March 22, 2022
Events | Mental Health
For many of us, the thought of sitting alone with our thoughts and having to be still for more than 5 minutes doesn’t sound too appealing. Sure, we’ve all heard that there are benefits to meditation and mindfulness practices, but who has the time and the patience? There are better ways to decompress, like watching Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through social media… right?
What if we told you there were ways to practice meditation that don’t look like that of an experienced yogi? If the mold you think you should fit into isn’t working for you, find what does. Believe it or not, you can be meditative during your everyday tasks or hobbies. Have you ever attended a workout class, listened to your favorite artist, participated in a workshop, or even just taken a shower – and felt that clarity, bliss and sense of comfort afterwards? Congratulations, you’re already a pro at meditation! If it’s helping you relax, clear your mind, and evade distraction, then you’re on the right track. Ultimately, meditation is whatever you want it to be and however it works for you. BUT – like many things in life, to get the most out of it, you need to be intentional and practice. If you need some help, or ideas – that’s where we come in. 😉
Whether it’s taking a walk, or attending one of our mindfulness classes at the beautiful Cheekwood Estates, being outside is a great way to practice meditation. During a traditional meditation practice, although you’re to sit criss-cross-apple-sauce and remain still, you’re also welcome to observe your surroundings and take in the present moment rather than dwelling on your thoughts. You can do this on a hike or while swimming outside too! Being outside is a great way to be mindful of the beauty around you, while also getting some much-needed vitamin D and fresh air. Give it a try yourself!
As you can probably guess, a cluttered mind can be directly tied to a cluttered environment. If you look around at your bedroom and realize clothes and dishes have been piling up without you noticing, you’re likely going through life on autopilot rather than approaching it mindfully. It may seem difficult to start viewing laundry day as self-care and time to yourself rather than a chore, but your body and mind will thank you for it.
TAKE A SHOWER
We know what you’re thinking: how is something as simple as bathing a form of meditation? It’s kind of like the cleaning thing. Any mundane task can free up your mind just enough to be meditative. Next time you’re in the shower, try tuning into your senses — noticing the smells of your shampoo or how it feels to scrub your skin. Be gentle with your body and give your mind a break from everything else.
I’m sure your mind immediately went to yoga, and we don’t blame you. Meditation is basically built into the practice, so yes, yoga is a great option, but it’s not the only one! Any form of exercise requires you to focus on your breath and be present, or otherwise risk falling, pulling a muscle, you get the idea. Not to mention the endorphins aren’t a bad way to forget what’s stressing you out on the day-to-day!
We can’t all be Picasso or Shakespeare, but that shouldn’t stop us from getting creative! It’s the same idea of busying your hands and the technical part of your brain with an activity that frees up the rest of your mind for mindful thoughts. Tune into what you’re creating and spend some quality time with yourself. You could try coloring, playing an instrument, or writing in a journal. The possibilities are endless, and who knows? You might be proud of what you come up with.
Is meditation feeling any less intimidating yet? Good! That’s the goal. There are so many ways to practice being mindful — so many that you’re probably already doing, but just didn’t realize could be made into a meditative practice! Join us for Meditation off the Mat to discover the purpose of meditation and learn how to connect with the nature of it. This workshop will give you tools that you can use to immediately improve your overall mindfulness and reduce your stress response. Say “so long” to meditation frustration, and “hello” to feeling grounded in the present moment.
Are you ready to make meditation a habit, no matter what that looks like, and start reaping the many benefits: better sleep, increasing self-awareness, chronic pain, anxiety and stress management skills, and more? You got this!