6 Ways to Stay Stress-Free If Meditation's Not Your Thing
Meditation can help you feel more mindful of your surroundings and deal with the world’s myriad stresses, but what happens when it just isn’t for you? It’s more common than you may think, and if the practice meant to make you less stressed is actually getting you all worked up, it just may not be for you.
The good news is that meditation isn’t the only game in town when you need to decompress from a tough day or set your intentions each morning. For those who can’t get into meditating, there’s a whole host of alternatives to keep you centred and mindful.
Here are 6 meditation-free ways to relieve stress.
While yoga definitely has some overlap with meditation, all of the movement and core strengthening is a welcome addition for people whose minds tend to wander or get bored with the silence and stillness of meditating. Yoga will still give you a lot of the same mental benefits as meditation. If you can find a class that incorporates some breathing exercises into its practice, they can also be a helpful tool for when you need stress relief outside of the studio.
Go For A Long Run
One of the benefits of meditation is getting out of your own head and being more present in the moment. It’s something that long distance runners also embrace, and a big reason why they hit the trails and rack up the miles. In addition to making you more attuned to your body, long distance running has proven mental benefits -- the classic "runner's high" of endorphins during a lengthy run can act as a natural well-being booster.
Try Your Hand at Drawing And Painting
If something a little less active is more your speed, dust off your paint brushes and grab a canvas for a lesson in creativity. Taking the time to draw with intention and focus is a great way to ease your work or life stress, allowing you to think only of your artistic creation and be present in the moment. Don’t worry if you’re no Rembrandt, as long as you’re able to lose yourself and decompress, it doesn’t really matter if drawing stick figures is your best artistic effort.
Cook A Proper Meal
Stay focused on a task at hand and take a break by making yourself a solid meal. Not only does eating healthy help with your mental state, but there is a certain satisfaction from creating something beautiful or at the very least delicious from scratch.
Bigger projects -- like cooking for a dinner party -- are also a fun way to challenge yourself in the kitchen and can keep your mind engaged when you’ve got a multi-course meal to prepare. You can also try your hand at baking, which tends to require a slower pace and more careful measurements. Like meditation, it’s a nice antidote to life’s frenetic pace.
Listen To Music
If the silence and solitude of meditation is a little too silent for you, settling down with your favorite artist for some chill time is a great alternative. It’s all about taking a moment to sit down and do little else other than listen. Meditation is partially about getting in touch with your different senses and creating more awareness, which is something that music can help with as you try to center yourself.
Do A Deep Clean
This may not sound like the most relaxing activity to replace meditation, but breaking out the mop and broom is actually a great way to unwind and work out the stresses of the day. There’s something cathartic about digging out the dust and grime from your home, and in addition to the process of cleaning being helpful for your well-being, you’re going to end up with a sparkling clean space that makes it easier to feel like yourself inside.