I love meditation! Especially this time of year I need that time to just quiet my brain, or I will lose my cool on someone who doesn’t deserve it. Probably my husband.
But some days meditation can be hard for me. I have Adult ADD and anxiety, which sometimes makes it really hard for me to sit down and quiet my mind. Some days, when I try to practice traditional meditation, I can sit there for as long as I want and my brain isn’t going to reach the quiet. It’s just not happening.
When I find myself in that situation, I often turn to alternative forms of meditation. Some of them you’ve probably heard of before, but I think some of them may surprise you.
I despise walking, and will usually bring my tablet so that I can listen to music or read an e-book while I walk. But if I’m feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated, I’ll walk without it, and just pay attention to my surroundings.
Sometimes I get the best story ideas this way. Sometimes I just clear my head. Either way, I’ve never regretted a quiet walk. As I get older, I find that they do me more and more good. I also do yoga, which is wonderfully therapeutic for my back. But it doesn’t have to be walking. Some people like to run, I have no idea why. Some people swim or do Tai Chi. If you’ve never heard of Tai Chi, it’s basically yoga for people who don’t want to admit to doing yoga.
No huge surprise here, being a writer and all. Freewriting can help with all sorts of things, from anxiety to hard decisions to writers block. If you’re a writer, you should be freewriting daily.
Maybe it’s just me, but putting on my makeup is a very quieting time. I focus on what I’m doing and nothing else. It’s relaxing, unless I mess up my eyeliner.
Not all video games. Some games raise my blood pressure like a gun pressed to my head. But some games are fantastic for meditation. Mah Jong, Tetris, Bejeweled. Anything that takes my hands and just some of my brain will allow me to relax the rest of my brain.
In case you’re wondering, yes this does give you permission to play video games as much as you want.
People actually make gifs to calm you the hell down. I have a whole lot of them on my Pintrest page. I do keep them for when I’m losing my mind a little bit. Some of them have fun characters that say calming things to you. Some of them are mesmerizing. Some of them are intended for you to breathe in time with them, which can help in an anxiety attack.
Bonus- The anchor meditation
Finally, I found this meditation on Pintrest a few weeks ago form a site called NotSalmon. It stopped a couple anxiety attacks for me so far, and I love it for that.
Find five things that you can see.
Find four things that you can touch.
Find three things that you can hear.
Find two things that you can smell.
Find one thing that you can taste.
Don’t just shake your head and say that it’s stupid before you try it. It helps.
What’s your favorite alternative way to meditate? Let us know in the comments below.