Meditation can be a great thing. It can bring a lot of clarity and focus to your life but might not be something you can devote the time to. Luckily there are mindfulness activities that can help bring the same effects.
Meditation has a lot of benefits as it can help lower stress, combat depression, control anxiety, and promote emotional health among many other things. But as mentioned, the prospect of sitting down and staying quiet can seem daunting for some people. Luckily there are mindfulness activities to help achieve the same great meditative states.
If you’ve tried meditation, you know that it’s like any other skill and takes some time to build up the ability. If you’re looking into it it’s best to start small such as 5 minutes before going for longer periods of time. If you are starting with a 20-minute meditation session, it can feel overwhelming and hard to commit to. With meditation, there is a real focus on the breath which bring a lot of the calming effects of it but you’re not restricted to quiet meditation to receive these benefits.
Here are 7 mindfulness activities you can do today.
Walking is such an overlooked form of exercise but it’s also something that helps an induce a meditative state. When it comes to your health, walking is a low impact exercise that will still provide you great cardiovascular benefits. It can be done anytime anywhere and is a great way to clear your head. That aspect is what makes walking a meditative activity.
When you walk you want to focus on the soles of your feet being in contact with the ground. This helps to reduce distracting thoughts and get into that meditative state – as there are many environmental factors all around that can distract you from this.
Also, be aware of your breathing as you walk and concentrate on slow deep breaths through and out of the nose to promote a relaxing, meditative state.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that (at times) cleaning has a therapeutic effect. There’s something about creating cleanliness and order around you that can be beneficial to the mind. I know before any work or writing I have to do I need everything around me clean to focus and be productive. “A cluttered spaced leads to a cluttered mind” and when you clean you want to focus on the repetitive motion of the cleaning to reach that meditative state.
This can be sweeping, mopping, or even just washing the dishes. Be aware of the sounds and the motions that are happening with cleaning to clear your mind and distract from the thoughts that may keep coming in and out of your head.
Moving in time to the rhythm and beat of the music is a great mindfulness activity. This is a great thing for those who have trouble sitting still, and are high energy, but still want to get the benefits of meditation. Music that is around 60 beats per minute is shown help the brain synchronize with the beat. Getting into this steady dancing state can help cause alpha brainwaves which help relax you but make you more conscious.
4. Strength Training
This isn’t about slamming around heavy weights but the focus and concentration that comes from performing repetitions through a set of strength training. When you focus on the control of the weight, the repetitions, the muscles you are working, and your breathing it can eliminate distracting thoughts and create a meditative state. Between sets, if you focus on your breathing you can keep this effect going resulting in strengthening your mind and body.
Anytime you can remove distracting thoughts, and keep your mind calm, you are achieving the meditative effect. Arnold Schwarzenegger always noted how strength training was a mindfulness activity as his mind needed to be “inside the muscle” and focused through the entire workout.
Another one of the classic mindfulness activities that more people should include in their lives. Not only are you making your environment more visually appealing but you can grow trulyorganic and nourishing foods. The act of gardening itself can be very similar to meditation if you focus on what you are doing and the surrounding environment. Gardening has also been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and boost mood.
Another great activity that needs to be embraced more. We spend so much time on our technology and social media that it ends up being a constant scroll of distraction. We do not focus the mind and it becomes hyperactive always looking for a new stimulus. Instead of wasting time on Facebook or Instagram, this can be a good time to focus on a good book.
When you are involved in the story of a good book, it can distract the mind from real-world problems and aggravating thoughts that may pop into it. Reading is a good way to slow down and let yourself be calm.
7. Listening To Music
Music has an amazing ability to calm and relax the body and it may be something you always like to use. A great way to make this more of a mindfulness activity is to listen to music you’ve never heard before. When you listen to favorites, you are too aware of what is happening in the song and it can get repetitive. When you listen to new music, you can come at it from a neutral standpoint and your present awareness is unhindered by the preconception of that music.
Allow yourself to get lost in the song’s journey and focus on all the instruments and vocals. You won’t know where the song is going, and this allows for real mindful listening. This can work great with classical music you are unfamiliar with so put on some headphones and find a quiet, comfortable place
Final Thoughts On Mindfulness
As mentioned, meditation can be great, but it’s not always practical depending on how your day is structured. Luckily with these 7 activities, you can still induce a meditative state at various points throughout the day and achieve the benefits that come from it.