INSTEAD OF MEDITATION - Chelf
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INSTEAD OF MEDITATION

INSTEAD OF MEDITATION

Doers and Go-Getters

What would be your real-time worst nightmare? Thinking about “right now” not the vast future, that is. For me that would be stillness. Doing nothing. Indolent inactivity for whatever reasons. Waiting in vain lines, doing the last 3 minutes of a yoga class :


For people like me meditation does not work, and I have tried all the apps too, which just gave me a different conception of anxiety. Not cool, not cool at all. So, instead of whining and crying about how meditation doesn’t work, how about we reformulate the concept to fit the personality of  doers and go-getters? Here are a few active ways to get into that mindful state of being present in the moment without having to stand still and start wondering whether you’ve fed the cat when you don’t even have a cat…

Run

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Exercise is the most natural and effective way to improve cognitive function and get a serotonin boost at the same time while working on those glutes as well. It’s a win-win situation for body and mind and everyone is happy, or at least the same-level-happy but with better glutes and uncluttered mind. I run a lot and I make the most of it. Listening to new music, albums sent to me for reviews, I let my mind wander and brainstorm ideas about upcoming projects. I do my lists or go through the ones I have already put together and prioritize accordingly. Then it’s all about the runner’s high, everything feels better and you get the ultimate reward for running that extra mile and not giving up. Much, much better that meditation.

PUZZLES

I used to think that games are a waste of time. Why play when you can use that time to work, work, work I heard a little devilish voice whisper sweet nothings to me…

And then I overworked myself to sleep, I woke up tired and tried to make up for it with more unfruitful hours of work, work, work…

The minute I allowed myself to take a break and unwind, my productivity levels skyrocketed and with a little help from my soy latte I made it through yet another hectic yet delightful day. That enlightenment came to me when I discovered these  free online puzzles. In the midst of impossible deadlines and sleepless nights, when there was no time to take a full day off or stay still to meditate, I divided the day in working sections and in between I just assembled puzzles. And it worked. It cleared my mind, improved my focus, and provided a refuge, a safe place without me having to leave my desk. While I was sorting my puzzle pieces into color groups and finding the edge pieces I subconsciously went on a creativity journey hence returning to work with fresh ideas and the right go-getter attitude. This specific game site that I take shelter in whenever I feel the need to unwind, gives you a new puzzle every single day while changing up the themes to keep things interesting, lets you choose from a variety of sizes from 9 to 225 pieces,large or small-your call, and keeps track of your time so it motivates you to focus on your speed.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Do a puzzle.

NON-JUDGEMENTAL AWARENESS

I distinctly remember the day I stumbled upon an article about non-judgmental awareness. I was fascinated with the concept. We are biologically programmed to judge everything and everyone around us and that acts as a defending mechanism against all sorts of danger. Natural like breathing but I never took the time to consciously think about it. In nature that kind of judgement may save us from a pack of wolves or a poisonous handful of blueberries but in our urban environment it’s basically a mental prison. They say it takes years of meditation to be able to learn how to release judgement and frankly my dear who has the time or energy for that? What I do is every now and then while I’m performing an everyday thing like doing the dishes, or waiting in line at the post office, I try to play that game of approaching each situation and everyone around me in that specific room without judgement. Think of it as closing the shutters to all biased perceptions. It’s fun, it’s refreshing and a useful form of alternative meditation.

THAT THING YOU ENJOY DOING

For me it’s cooking. You may think I’m nuts (correct you are) but I prefer cooking than eating. I find it soothing and productive and the best cure for a craving as well.

You cook, you eat. You can’t eat the outcome of your traditional meditation, now, can you?

If cooking is not your thing, I’m sure you have a thing whatever that is, go do it, indulge in the moment, remove all sorts of distraction and decompress with your creative outlet.

