If you’ve been reading my dispatches, then you know I’m a big believer in the power of mediation. Making meditation a regular practice will help keep you centered, calm you down, lower your stress and promote your creativity, just to name a few of its many benefits.
Let’s face it, though. Sometimes it’s hard to fit mediation into your schedule and too often it’s easy to push it aside or just plain forget about it. Or, perhaps, you’re just resistant to giving it a try, believe it to be too “airy fairy” for your lifestyle, or you have tried it and find it hard to stayed focused on it.
That’s okay. I’ve come up with a list of alternate things you can do that result in (almost) the same type of results that come with meditation. Give them a try. You just might like how you feel afterward.
1. Lie in the sun. The act of relaxing puts you in a more mindful state and the warm touch of the sun feeds your body with healthful Vitamin D. Remember to apply sunscreen to ease any anxiety about being outside in the first place!
2. Listen to music. Classical music, in particular, has been shown to alter your brainwaves into a state similar to mediation. The slow beats of the music are relaxing and stress easing.
3. Read a book right before bed. Have you ever been so engrossed in a book that you feel as if you’ve entered another world? Reading can be a welcome escape from your harried world and has also been shown to be a great stress reducer.
4. Take a bath. A warm soaking bath relaxes your body and can help you forget your worries. Add a few drops of lavender oil to increase the peaceful effectiveness.
5. Take a nature walk. Surrounding yourself amid some beautifully forested woods is a healthy way to alter your state. Breathing in all that clean air helps rid your body of toxins and listening to the sounds of chirping birds and the rustling of leaves in the wind actually quiets the brain and instills a sense of happiness and peace within you.
6. Do yoga or tai chi. These practices good for your physical body by increasing your flexibility and easing muscle strain. They also help keep your brain healthy by promoting greater concentration and mental relaxation.
7. Practice breathing. Mindful breathing has a number of positive benefits, including lowering your heart rate, easing stress and eliminating toxins from your body. It also promotes clearer thinking, which also happens to be one of the main benefits of meditation.
8. Play solitaire. The physical and mental processes involved in playing cards helps keep you focused on this activity, which enables you to let go of self-sabotaging thoughts and other negative thoughts you may be harboring.
9. Indulge in aromatherapy. The use of essential oils has been around for over a millennium and has been shown to ease stress and alter mood. Some of the more popular oils for this use are lemon, peppermint, bergamot, rose, lavender and chamomile.
10. Walk in a labyrinth. A labyrinth is a guided path, often constructed in concentric circles that leads to a center. A slow walk in a labyrinth is equivalent to a walking mediation, putting your brain in the same transformational wavelengths as a sitting meditation. Labyrinths can be found everywhere. This link can help you find one near you. labyrinthlocator.com
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