As transformative as it can be to one’s life, meditation isn’t for everyone.
Failure in meditation can contribute to a lack of self-care on the whole. Once we drop one aspect, it becomes a waterfall effect. Stillness, and its benefits, comes in many forms other than the act of meditating and you can get involved as soon as today (really!).
Meditation may not be for all, but self-care certainly is. Strip back the core of what meditation is, to ground yourself, and you will find parts of your life where you can infuse the concepts in different ways that are uniquely-you.
The goal here is to find peace in your daily life. From the office to the gym to home with the family, take into account our alternatives to meditation and how you can start your practice of self-care. If you’re feeling inspired, pop a comment at the end of the article and tell us how you’re changing your day for peace, without sitting meditation.
A fundamental part of meditation is using your breath and observing its presence. Rather than sitting still with your eyes closed in an attempt to form some clarity, try noticing the way you breathe whilst moving through your day – in the line at the supermarket, at your desk at work, before or after important meetings, when stuck in traffic. Whatever the situation, take a step back and focus on your breathing.
We feel the rhythm of music in our bodies, so deeply connected to our emotions and physical reactions. Music as therapy is an increasingly popular mindfulness practice, and as a bonus, it’s completely free for all to enjoy. You don’t have to splash on an expensive class to get back to who you are either. All it takes is awareness in your choice of music and a space to let yourself feel the beat.
In a 2015 study, researchers found that music-based mindfulness was a powerful tool in helping women experiencing breast cancer treatment. It was found to increase and improve their attention over time, and enhance their mood.
The team at Boody love yoga and its benefits, whether it’s part of our morning routine or a tool to ward off the winter chill. We’re firm believers in using yoga as meditation – to reduce stress, improve concentration, increase self-awareness, boost happiness and slow the process of aging. It’s powerful, y’all. Yoga as spiritual meditation has existed almost synonymously for thousands of years.
For anyone that finds meditation to be boring, uninspired or forced, at the end of a yoga class often your mind needs a rest. Savasana (that time post-class where you just lie there) is regarded as one of the hardest ‘poses’ for Yogis. Why? I mean, you just lie there, right? Well, like meditation, your mind is racing and your heart is beating fast due to the cardio movements you’ve just performed. But if you hate the idea of being still, this is a great habit to recover after a sweat sesh as you’re essentially in the perfect position to just ‘be’.
It may not seem obvious at first, but lap swimming is a popular alternative for meditation loathers to find peace in their day.
Simply, a swim in a 50-metre lap pool can be spiritual because you’re using important aspects of meditation: your breath and your concentration. Plus, the solitude really helps if you’re constantly distracted by others or your own ability to talk in even the quietest moments. You may think you can talk underwater, but the reality is, it’s an environment where you’re forced to be alone with your thoughts and your breathing. Take advantage of this time and concentrate on adding a mindful element to your physical actions.
Walking or Hiking
Walking meditation is all about the experience of movement. Unlike ‘regular’ meditation, you can reap the benefits without closing your eyes or remaining still – both barriers to forming a consistent and meaningful practice.
Need an energy boost? Take a solo walk in nature and get back to you. Some quick tips to make a real impact on your next meditation-based stroll:
- Be aware of the feeling of the wind, sun, and possibly rain, on your skin
- Take in the sounds of nature – and choose when, and if, you will block out certain sound intrusions or make others louder
- Be mindful of what your body is doing whilst walking and how it feels
- Feel the weight shift between each foot and alternate this
Now you’re across the alternative ways to find peace in your daily life, give yourself permission to take a long walk, swim a few laps of your local pool, or stay right until the end of your next yoga class. A relaxed state of mind works beyond an often-restrictive still meditation, so branch out and see what works for you.