It’s commonly known that meditation is good for the brain and a cure for many things brain related. But what if you’ve tried meditation and it just doesn’t quite fit with you?
If you’ve given meditation a fair shot (we’re talking tried it 3-5 times) and you just can’t seem to get on with it, there are many other practices that help practice mindfulness.
Why would you want to cultivate mindfulness?
Mindfulness improves your physical and mental health, reduces stress, cultivates compassionate, helps you to be less judgmental, and increases open-mindedness. It’s an incredibly valuable tool for helping you live life to its fullest potential.
Many people believe that meditation and mindfulness are synonymous, however mindfulness is a state of being and meditation is simply a practice to help cultivate mindfulness. That means that you can definitely practice mindfulness even if you struggle with meditation. So, here are 5 alternative ways to practice mindfulness.
Walks in Nature
Nature walks are a really nice form of mindfulness because they provide an opportunity to get outside, feel the sun, get some fresh air, get your muscles moving, and explore.
Walking to cultivate mindfulness means you don’t need to set a certain number of miles to cover or calories to burn, it’s just about observing what’s going on around you. Feel the sun on your face, your feet on the ground, the wind push against you, the colour of the leaves, the smell of freshly cut grass, your muscles moving as you take each step. Try leaving your phone at home or turning it off for fewer distractions.
The practice of yoga itself is typically used as a mindfulness practice, but sometimes a fast-flowing yoga can cause more frustration than mindfulness. Yin Yoga is a much slower form of yoga that targets the connective tissues of the body such as bones, ligaments, and joints. The poses are held for a lot longer (anywhere from 1-20 minutes), which gives you the opportunity to focus on how each position feels and breathing deeply into each pose to get a deeper stretch.
Adult colouring books are definitely rising in popularity and are a personal favourite of mine. There are plenty of choices nowadays based around mindfulness, mandalas, popular TV shows, fashion, landscapes, and even swear words, to help you find one that visually appeals to you.
Colouring gives your busy mind a rest and lets your creativity flow in a way that can easily be picked up when you need it.
Body scan meditation
Body scan meditation involves bringing your attention to the whole body rather than only the breath. Sit comfortably and feel the sensations that are occurring by slowly focusing from head to toe, feel where you’re tense and achey, and where you’re relaxed. Be present with your body and just notice what’s occurring internally. I recommend downloading the Headspace app for a guided body scan meditation if you’re new to this.