Starting a meditation practice can be hard. Nobody “finds enlightenment” after the first few attempts, so its easy to get discouraged. Nevertheless, the practice has so many benefits it’s worth finding something that fits your style. Here’s a few options for those tortured with sitting still…
Walk In Nature: A change in scenery can do wonders for rerouting the dialogue in your head. This is an opportunity to tune into your surroundings, your body’s signals, and your breath. Being around water, sunlight, and plant life has a way of calming the subconscious. Take pause to notice little things about how you feel and what you see, then calmly bring your attention back to your steps. A large part of meditation is the practice of noticing the distractions, then returning to your intended silence.
Yoga / Tai Chi / Qigong: These ancient movement practices are intimately linked with the breath and finding the quiet space in your mind. Physical and emotional awareness become heightened with time as your practice develops. The gentle rhythm of the sequences provides a calming balance of your inner energies. There are forms of yoga currently geared towards exercise, yet most still revolve around finding your silence and connecting with your body. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong are practices that age extremely well and hold great benefit for those that choose to embrace them.
Journaling: Just grab a pen and write! If you’ve never tried it before, you should. Freely express all of the crazy thoughts, negative emotions, and exciting ideas that you have. Write down what you’re thankful for or angry about. This is a wonderful form of self therapy, giving you an opportunity to problem solve, release, plan, or simply vent. Similar to meditation, you don’t need to “solve” anything. Perfection is not the goal. Free writing allows you to move through thoughts and find the gaps of silence in between them. Try to use pen and paper if you can, we get enough screen time as it is!