Updated: Oct 3, 2020
Meditation has been an integral part of the society from the ancient period with its significance rising with each passing day. The fact that we need it now more than ever can be denied by none. With growth and advancement, the psychological pressure on the human race is on an increase. This is where meditation comes into the picture.
Meditation is beneficial in coping with the modern lifestyle as it offers a number of advantages to deal with the lifestyle of these dynamic times. The benefits offered by the activity include: increased focus, reduces anxiety, calmness, stress relief and also helps an individual connect better to oneself as well as others. Sadly, only a fraction of the population is able to yield these results due to misconceptions associated with the process.
Spoiler Alert: You don’t have to sit a Yogic pose for 30 minutes every day to yield the benefits of meditation.
Let me ask you something,
'Have you ever tried to meditate and failed?' If the answer is yes then you are definitely at the right place. I was in the same situation a year ago where I had this intense desire to meditate so as to yield the favourable benefits while lacking the will to perform it. I used every app there is to meditate but none made me sit ideal for more than 10 minutes a day and I always looked for opportunities to get away from the act, which I think completely defeats the purpose.
I wanted to look forward to my meditation time but I soon realised that this won't happen if I stick to the traditional meditation method so I decided to do some digging. I discovered that it wasn't necessary to sit still with your eyes closed to meditate, there are other ways to be mindful which yield the same results and are far more feasible and enjoyable.
So, here’s a list of things to do to meditate without meditating:
1. Fix a Signal:
There is a number of things that happen to us every day. We get into the lift a few times a day, hear the alarm go off at least once a day and notice kids playing quite often. All these activities and others that are a part of your life can be used as a signal, this means whenever any of your signals takes place you will have to pause for 10 seconds or take 3 deep breaths. This act helps you to calm down and appreciate your environment and is pretty easy to perform.
This has completely changed my life by helping me reduce my anxiety. I no longer shiver in stressful situations or remain awake all night due to my worries and all the credit goes to walking meditations. Unlike popular belief you don’t need calming music or a guiding video to implement this, just make sure of the following points:
· don’t walk too fast; the slower you walk the more you are in sync with your body
· notice the things and sounds around you
· don’t fight your thoughts, let them come but try not to dwell into them.
3. Sipping Tea:
If you know me, you know how much I love green tea. It is the first thing I have every morning. While the idea of having tea being linked to meditation may sound stupid, it really works. Try and sip your tea while sitting in the sunshine and do it slowly even when the tea tastes amazing. Doing this every morning will help you to slow down and maybe you’ll start enjoying waking up.
Have you ever took to cleaning after a stressful day and noticed all your stress vanishing? This happens because while cleaning your focus shifts to the act and everything stressful is pushed to the back of your mind. This tool can be used to kill two birds at once, you are decluttering your room and also your mind. Just make sure that you do it mindfully but if your focus keeps on shifting, play some music and you are good to go.
This works alone and also in combination with all the other ways mentioned in the list. But there is a slight variation when it is performed individually to when it is done in combination. When you are listening to music let’s say while walking, your central focus must be on the walk and your environment while when you are doing nothing but listening to music make sure you are actually focused on the sound and not caught up in your thoughts.
There are more to hot showers than physical relief, it has been psychologically proved that they reduce stress. But how can you mind full as the shower is your thinking place? The answer is simple, instead of using your bathing time to create, use it to unwind by really giving attention to the entire process. We are so used to this activity that we perform it subconsciously while overthinking about everything there is, instead pay attention to what you are doing; everything from the motion of the soap to the sound of the water is noteworthy. Try it once and you'll never want to go back to your regular showers.
If you are not like me and actually enjoy the act of cooking, then using your time in the kitchen to meditate is something you cannot miss out on. One trick to cook more mindfully would be incorporate new things to your cooking list when you are trying something new your focus will automatically shift from your thoughts to the work at hand.
8. Spend time with Nature:
How divine does it feel to simply sit beside the ocean and notice the waves slowly hitting the coast, that moment is truly meditative and needs no further effort. If you don't live near the sea try gazing at the clouds, the trees or the stars and make it a part of your routine but make sure you are not carrying your phone along.
The only reason you are getting to read this is that I write every day to rewire and de-stress. This activity needs no additional efforts as it is hard to dwell into thoughts when you are putting them on paper. Mindfulness cannot get easier than this.
10. Memory Lane:
This might sound unusual to you as it did to me, but looking at old pictures and videos can be meditative. They remind you of a happier time and provides an escape from your current stress. Might lead to overthinking for some individual, so try it out to see if it works for you.
Hope that you found these tips helpful, let me know if I missed something. :)