BY CHARLOTTE GRAINGER
If you’ve tried traditional forms of meditation and they just don’t work for you, don’t call it quits just yet. Sitting quietly isn’t the only way to get the mental break you need (and deserve). Here are five alternative ways to calm your mind.
1. Zen Coloring
Zen coloring focuses your mind and creates something beautiful along the way. Similar to art therapy, Zen coloring is based on the idea that you can restore yourself and your energy through a creative, repetitive, and entrancing task. So, break out those crayons and invest in a coloring book, or try a coloring app you can take on the go.
2. Hatha Yoga
This holistic branch of yoga is all about a 360-degree approach to wellness. It combines a workout, eating right, and stretching with an emphasis on being kind to your mind. Thinking about taking up a practice? Yoga has been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression, according to a recent Boston University Medical Center study. Go for it!
3. Daily Mindfulness
Much of the time, we go about our everyday tasks on autopilot, barely noticing what we’re doing. Mindfulness is the exact opposite; it’s the practice of sustaining an enhanced state of awareness. While that may sound daunting, start small by taking 10 minutes out of your day to assess how you’re doing and what’s going on in your head.
Ladies, listen up! A recent study by Brown University found that more women experienced dramatic lifestyle changes, including new-found senses of self-compassion and self-acceptance, when they started mindful meditation, compared to men.
4. The Flow Technique
Flow describes the moment in which you’re so utterly immersed in the task at hand that you barely notice the world around you. Many creative people experience this blissful, calm feeling when they’re actively engaged in a project, but you can harness its power at any point during the day.
To get in the flow, keep distractions to a minimum, and give 100% of your attention to your activity, anything from cleaning to writing a poem. Switch everything off (yes, including your cell phone) and allow yourself to be completely absorbed in it.
5. Serene Singing
Whether you’ve got the voice of an angel or otherwise, singing can be an effective way to recharge your mental batteries. In 2013, the British Psychological Society discovered that in addition to bringing about a feeling of happiness, singing can be beneficial to your psychological well-being. So, sing like nobody’s listening in the shower or on your daily commute and feel that stress melt away.