A lot of people have preconceived notions about meditation. What do you think when you hear the word “meditation”? Sitting cross legged on the floor, taking deep breaths and focusing on your breaths while thinking about absolutely nothing?
Yes, I thought that was the only way to meditate as well (before thinking of yogis on mountain ledges) until I realised I’m wrong.
Wikipedia describes meditation as, “a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.”
I had my fair shares of downloading a bunch of meditation apps. I tried guided meditation, and self induced deep breathing meditation. I won’t lie, it was effective, but nowhere close to where I am now.
So, here are a few activities that help me “meditate” when I feel a certain emotion.
Anger/frustration – Running
Running or jogging is an activity that needs focus, you need to focus on your steps, your breathing rhythm, your heart beat, etc. Once you’re in charge of the above, you slowly increase your pace. Your mind and body align, they’re busy doing an activity which will in return lead to your body feeling lighter, your brain feeling focused, your blood flowing smoother aka the adrenaline rush. And hey, you also exercised. Two birds, one stone!
Mindless/clouded mind – Colouring
Pick a colouring book and colour away! Or pick any activity that helps you stay mindless but still engaged, like, practising calligraphy/ handwriting, or stitching, or even cooking a very simple recipe(this is my boyfriend’s escape). The idea is to focus on an activity which doesn’t require too much of your attention. It gives your physical self to be busy with something mundane while your mind can systematically start breaking down problems.
Developing discipline – Cleaning
I have experienced that the activity of cleaning a small space everyday helps you clear your mind (since you’re doing a mindless activity), develops a habit of an activity that is done daily (cleaning your desk/ kitchen counter/ dishes/ choose yours!). Your brain feels accomplished on completing this task. This leads to developing the will power to complete bigger and more overwhelming tasks.
Emergency/SOS – 5 question game
You’re in the middle of a panic/ anxiety attack, you feel like you’re choking and you have no idea what you should do. If this sounds familiar, then I have a simple 5 step method that helps you me calm down momentarily, by bringing things in perspective.
You ask yourself 1) What is my name? 2) Where am I? 3) What day of the week is it? 4)What time is it? 5) What is the date today?
While in the middle of a traumatic episode, your brain may not have the capacity to focus on anything since it is obsessing about problem. In times like this, when you ask yourself the above questions, you are kind-of meditating. You’re regaining focus by asking your brain questions that will help distract from the panic-ridden situation.
Why should you meditate?
There is another misconception that only those meditate who need help. This may be partially right, but it is kinda wrong. Meditation helps you be much more self aware. Self aware of your choices, decisions, atmosphere & thoughts. This elevated of self awareness only helps you become more focused which leads to being x10 times productive. It helps you enjoy your leisure time by channeling out all your work/stressful thoughts. Being aware of the good times will automatically help you feel more relaxed mentally.
You don’t need to get into your yoga pants and struggle to cross your legs to be able to meditate! 🙂
If you have any other meditation methods, please do share in the comments below! I would love to do a part 2 by trying some of your suggestions!
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