Great Alternatives to Meditation
Did you know that September the 21st is National Peace Day? With such an auspicious occasion right around the corner, you might be jostling to find something peaceful or relaxing to do to be part of the movement. Meditation is the obvious choice – but we all know that meditation is not for everyone. In fact, even playing some online pokies with a peaceful theme at River Belle counts as meditation in our eyes!
It’s no secret that sitting still in one place is enough to drive some people crazy, but luckily there are some great alternatives to bring peace and tranquillity back into your life. If you’re active you could take a walk or swim in nature, and creative folks can unleash their talents by colouring in or creating a beautiful piece of art. Take a look at our top alternatives below, and have a wonderful National Peace Day.
1. Listen to Calming Music
Listening to calming music is a science-backed way to get into the flow and maintain a peaceful state of mind. Even Tibetan monks use specific sounds and repeated mantras to help them achieve a still mind during their meditation sessions.
Binaural beats can be found widely on YouTube and other parts of the Internet, and stimulate your brain using a variety of binaural waves that promote calmness, sleep, focus and more. This makes binaural beats a great choice, but even listening to some chilled-out tunes of your choice will do the trick. If you want to go all out, you can even get yourself a Tibetan singing bowl and listen to its gentle sounds to calm your mind.
2. Walking In Nature
Nature is king when it comes to peace and relaxation. The fractals found in nature are extremely calming to our brains, and the sounds of birds, insects, running water and the wind through the trees can definitely help to restore your well-being. Take a walk in nature or go for a hike on September 21. You might also find it easier to meditate in a quiet natural corner than in a bustling office or your home!
3. Get Active
Physical activity is one of the best ways you can improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Exercise helps your brain to produce endorphins, which keep it working optimally and fend off anxiety and depression. Keeping your body in good shape can also help to reduce inflammation, keep your hormones balanced, and help you achieve an overall healthier state of mind.
These effects are amplified even further when you are active in nature thanks to the fresh air and tranquil environment around you! Try low-impact exercises like swimming, hiking, surfing and dancing for the most benefit with the least physical strain.
4. Tai Chi
Tai Chi practitioners often refer to Tai Chi as ‘movement meditation’, and that is exactly what it is. Studies have shown that people of all ages who indulge in the practice regularly have enjoyed increased brain volume, better verbal fluency and learning capabilities, and even lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.
Seniors have even shown improvements in their dementia scores when practising Tai Chi, so you should definitely incorporate it into your National Peace Day routine.
Yoga is extremely beneficial for your body, and it has also been proven to do some wonderful things for the mind. Research shows that those who practice yoga regularly have reduced stress responses in their brains, enjoy better memory and coordination, and experience improved sleep and relaxation thanks to increased levels of dopamine and GABA. Yoga is so powerful that it has even been used as a tool for healing trauma in people of all ages. Don’t forget to celebrate World Yoga Day on June 21 as well…
Sex brings your mind into the present moment, making it somewhat similar to traditional meditation. Instead of worrying about how you look, whether you are messing up somehow or what your partner would like you to do, make an effort to lose yourself in the moment and you will find peace in no time. Remember, worrying takes your mind out of the present and into the past or the future, so don’t worry. Just have fun!
Carl Jung was the first psychologist to have his patients draw and colour intricate mandala patterns, and since then, the practice has stuck. Adult colouring books are all the rage, and many swear that colouring in helps them to keep calm and focus while enjoying themselves simultaneously. The top-selling book on Amazon is an adult colouring book to prove this point.
Grab your colouring-in gear on National Peace Day and create something beautiful for the world to see. You could even host a group colouring event for your friends and colleagues who battle with traditional meditation too.