How many times have you heard it… you’re whinging about being stressed, tired, ya know trying to make conversation, trying to relate, then your colleague hits you with the “Have you tried meditation? It’s so good! It really helps!”. Yep, you know you should be doing it, but the thought of just sitting…. Quietly… with just your own thoughts… well that’s enough to send your cortisol levels skyrocketing right there, right?
Meditation indeed has some wonderful health benefits, reducing stress (those dang cortisol levels) lowering blood pressure and heart rate, helping to control emotions, promoting creativity and even boosting your immune system, but it really isn’t for everyone. If you are really struggling to find meditation your thing, here are some alternative ideas you might want to try:
If you enjoy writing then try a gratitude diary. It helps you focus on the positive parts of your day, and can help reframe negative thoughts. It can help you feel more focused, motivated and loved.
Stay with me here… repetitive and/or vigorous tasks, such as scrubbing floors, gardening, sweeping, vacuuming, matching up those Tupperware lids to their containers.. they don’t take much thought, so if you focus on the task at hand, it’s similar to meditation, in that you’re clearing your mind of those absent thoughts and worries. Plus you will feel accomplished afterwards.
Find a “quiet hobby”
The recent requirement to stay at home has meant that a lot of people have found other hobbies to bide their time, and found this has really helped to keep those running thoughts at bay. Painting, knitting, crosswords, jigsaws all create a similar meditative like state in your mind. Call me controversial but even phone games like candy crush help relax and reframe the day.
This one can be hard for some, cause you have to let go. This one is for the skilled CBFers. You gotta dance like you have just had 10,000volts run through you. I’m talking REALLY let go. Shake a tail feather, Twerk it out, Shake it Off, Bump and Grind, whatever it takes. You’ll forget about what other people think, how “silly” you look, and be rewarded with all those endorphins and happy hormones coursing through your body.
If you’re like me, then you find yourself “multitasking”. Maybe you find yourself scrolling through your phone while “watching TV” or maybe reading/googling/emailing while listening to music. Maybe you take the dog for a walk or catch the train with the headphones in? Take the time to really focus on that one “task” and avoid other distractions. Really listen to the music, the melody, the beat, the words, focus on the key changes. When walking out and about, or on public transport, focus on your surroundings, the sounds of nature, or even take the time to focus on how many other people on the train are glued to their phones.
Give it a go, and let me know if there is anything else that works for you.