mindfulness techniques that don't involve meditation
Don't fancy plopping down on a cushion for 20 minutes? Here are a few other ways to focus on the present.
You've heard it before: meditation has been shown to help people manage stress, improve creativity and reduce negative or unhelpful emotions. While it can definitely be good for your brain, like any form of exercise, meditation can also be pretty challenging (especially for us fidgety types).
If plopping down and focusing on your breathing for 20 minutes doesn’t float your boat, or you’re keen to work your way up to it, there are still other ways to glean the benefits of mindfulness.
TAKE A WALK Work a little mindfulness into an everyday walk around the block or to the supermarket. You can keep it casual by walking at a leisurely pace and focusing on things you might normally ignore, like the sounds of passing cars or people. Start naming the different colours and shapes you see. Check out Headspace’s guide to meditative walking for a helping hand.
LISTEN TO AN AWESOME TUNE When was the last time you really listened to music instead of popping it on as background noise? A great way to take a three-minute mindfulness break is to give your full attention to your favourite song. What instruments can you hear? What do the lyrics mean? How cool are tambourines?
DO A BORING THING OK, hear us out. The next time you do the dishes, brush your teeth or fold the laundry, try not to let your mind wander to random thoughts about what you did that day or what you’re going to have for dinner. Instead, focus on all the teeny-tiny sensations of the task.
TREAT YOURSELF Give yourself the gift of something you really dig – a favourite snack, a bubble bath, a bunch of lovely flowers or a fancy candle – then savour it, and think about why it makes you feel so damn good.
GIVE THANKS Keep a notebook handy and write down three things each day you’re grateful for. One good tip, according to the experts, is to think about people over things. Setting a daily reminder to give thanks helps, too, though it feels so good to be grateful, you might find yourself doing it more than once a day.
SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THANG Turn up your favourite jam (we suggest a bit of Robyn) and have a mini dance party once a day (at least!). Here’s a handy-guide to mindful dancing, but feel free to just let loose and enjoy.