Meditation is one of those ultimate life goals, isn’t it? The idea of sitting in an incense-burning retreat with nothing but your thoughts seems like bliss. You may even imagine yourself as one of those calm and collected people who wear loose-fitting clothes and speak in a measured and meditative tone at all times. You might even have spent hours perfecting a meditation space within your home.
Sadly, you never actually sit down to meditate. That’s because, wandering thoughts and concentration aside, meditation can be downright boring. In part, this is the whole point. Meditation is all about learning to sit with your boredom and find something deeper within it. Yet, an inability to do just that keeps many of us from meditation for good.
When you consider that meditation brings benefits including better sleep and a stress-free life, though, you may not want to give up on it altogether. And, that’s where meditative alternatives come in. You may be able to sit on that mat for hours at some stage, but you don’t have to start there. In reality, a meditation practice can begin in a few different ways, each of which will be easier than attempting to take that meditative bull by the horns.
Yoga is, of course, the most popular choice here with its perfect mixture of movement and meditation. The routine provided in most yogic practices can really help to focus your efforts in a way sitting meditation can’t. And, yoga isn’t the only option. Other movement practices like Qigong and Tai Chi are also top contenders. When it comes to Qigong vs Tai Chi, note that Qigong is more about wellness while Tai Chi focuses on self defense. However, both have fantastic meditative benefits, so either one could serve you better than your sitting efforts until now.
Adult coloring is probably the most popular option here, and there are now plenty of books to choose from. Other options include crafting such as knitting and needlework. Or, you could just pick up a book. Again, these hobbies have the benefit of bringing structure to your efforts, and can make it a whole lot easier to access the right mindset.
Time in nature
If all else fails, never underestimate the meditative benefits of time spent in nature. The simple act of walking in remote areas can go a long way towards clearing your mind. Before you know, you’ll soon start meditating as you walk, and you’ll have the benefit of nature all around you while you do. Note that this won’t work as well if you’re listening to music as you go. So, leave the headphones at home and see where your mind takes you when left to its own devices.
It doesn’t matter whether you use these alternatives to adjust to meditation or as a long-term replacement. The point is that every single one can take you that bit closer to those mindful benefits you were aiming for in the first place.