44 Comments
  • Joleisa
    Posted at 12:05h, 03 June Reply

    I also love these ideas because meditation does nothing for me. I also think it puts my brain in overdrive and heightens my anxiety. I’ll go back to my puzzles, cooking, walking and crocheting. Thanks for this Chelf

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 09:59h, 04 June Reply

      Hey gorgeous! I’m with you on this one! Active meditation it is!

  • Viktor
    Posted at 19:14h, 03 June Reply

    A very interesting point view, overall, although I was never intimidated by “nothing” or absolute stillness.I’ve never tried meditation but I can recall many times, especially in my childhood, when I was actually super active, I was getting lost in moments of absolute stillness, in something like an experience of the “void”.Sometimes, doing nothing is fun! 😛

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 09:55h, 04 June Reply

      If only I could do that! My zen level is doing photoshop or puzzles. I can’t even watch TV anymore!Good for you Viktor!

      • Viktor
        Posted at 18:36h, 04 June Reply

        Cheers, looking forward to your future articles!

  • Trace
    Posted at 14:16h, 04 June Reply

    A very interesting article! I used to love meditation but life somehow distracted me from it. I totally agree with you about running. I run regularly and find it very therapeutic–especially when listening to music I love. Thanks for the post!

    Trace x | https://thefashioncollector.com/

  • Lois Alter Mark
    Posted at 22:51h, 04 June Reply

    I love this! I have never been able to meditate – when I sit there, I end up writing blog posts in my head. I’m so with you – many of these activities serve the same purpose but are so much more practical for me! I feel so much better after reading this!

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 23:09h, 04 June Reply

    I have never considered that meditation may not be the best for everyone. So many people recommend it. It is good to know there are other options for those who like to do or be on the move.

  • Joline
    Posted at 23:13h, 04 June Reply

    It would be baking for me. It relaxes me and seeing a cake or a dozen cupcakes that I just frosted makes me happy! Of course the sugar rush that follows helps too 🙂

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 17:03h, 05 June Reply

      ahahah amen for that sugar rush girl!

  • Kristi McAllister
    Posted at 00:23h, 05 June Reply

    I’m one of those people who can’t do meditation in the traditional form either. I always feel scattered, no matter what I’m doing. I really do love jigsaw puzzles, but my biggest form of meditation is coloring. I have more adult coloring books and pens than I know what to do with. My friend Rob says I totally need an intervention LOL! Great post for those of us who just can’t hack it!

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 17:02h, 05 June Reply

      Haha tell Rob to go do a puzzle and get back to us 😉

  • Melanie
    Posted at 01:04h, 05 June Reply

    I loved reading this!! I am totally with you on the puzzles, they help me focus and rethink x

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 17:00h, 05 June Reply

      I’m honestly getting addicted to those puzzles!

  • jillian
    Posted at 01:29h, 05 June Reply

    Puzzles are awesome. Ive been wanting to do something like this for awhile. I color a lot, sketch mostly to help with relaxing. Thank you for this post. 🙂

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 17:00h, 05 June Reply

      They are amazing indeed! Sketching too!

  • Wendy Lemeric
    Posted at 02:14h, 05 June Reply

    Love your ideas and I love your blog, overall. Personally, I would rather have that quiet moment doing nothing. I’m constantly on the go, constantly needed by my family so yeah, I would appreciate that alone time of nothingness.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 16:59h, 05 June Reply

      Hey Wendy! That’s exactly my point! That each and everyone of us needs to learn what works for them and go for it no matter what society or social trends tell us!

  • Sandra
    Posted at 03:00h, 05 June Reply

    Love this! I hate meditating. I hate people telling me to meditate. My equivalent is cleaning or sleeping. or making a to do list!

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 16:52h, 05 June Reply

      I’ve found my other half! Where have you been all this time 😉

  • CurvyLogic
    Posted at 03:37h, 05 June Reply

    Non judgemental awareness is something I attempt to practice as well in my spiritual journey. Thank you for exposing others to it, hope you continue to educate more!

