Meditation is one of the most natural and effective ways to reduce stress. But sometimes we need help from guided meditation to really feel its effects.
According to numerous studies by the Harvard Medical School, the National Institute of Health, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:
meditation is proven to help depression, anxiety, and stress.
Truth be told, there have been many times I’ve relied on meditation ever since I was introduced to it by my trumpet teacher in middle school. But I was told about it in chunks once every week – today, we have so many options to learning meditation.
Free Online YouTube Guides
The problem is many people attempt meditation without aid or help and don’t have any clue as to the proper way of meditation. Luckily, I’ve found four of the best FREE 5 to 15-minute YouTube videos of the best guided meditation online.
*For those who don’t want to waste time with “you get what you pay for” type materials, I have also found one of the most credible sources for guided meditation you can find online – I’ll explain at the end of this article! Trust me it’s worth looking into.*
The Five-Minute Miracle
- 5.5 minutes in length
- By: Beyond Purpose
- 1.9 million views
- Published on Dec 28, 2011
- The quality of the audio is good! No distracting recording issues.
- The voice and music mix is well-balanced.
- The music isn’t distracting and there’s bird sounds in the background.
- The narrator has a calming voice
- It’s only five-minutes long!
- The titles and photos are little low quality and not very creative.
- The music is almost too simple!
Forgiveness, Releasing Guilt, and Letting Go
- ~13-minutes in length
- By: Positive Magazine
- 171,000 views
- Published on July 16, 2013
- High quality titles and beautiful photos
- The music is very interesting but too complex for my taste
- It’s distractingly melodic and intense at times
- The pace is good and doesn’t move too fast
- Most of the talking isn’t instructional, but metaphorical and meant to encourage imagination (everyone have their own tastes though)
Deep Relaxation and Bliss
- ~14-minutes in length
- By: Live The Life You Love
- 31,000 views
- Published January 11, 2016
- Beautiful photo
- Relaxing narration with a smooth voice
- The creator is truly passionate about meditation (a very interesting background that led to her life goals)
- There is only one photo used
- Video editing make the photo move strangely (don’t watch video as it could be distracting)
Anxiety, Fear, Overthinking and Urgency
- Have to watch this one on YouTube (sorry, they disabled it on other sites):
- ~10-minutes in length
- By: Positive Magazine
- 3.5 million views
- Published May 8, 2013
- The instrumental music is atmospheric and not at all distracting
- Beautiful photos were chosen to make the video
- Good professional mix between voice and music
- The narrator’s voice can be a little distracting at times
The Issues with YouTube
YouTube is a great source when it comes to materials for meditation or yoga, but I find every time I try to do it myself, it’s never as refreshing as I hope. Maybe it is because I’ve taken professional classes before and find it hard to compare.
When you’re in a pinch for time, these free videos can do wonders for you and can release stress in a very short amount of time (even if you only have 5-minutes to spare!). I would highly recommend you try each of these YouTube videos, before considering investing in more materials.
After you try all the videos above, ask yourself if YouTube videos will hold you over for months to come. For those who need the inspiration of a vocal narrator, listening to the same recording multiple times can lessen the effectiveness. At this point you should consider finding a local meditation circle or group, or possibly even join a quality yoga class that incorporates meditation.
But if you’re anything like me, being around people causes my brain to over analyze myself and my movements. For me, meditation is a personal experience.
Why Guided Meditation?
For that reason, I find meditation by myself is most effective. And listening to guided meditation alone allows me to forget about the world around me, because there are no people around me. For a novice, the narration is absolutely a necessity for best quality effect in a shorter amount of time. Imagine escaping to the top of a mountain and being able to freely experiment with the joys of meditation by allowing yourself to be guided through noise-canceling earphones risk free of any embarrassment! No one has to know your secret of complete relaxation.
One time in high school, I was overwhelmed with projects and assignments. With the frustrations of the world piling on my shoulders, I grabbed my backpack, filled it with waters, stuffed my pockets with my earbuds, and escaped to the Southern Californian hills behind my community. I stayed there for a few hours until I felt at ease again. If only I had guided meditation to help speed up the process because avoiding those projects didn’t make them go away!
Thinking Quality vs. Quantity
If you’re looking for some quality “guided meditation” tracks, I would highly recommend this particular 8-minute meditation program. Wait wait! I’m serious – don’t look back. Because this is actually an amazing program that no one knows about (and I don’t know why!).
Back in 2010, Time Magazine named it the most American form of meditation yet. As one of Amazon’s best sellers, thousands of people use this program as a stress-relief tool. No matter what level you are (even if you’re a complete beginner), the published writer Victor Davich leads you through a high-quality meditation program.
At one time this former attorney, Victor Davich, even taught 400 lawyers to successfully meditate at the same time at the Westin Palm Springs Hotel! His “real world” approach allows anyone to connect with his strategies of stress-relief.
I’m always cautious of online scams and empty promises, but this source is as credible as it gets. Here’s some interesting factoids about the creator of this guided meditation program.
Who’s Victor Davich?
- He was formerly an attorney, producer, and marketing executive for Fortune 500 companies.
- Started meditation himself during his second year of law school (just to survive!)
- Endorsed by physicians at the UCLA Medical School and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
- Endorsed by best-selling author Richard Carlson.
- 8-Minute Meditation has been featured in TIME magazine, Cosmopolitan, OUTSIDE, SHAPE, Natural Health, and KCBS-TV.
- Studied with some well-known meditation teachers, including Shinzen Young and Sharon Salzberg.
- He himself has meditated every day for the past 25+ years!
- Best quotes of Victor Davich from the CBS Interview in 2010:
- “If you can watch 8-minutes of your favorite TV show, then you have the patience to change your life through meditation.”
- “Meditation is an Eastern tool for Western results.”
- “Quiet your mind. Change your life.”
There’s a reason hard-working people develop meditation habits (such as Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Paul McCartney, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, Nicole Kidman, and Steve Jobs according to Robin Strauss from Ranker.com), because without meditation, a fast-paced life would be nearly impossible (if not fatal). The mind needs a break from the grind of “worrying” and “planning.”
The best way to change your life, is to “quiet your mind.”
But, like I always say, don’t take my word for it. Research his website yourself (but don’t be thrown by his website’s lack of aesthetics!).
YouTube is a great source for enough free material to pursue meditation as a hobby. But I would highly recommend investing a bit more in yourself if you want unquestionable results. YouTube has so much content that credibility can sometimes be hard to determine, so I hope I’ve spelled out some of the best options you can find via YouTube.
If you’re looking for a tried and true strategy in getting the most out of meditation, I invite you to research the 8-minute meditation program I mentioned above.
Everyone can donate 5 to 10-minutes for your personal and mental well-being. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Even if you don’t have time to listen to YouTube videos, just sit and breathe deeply for 5-minutes. I know this sounds silly, but trust me. A mere 5-minutes can alter your mood for the rest of the day – the first step is the hardest!
Once you’ve tried it, let me know your opinion! I’m very curious if you’ve heard of meditation or if you currently use it on a daily basis. I would love to read your comments and hear your feedback.
Here’s a few things I would love to hear from you about:
- Do you feel you need guided meditation?
- Is there a noticeable difference between guided and non-guided meditation?