious.
Thank you. Kind regards,
Yoana

Reply
socialworkhaven July 2, 2020 - 12:45 pm

Thanks Yoana. Glad to read that you have benefited from guided meditation.

Reply

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