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9 Meditation Alternatives For People Who Can’t Sit Still

Girl sits and meditates in hut in the sun for wellness in alternative meditation
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I, like many others, find sit-down meditation pretty hard. I practice regularly, knowing that it takes practice, and when I do manage to find a sweet spot, I can vouch for the results. But sometimes I can find a better sense of peace through other means. So, let’s talk about meditation alternatives.

“The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.” – David Lynch

What is meditation really?

When you strip meditation back, it’s about creating a connection between your soul, your mind and your body. Often we’re all in our head, trying to figure our way through the day, so that we forget our soul and our body. The connection meditation brings helps us to train to bring that awareness out more often.

If you’re not very spiritual, it can be easier to picture ‘the mind’ as the logical, thinking, rational part of your brain and ‘the soul’ as the feeling, desiring part. You soul calls for something and tells you the intricacies of yourself, your mind translates them into the real world through thoughts and actions, that your body carries out.

But you needn’t sit crossed legged and ‘Om’. Although it’s a great way of meditating and I recommend practising it alongside my next few suggestions. But it’s not the only way.

Meditation alternatives:

Dancing

Dance is the hidden language of the soul” – Martha Graham. It’s always said that dancing allows you to lose yourself in the music and that’s the same result meditation’s trying to achieve. Listening to how your body wants to move, and being influenced by interests of the soul, rather than the mind, is meditation.

But of course, this requires you to withhold from giving into the mind, so the idea of ‘dancing like nobody’s watching’ comes into play. You need to be completely aborbed in the music and in your movement. Lose yourself in a crowd at a gig or shut your blinds and dance around your room.

Yoga

Yoga works with the same idea as dance. In many ways, it’s a meditative dance. Yoga simply implies movement whilst concentrating on the breath. So move in whichever (safe) ways feel fit, and concentrate on inhaling and outhaling inline with how you’re moving. Again, music can be helpful here to lose yourself in.

Tai Chi is a great practice that you can incorporate into your yoga. Often referred to as ‘meditation in motion’, the slow moves help to practice balance and strength as well as meditative benefits.

Music

You probably listen to music most days, in the shower, whilst you’re walking, whilst you’re working. But when was the last time you really listened to the music? Or played music? Giving it your full attention, whether you’re playing or listening, will allow you to slow down, concentrate and lose yourself.

Art

If music counts then so does art. You might be sensing a theme here, but I’m essentially saying that anything you get lost in is, by nature, meditative, if you’re really in it. Colour, too, can be an excellent stimulant and translation of feeling. Art is expressive and if you’re really into it, you might find parts of yourself open up, letting the creativity out and allowing you insight in. So, even if it’s doodles and colouring, bring out your arty side.

Exercise

This, for me, is one of the easiest ones. I find strength or HIIT training to be my best for being meditative. I don’t think about anything but being when I’m doing it. I’m completely lost to movement and music. Before I was really into meditation, I’d sometimes emerge from the gym feeling so content and peaceful and I never once realised that I’d given the workout my full attention and that that was meditative. Now, I can appreciate it fully and it’s a blessing.

Walking

If you’re not up for exercising, walking can be just as beneficial. Of course, this isn’t something you can do with your eyes shut, so walk somewhere interesting. Appreciate the quiet of nature or pop on your headphones and soak up the city. Either way, quietly observing the world around you is an act of meditation and a darn good one too.

This one’s also great because it’s pretty likely that you’ll find yourself walking a few times everyday anyway. So even just using one of those walks to meditate is an easy way to fit it into your day.

Cleaning

I must be joking, right? Cleaning and peaceful relaxation in the same act? Yes. This one hit me much the same as the exercising – I realised that when I clean, I’m entirely present. I hum without noticing, I enjoy and concentrate on what I’m doing, I move and feel. But I didn’t have judgement or conflict or an ongoing internal monologue. It’s one of the best meditation alternatives. Especially if you’re like me and you like being productive or if you’re trying to fit meditation into a busy day.

Guided meditation

This is a great entry level to meditation. It can be strange, sitting down for the first time in silence and not knowing exactly what it is you’re meant to be doing (the answer, unhelpfully, is that you’re not meant to be doing anything). But, with a guided meditation, you’re not alone. I’m sure you’ve heard of great apps like Calm and Headspace, they have a wide range of meditations – some of which you can access for free.

You can also attend guided meditations in-person. Although I can’t personally vouch for these sessions, I’ve known people to have fantastic experiences at group meditations. Normally one trained speaker will lead the meditation and in some spaces, lights and music will accompany to compliment the experience. Definitely on my list of things to try.

Just breathe

I know, I promised a list of meditation alternatives! But I do think sometimes meditation comes wrapped up in so many layers that just stripping it back to the basics can reveal a new option entirely. So, wherever you are, just breathe. And concentrate on that breathing. When your mind slips and thinks of something else, bring it back to your breathing. You’ll get better with time, that’s the point.

Hopefully this will help you be a little more peaceful everyday.
Love, Ella-Rose xx

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2 COMMENTS

  • Pedde

    You could definitely see your expertise in the article you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.|

    • Ella
      AUTHOR

      Thank you for such kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed reading, thanks so much for commenting and visiting 🙂

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