Personal Development: Meditation Alternatives
Meditation is so trendy these days. A testament to our fascination with age-old Eastern concepts. Proof of our willingness to embrace what we previously shunned, meditation is now one of the most popular wellness activities in the Western world.
I tried (hard) to hop on the bandwagon given the range of mental and physical health benefits attributed to it. But after a quarter long course, a weekend long silence retreat, and a daily regimen trying out three different iPhone apps, I was deeply discouraged by my progress.
Thing is, I'm a thinker and an analyzer. I live in my head and silence invites introspection. With meditation we're supposed to let those thoughts come and go, but I can't and I don't want to. Ruminating on life is one of my favorite pastimes.
Nevertheless, it is true that sometime your mind needs a break. So, I decided to evaluate areas where I am more naturally inclined to relax, unwind, and think about nothing. Once I came up with my list, I simply started to spend more time doing these things. And suddenly meditation was integrated into my everyday life versus being a burdensome afterthought.
- Read a book
- Go on a walk
- Bask in the sun
- Tidy your space
- Listen to music
- Take a train ride
- Stroll along the beach
- Sip a cup of tea
- Play with your pet
- Sit still for a while
Everyday activities can also provide peace and relaxation. They may not lead to the same profound impact that many meditation enthusiasts tout, but they'll get you one step closer to contentment.