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 16:53h, 05 June Reply

      It’s an amazing concept isnt it? The more I try to apply it to my everyday life the more I enjoy the journey!

  • Nadalie
    Posted at 05:43h, 05 June Reply

    Yes yes for the thing you love doing! It is the BEST way to put your mental health forward. Seriously love this post! Mediation isn’t for everyone and isn’t the be all and end all answer for everything. Do what gives you peace.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 16:50h, 05 June Reply

      Exactly! We have to reformulate each concept and see what works for us! Good to see you on the Chelfdom Nad!

  • Vy Nguyen
    Posted at 12:14h, 05 June Reply

    Yup. I do not enjoy sitting for a long period of time. I love exercising and running. It makes me feel more energetic.

  • Angela Tolsma
    Posted at 12:16h, 05 June Reply

    It’s taking years for me to realizing that my mediation looks different from everyone else’s. I don’t calm my mind, I generally allow it to race for those three minutes in Savasana and then at the end I let it all go and am more peaceful afterwards because I allowed the anxiety it’s time. However whenever I need space away puzzle games on my phone are a big thing for me, typically I stick to Sudoku because it’s easy and can be quick.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 16:48h, 05 June Reply

      I have never thought of this approach when it comes to savasana! Sounds intriguing! See, now this is exactly why I love you guys, you always give me so much food for thought!

  • Natasha
    Posted at 14:35h, 05 June Reply

    I’ve been increasing my run times…more so because it’s almost summer but the mental benefits are just amazing. I love how it mades me feel and it’s all natural for the body.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 16:45h, 05 June Reply

      Absloutely! It works as a therapy doesn’t it?

  • Hannah
    Posted at 15:11h, 05 June Reply

    This was eye opening! Thank you for sharing these ideas.

  • Liz Cleland
    Posted at 15:51h, 05 June Reply

    I love to cook, take a hot bath or read. Especially, when I think the over whelming emotions become too much for me!!

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 16:44h, 05 June Reply

      I can relate to that! Racing thoughts and anxiety will def hit me if I hold still!

  • Shilpa Bindlish
    Posted at 16:40h, 05 June Reply

    Got to read about a different yet practical point of view. I agree that meditation might not work for everyone.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 16:57h, 05 June Reply

    My mind is way to busy for meditation! these alternatives are awesome!

  • Holly
    Posted at 17:05h, 05 June Reply

    These are great suggestions. I love finding new ways to relax. I am going to try some of these for sure.

  • Rachel
    Posted at 18:42h, 05 June Reply

    I like knitting as a way to relax. It is repetitive movement and does take some mind power and focus. I find it to be very relaxing at the end of the day.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 11:29h, 06 June Reply

      Hey Rachel! Knitting sounds amazing, I wish I could knit!

  • sarah camille
    Posted at 20:24h, 05 June Reply

    I love puzzles but hadn’t ever thought of them as an alternate to meditation. It makes a lot of sense though. Totally want to break one out right now!

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 11:30h, 06 June Reply

      Let’s go do one!

  • Fatima Torres
    Posted at 22:45h, 05 June Reply

    Puzzles really do come in handy. I always recommend it to family and friends. It keeps their mind active.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 11:26h, 06 June Reply

      I could not agree more Fatima!

  • sonali jain
    Posted at 08:41h, 06 June Reply

    Everything in this world is not for everyone, and we all have to accept that. i love meditation but you have made interesting options for that. running would be awesome for me as i love running too. Interesting article.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr
      Posted at 11:25h, 06 June Reply

      It’s all about finding what really works for you. If that’s the traditonal type of meditation that’s brilliant! If not, then also brilliant ’cause we’ll find an alternative that will work 😉

  • Taylor Aube
    Posted at 17:25h, 11 June Reply

    I find puzzles to be very relaxing and challenging. They are such a fun activity while exercising different patterns in the brain. Loved this post!

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