lifestyle · mental health

5 Alternative Ways to Meditate for the Unmotivated

Meditation is supposed to be this be-all and end-all for living your best life. At least that’s what I’ve heard, anyway.

But for a lot of us, we don’t have the time, the patience, or the mindset for that crap. It sounds like a lot of hooey, all that sitting around, legs crossed, breathing deeply and all that other wellness blogger bullshit, doesn’t it?

But, surprising news alert: meditating doesn’t have to mean all that ohm-ing and ahh-ing, it can actually be… whatever you want, really. Who knew? All it takes is five minutes, and the dedication to sit with yourself.

Doesn’t sound so hard now, does it?

Studies into the effects of meditation by Harvard found that prolonged and regular attempts at meditation have actually been found to rebuild grey matter in the brain, particularly in the area of the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning, memory, and spatial awareness, as well as other areas of the brain. So, like… meditation helps your brain. Who knew?

So, to help you all out (I know how stressed you’ve been, lately), I’ve come up with five ways that you can start to incorporate meditation into your daily life, without really taking away any time, or adding any effort. You’re welcome!

1. Going for a walk

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It’s been said time and time again by, like, everyone, but it works. Giving yourself the chance to just escape outside (preferably without your phone, but I can understand the struggle there, so maybe turn on airplane mode?) and breathe some fresh air can give you a whole new perspective. Granted, you’re not gonna wanna do this if it’s pissing it down raining or freezing cold, but even just walking to the shop instead of driving can make a difference.

And try not to put headphones in. Some people say music helps with meditation, and that’s your call. But I really find that music distracts me, and keeps my mind in the same place it’s been all day – still thinking, rather than slowing down and processing, which is what you really want.

2. Journalling

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love this. I’ve recently restarted my bullet journal (not the same one as last year, new post coming soon!), and I’ve finally realised that it doesn’t have to be perfect and Pinterest worthy. It can be whatever I like. And what I like is word-vomiting all over the pages sometimes, just getting everything that’s bugging me onto the page. This really helps me see my issues and worries somewhere else and put them into perspective, helping me to work through them better.

You don’t have to have a set journal or notebook for this either. You could do it on a Post-It, on a napkin, on the Notes app on your phone, anything. Just find something to write on, and get all that crap out of your head.

3. Just… lying in bed

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Okay, journalling is good, but this one is (obviously) my favourite. The best kind of tip for lazy people like me, you’re probably lying on your bed doing fuck-all anyway, so why not make it somewhat productive?

Sometimes just sitting in silence, letting your thoughts wash over you and let them go past you, giving your brain some time to understand everything, and letting yourself understand what you’re thinking, and maybe even why you’re thinking that way.

Just don’t tell your parents I told you to lie in bed all day, OK?

4. Stretching

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As much as it’s been drilled into us for the past few years, our physical body and our minds really do work as one quite a lot of the time, and I don’t just mean when you’re like, walking down the street or something. But what we do to our body does have a huge effect on the way our minds work.

So just have a big, ol’ stretch. Sit on your bed and stretch your back, stand up and stretch your legs. Just in the quiet. Listen to your gross bones cracking and think about how unhealthy you are (kidding). But just do a good, solid body stretch and let your mind go wherever it wants for a few minutes.

5. Cleaning (and other therapeutic activities)

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Your mum is gonna love this one. And I say it a lot, but I freaking love cleaning. I love tidying. I like giving things place and order and putting the world to rights with a duster (oo-er). And maybe you do, too. You just don’t know it yet.

But just let yourself potter about on a quiet Sunday and put things in their place, wash up the dishes, sort out the cupboards and have a good hoover. This tip is particularly for the people who can’t sit still. The ones who have to be doing something. I get you, I really do. So keep moving. Keep your mind half occupied, and keep half of it on what’s going on in your life at the moment and how it all feels.

 

The purpose of meditation isn’t to find some higher plane of existence or anything, it’s simply to get your brain to work better, smoother, and for you to work through what’s going on for you in a healthy and intelligent way so you can start to think better and feel better.

We spend so much time rushing around in life nowadays, constantly got things going on, heading to the next place and the next and the next, so much so that we forget that the thing responsible for everything we do (our brains) need some recon time, too. Just as much as our bodies, perhaps even more.

So next time you’re starting to feel a little frazzled, burnt out, or just have a quiet five minutes, give meditation a try, and see how you go. You might surprise yourself.

If you enjoyed this post please give it a like and let me know how, where and when you like to meditate (if you do), or if you have any tips yourself! If you want more types of posts like these, let me know, too! 

Thanks for reading, ’til next time,

Jess x

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