In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about meditation. Words like “mindful” and “calm” have become the aspirations of many, but in reality, how easy is it to achieve? It depends on the person, so we won’t bore you with a rationale on why meditation is important. Instead, let’s try to brainstorm new ways to build calm into your day without meditating:
Get Comfortable with your Thoughts
Allow yourself to think rather than try to control them. Controlling them is pretty unlikely anyway. That would be like trying to change the way your eyes look or how long your legs are. The aim is to observe them without judgment. You can’t manipulate the natural thought process that exists in your mind. Instead, remind yourself that they are just thoughts. They aren’t necessarily true. A negative thought has the same weight as a positive one because all thoughts are ideas floating around. So just let it be!
Live by a Mantra
Have you ever heard a quote or proverb that really stuck with you? Try to apply it to your life. Perhaps it is, “Change is the only constant” or maybe it’s something like, “You are not your thoughts.” Whatever it is that helps you connect with yourself and the present moment! In the same way, we can apply a mantra to our day-to-day life. Choose something that resonates with you such as, ‘Today is going to be a good day!’ or ‘I will treat myself with kindness and compassion.
Breathe Without Trying
In meditation, we are taught to connect with the breath. Oftentimes, this leads us to breathing exercises, like counting or holding our breath. Instead of that, try to just listen to your own breath or silently observe it. There’s no pressure here, just breathe and observe.
Gratitude is another practice that has been on the rise in recent years, and it’s an easy one to do! At some point in your day, take some time to think about the things you’re grateful for. Some days may have a longer list than others, but you will always find at least one thing!
It’s incredible how far a simple smile will go. It helps us connect to a moment of gratitude — even more, it helps us connect to a moment.
Go for a Walk
Walks help us clear the mind and get a change of scenery. In a way, it’s a form of meditation. Try to turn off the music and put your phone away while you escape into nature for a bit and enjoy the zeal of moving your body. Our bodies are powerful and deserve to be used.
You may want to set aside a specific time to work out. This is a good challenge because it requires planning but it also gives us something to look forward to, which creates a future context for change. If you’re new to the idea of working out, start with something simple like walking to work or just taking a few laps around the block. As you get more comfortable with working out, try adding weights. Don’t feel like you have to over-exert yourself. The most important thing is that you do something to notice the ways your body feels throughout the day.
Reading can give us a perspective on life that we may not have seen before. It can even help us connect to the moment. After all, we are taking time to read these words right now, aren’t we?
Smell Something Fragrant
We all know that aromatherapy is a great way to feel calm and collected. Light some incense or grab some essential oils and get ready for a mini spa treatment!
Talk to a Friend
If you know someone or feel like talking to a stranger, do it! We often forget the importance of connecting with others, but it’s vital for our well-being. Share a story or just a smile.
In addition to these tips, remember that you deserve to be calm and collected. You can be kind to yourself if you have a bad day or if you didn’t realize your potential for a few hours yesterday. You can be grateful for your body and the fact that you are here right now. After all, “the only constant is change,” and that’s a pretty good thing.