Meditation and mental health

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Health Assured team

18 April 2024

What is meditation?

In our chaotic and stressful world, our senses can become clouded and confused, meaning our self-awareness could be absent.

Meditation provides direction and training to achieve heightened awareness and consciousness of the mind and body. Through meditation we can clear the mind, get a better sense of perspectives, and promote better understanding of emotions and feelings so we can better manage our mental health challenges.

How can meditation support better mental health?

Meditation clears the mind, sharpens focus, improves immunity, boosts memory, and calms the mind and body.

When the body calms and balances, we have more space to be aware of our senses, emotions, and feelings. In doing this, we are better able to mitigate stressors, manage triggers, and have a heightened understanding of our mental health.


The Sleep Foundation states that sleep is closely linked to mental and emotional health, and it’s not surprising that having better sleep has a positive knock-on effect for our mental health.

Meditation is known to improve quality of sleep, support falling asleep quicker, and increases the chance having a deeper and well-rested sleep by quieting the mind and body.


We all feel stress from time to time, but for some stress can be a daily battle. In actuality, 1 in 5 UK workers reported feeling unable to manage stress and pressure. Exposure to some stress isn’t always bad for us, but it’s how we deal with stress that mitigates poor mental health and the risk of burnout. Meditation is a great way to achieve this.

Through meditation practises, we can encourage a sense of calm and balance within the body and mind to reduce stress.


Like stress, meditation calms the mind and body to relieve anxious feelings and emotions. The National Library of Medicine found that meditation was beneficial for easing anxiety symptoms in the short and long-term.

Catastrophic thinking and overthinking are common anxiety symptoms, encouraging your mind to wonder down a negative rabbit hole. Meditation sharpens focus and attention, reducing brain chatter and wondering minds for those who experience anxiety.


People who experience depression could see an improved awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions through meditation. With this heightened awareness comes a better ability to understand, mitigate and manage symptoms of depression.


Types of meditation

There are many types of meditation, such as spiritual, mantra, and transcendental meditation, just to name a few. All forms of meditation may not suit everyone’s requirements, and everyone will connect with different types of meditation depending on their needs.

Mindful meditation

Originating from the Buddhist teachings, mindful meditation is the most widely understood and recognised around the world.

Mindful meditation focuses on being aware of thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations as they pass through the mind without judgement, promoting individuals to take note of patterns in their behaviours, emotions, and feelings. It encourages slowing down, focusing on breathing, letting go of negative energy, and having compassion for others and yourself.

Focused meditation

Focused meditation concentrates on the senses and using those senses to ground our reality. When the mind wonders, focusing on something physical in the world help to centre the body and mind, such as a flickering candle, the trees swaying in the wind, or the waves crashing against the shore. Grounding techniques, such as the 54321 technique is great for this and refocusing your mind.

Metta Meditation

Similarly to mindful meditation, metta meditation originates from Buddhist teachings. Metta mediation focuses heavily on cultivating kindness for all, including yourself.

Also referred to as loving-kindness meditation, metta can be beneficial for people who are naturally more quick-tempered or who may have anger or resentment built up in their system. Metta medication calms the mind and body by reducing negative thoughts and opinions about the world and developing unconditional love for all beings.

Visualisation Meditation

Visualisation uses the imagination and mind to visualise positive scenes, thoughts, and people in the idea to focus the brain, encourage positivity, and create inner peace.


Tips on how to meditate

  1. Find a safe and quiet space

Finding a quiet and comfortable space to focus your mind away from distractions is essential. With less distractions, the mind is less susceptible to wondering and is particularly important for when starting out your meditation journey.

  1. Start small

Like most things, starting off small and slow is the best way to stick to your meditation journey. Start with 2 minutes of quiet time and slowly add a minute on until you feel comfortable and develop your meditation skills.

  1. Use guides

With the wide expansion of the world, information is within reach at just the touch of a button. Finding resources to guide you through meditation online is a great place to start on your meditation journey. Try Youtube for led video content or try Health Assured’s Wisdom app which provides supportive guided meditation.

  1. Focus the mind

It is important to understand that the mind wonders naturally, but it’s how you get back to focus after that is key. It’s essential to recognise your mind wondering. Bring yourself back into focus when you notice. Try focusing on your breathing or use your senses to focus your attention.

  1. Set out a specific time daily

This doesn’t have to be an extensive amount of time; 5 to 20 minutes each day will do. Many people like to meditate in the morning to set them up for the day, but if you don’t work like that, set another time. Incorporating meditation into your daily life at a certain time will build a habit within your brain, making it easier to complete each day.


Support your employees with an EAP

With a Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we can offer you practical advice and support when it comes to dealing with workplace stress.

Our EAP service provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and at home. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support your employees' mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


Find out more about EAPs


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