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Meditation is an important part of my life but recently I have been struggling with traditional meditation. So I started switching to the alternative methods and I want to share 8 ways to practice meditation that work as good as regular meditation.
Why practice meditation?
Meditation has a lot of benefits. Relieving stress, disconnecting from the day-to-day hustle, staying grounded, being more present and happy – this is only a fraction of what meditation can do. From my personal experience, meditation brings me to a happier and calmer place and after meditating I feel inspired, energized and present.
There are many ways to practice meditation and it is up to you if you want to go traditional or alternative way. I suggest trying both and choosing what works best for you.
Why alternative ways of meditation?
In the self-help community, there are a lot of suggestions to meditate to feel better. You can find multiple tips on how to do it and apps that can ease the process. However, I barely see people talking about alternatives to replace a traditional way of meditation. Not everyone can and wants to just sit in silence or listen to music or guided meditations. We are all different therefore need various tools even if we strive to achieve the same goal.
If you ever tried to meditate and just couldn’t sit through it, couldn’t focus, fell asleep, or just found it boring this list is for you.
8 ways to practice meditation
If you can’t find any of the suggestions appealing to you, ask yourself what brings you joy and calms you down at the same time? That will be your alternative way to meditate.
I know it is the complete opposite of what we think meditation should be. But if you turn on your favorite songs and just dance freely for 15 minutes without shame and thinking, you will feel so much better and happier. Believe me. Plus it is a very nice workout.
2| Make art
Making art, doodling, crafting, drawing, painting – all of these things can bring you to a meditative state of mind. The secret to doing so is to do it without thinking and judgment. So what if you’re not an artist? Just take some pencils and pens, and start drawing. Block 10-15 minutes and see how you feel afterward.
Something so routine can be also so calming. I will be honest, I don’t “meditate” every time I cook. I don’t like cooking and it’s rather stressful for me. BUT when I make my favorite comfy foods, a salad or a lazy sushi bowl, this is when I enter the meditative state of mind. I’ve done these things multiple times and I feel confident and relaxed when I cook these dishes. I have also built a certain routine when I do so. I cut everything beautifully, set certain things aside in separate bowls, follow particular steps to arrange everything on the plate and then I decorate my food.
Maybe you love cooking, that’s great and it means you have more opportunities to relax and feel happy.
Water definitely has some healing properties. I love swimming, oceans, rivers, and of course showers and baths. I feel so relaxed and inspired after swimming in the ocean or taking a shower. Prepare some good-smelling scrabs, shower gel, and body wash. If you want to, turn on your favorite songs and imagine that with every drop all your worries, stress, problems just go away!
Usually, I try to visualize what I want from myself, my life, and my environment. I also use affirmations to stay positive and focused. For extra relaxation and fun try cold showers.
5| Walk in the nature
One of my favorite things to do is to be in nature. Sometimes it is hard for me to actually go outside but once I do, I can’t go back inside. Going on a hike or just walking in the park listening to the birds, wind, water, or people and cars far away is magical and extremely calming. After getting back home, I always feel creative and full of life.
Take a bottle of water, a journal, and headphones with you. Sometimes it is not nice to listen to your favorite songs to disconnect even more or to stop for a little break and to write down your thoughts and ideas.
Journaling is probably one of the famous meditation alternatives. When you write down your thoughts, what happened during the day, you may feel lighter and way better. During the process itself, I usually focus on writing whatever comes to my mind. I don’t worry if it looks nice or if it’s written correctly. I just write and try to “zone out” from where I am physically.
I love workouts as the alternative for meditation because during the workout I stay focused on my goal. It’s extremely similar to meditation. When you meditate you also focus on one dot or on the area between your eyes in order to enter the meditative state. Even though workouts are fast-paced and less calm, at the end of the day you will feel more accomplished, less stressed, and happier after a good workout session.
8| Coloring books
I know it is similar to making art but there is something completely unique to actually just color within the lines. You are being focused yet disconnected from reality. I highly recommend choosing a coloring book that will bring you joy, not just mandalas or something spiritual. Recently, I got myself “Coloring Book of Shadows: Season of the Witch: Spells for Samhain and Halloween“. This is something that you will not find in the mindfulness section at the book store but it brings me happiness and relaxation.
9| Bonus tip: Candle meditation
I know, I know. I said 8 alternatives but who doesn’t like some extras and bonuses? I definitely do. Well, if you still prefer to sit down during meditation but don’t want to close your eyes I suggest trying a candle meditation. I have been using this method since I was 16.
All you need to do is to light up a tea or any other candle (in a safe space and if it’s allowed, otherwise use an electric candle), sit down, and start staring at the flame. Focus on the flame, on what it does, and send all your worries, thoughts, issues towards the candle. Picture how all of it just burns in the flame and how you become lighter, happier, full of energy. You can do it for as long as you want but 5 to 10 minutes should be enough.
As you can see all of these suggestions are built on following a certain routine. Meditation is exactly this – a set of steps you need to follow in order to become your higher self. As always, I recommend experimenting and choosing something that works for you.
Let me know if you have other alternatives and what are your favorite meditations.