You’ve probably heard about the numerous benefits of meditation. It’s written and talked about everywhere. While it may work for some people, there are some who just can’t sit with the idea of doing nothing for a certain period. Others may find it unexciting and may even consider it a waste of time. If you’re one of those people who share that sentiment, there are other ways for you to enjoy the same benefits without having to force yourself to sit down and meditate.
The objective behind meditation, among many others, is to reduce stress and anxiety. As an end result it helps in emotional regulation and may improve sleep quality and concentration. If you want to experience all these benefits but can’t be bothered to meditate, there are various ways for you to achieve a certain meditative state. If you get restless easily, you can try to attain the same effect by learning how to use your breathing to connect with the movements of your body.
Practices That Help Clear The Mind
Chores or activities that feature rhythmic movement can help you reach a certain state of calmness similar to meditation. The trick is to slow down and be more mindful of the activity at hand.
Here are several movement-based meditative activities you can try to help you stay calm and ease anxiety.
Most activities that involve cleaning require repetition. It’s a perfect substitute for meditation as it helps you focus on one thing while your body goes through a rhythmic movement.
As an added bonus you end up with a cleaner space, too! Just make sure to relax and maintain a good posture as you go along. Never slouch. Keep your navel close to the spine as it helps well with breathing.
Much like cleaning, gardening allows you to relax and be more mindful by engaging in a rhythmic activity. This can be a great alternative for someone who doesn’t like to be cooped up indoors for long.
You don’t always have to travel far to escape the city and connect with nature. If you have a small patch of land in your backyard, you can tend to it and start gardening. It’s a great way to connect with your surroundings.
If you want a more low-impact activity, walking is a great option. You can adjust to your own pace but make sure to choose a safe environment. Walking in a dangerous environment, as you would guess, doesn’t help ease anxiety. Look for a spacious field, ideally outdoors.
While walking, be more mindful of each step. Focus your attention to your feet each time, stay connected to your body’s movement to invoke mindfulness. Apart from easing anxiety, walking also releases stress from your body and helps improve your mood by producing feel-good hormones.
As with walking, choose a safe place to go running. If you have access to a track, then much better. Running allows you to achieve clarity by focusing on your breathing. Focus on your body’s movements.
Pay attention to everything from the pounding sound your foot makes when it hits the pavement, your strides, your pace, etc. However, make sure to only focus on the task at hand. If your mind starts to wander somewhere else, bring it back to the present moment.
Swimming is a great way to drown out noise, quite literally. It makes it easier for you to focus on the motion of your arms and legs by minimizing distractions. Although it can get strenuous, swimming can pull you into a deep state of relaxation. It relieves tension. It helps release endorphins without putting much strain on your knees.
When done right, dancing can be a great medium to achieve a meditative state. It’s a fun activity and as long as you don’t aspire to become a professional dancer, you don’t need skills to enjoy it.
If you’re new to movement meditation, dancing can be a good entry point. You don’t really need to leave your room to be able to do it. As with the rest of the activities mentioned, keep your attention to your breathing and to your body’s movement. Stay mindful of the present. It will take a lot of practice but as soon as you learn how to stop your mind from wandering elsewhere, it will become a whole lot easier for you.
In general, movement meditation is fun and easy. You can get creative with it. You don’t need fancy equipment, a studio, or an expensive membership to be able to reap the benefits of meditation. The key is to stay mindful of the present while connecting your thoughts to your movement.
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