When someone tells you to meditate, what is the first thing you think of?
Discomfort, monks, sitting in silence and feeling your legs fall asleep slowly
The first thing people say in response to “do you meditate” is “I don’t have time.”
What people don’t realize is that meditation doesn’t have to be the two-hour straight back discomfort of trying to slow down your thoughts and feeling as if you’re failing miserably.
Meditation can be anything that helps you to slow down and feel at peace, lost in timelessness—where time passes and you didn’t even realize it.
Sometimes that includes staring at the stars, going for a run, or walking on the beach.
Maybe the most masterful way of meditating is aligning your spine upright, shoulders down your back, eyes closed and rolled to concentrate on your third eye, palms resting softly on your knees (maybe your fingers form the “gyan” mudra where your index finger and thumb come to touch)…but that’s not the only way to reap the benefits of meditation.
Find out seven more ways to meditate where you don’t have to be an enlightened expert to find bliss!
- Deep Breathing
Just breathing in and out for three counts will slow down your mind and force you to concentrate on your breath rather than whatever rolling thought you have. Try breathing in for three counts, hold for three counts, breathe out for three counts, and hold for three counts. The fight or flight mode running through your body will instantly stop and you’ll begin feeling calm within the minute!
You don’t have to be affiliated with any religion to say a mini prayer. Even just offering gratitude to yourself can help take the weight off your shoulders and move your thoughts from stress or worry to serenity.
This one is a little out there. So, if it’s not for you then just skip over it! But, chanting something multiple times can put you in a literal trance where everything else kind of melts away. Deepak Chopra has some great ones!
Having something that you do everyday and is sacred, solely your own, is amazing for the soul. Maybe you have a nighttime ritual of rubbing lavender oil on your feet and neck. Or, maybe you have a ritual of waking up, brewing some coffee, and just waiting next to the coffee maker for it to finish, smelling the aroma and relaxing till the first cup of the day is in your hand.
This one is classic. Have you heard of runner’s high? That feeling of euphoria. That could definitely be classified as meditating. When you get in stride and nothing exists but your sneakers and your rhythmic breath. Or, if you’re more of a yogi—it’s just you and your mat. Maybe it’s taking a long walk and just seeing the trees and the path beneath your feet. Movement is definitely a “meditation in motion.”
- Viewing Art
Have you ever looked at a piece of artwork and been instantly mesmerized? The present worries of your day fade away and you can’t help but just gaze soundly at the brush strokes, the shading, and the story that it could be telling you. You see the built up paint on the canvas and suddenly ten minutes have gone by without you even realizing it!
- Listening to Music
The lovers of music understand this one. Whether classic, Indie, rap, or rock and roll, the melody of a song can take you out of your physical body and put you on a track of deep contemplation where nothing else exists.
Meditation doesn’t have to be all “om” chanting and sitting in silence for hours, trying to ignore that itch on your elbow and those thoughts in your head. Meditating can be anything that helps you to slow down and put your mind in a different realm.Of course, the most common way to meditate is in that seated position but if that’s not for you, don’t just rule out meditation. Recognize that there is a plethora of ways to fit this into your day-to-day life. Remember that the next time someone asks if you meditate because, chances are, you already do.
Jordan Nicholson graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied innovative coaching methods, over 100 dietary theories, and practical lifestyle management techniques. She also is a certified yoga instructor (200 hr RYT) and has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from University of Iowa.