How to Meditate When You Can't. Sit. Still.
Ah, Meditation. It reaps more benefits than your daily green smoothie, yet you can’t seem to sit still to enrich your life them.
Though, you do REALLY want to love it. You want to love it like you pretend to love plank pose. You feel strong during it while remaining calm and steady, but you also shake, kind of hate it and are counting down the seconds until you can lower down to your belly.
Meditation lowers your stress hormone, cortisol, that nasty thing known for causing belly fat. This hormone strikes when your body is in fight or flight mode. Fight or flight mode was created for our cave brothers and sisters to protect themselves and increase their adrenaline hormone when being chased by a wild animal. We produce this hormone for other reasons these days, like stressful emails from our boss, and since we aren’t running it off like said cave brothers and sisters, it piles up in our stomachs.
Meditation will help us relieve ourselves of this consistent fight or flight response. But, I can’t sit still- you may be thinking. And that’s OK.
You can choose to meditate without sitting still at all, it’s called a state of flow. It’s an active practice that creates what we’re all trying to achieve now a days, living in the present moment.
Flow is any time where you aren’t tempted to check your instagram, you aren’t distracted by your thoughts (or at least very limited distraction of thoughts), and you are truly present.
For some, a state of flow might be obtained in a Barre class. For others, it might be obtained while they use an Adult Coloring Book, or when they cook their meal. I’d suggest finding flow by searching for what you truly love to do, exercise is a great outlet because you get the added benefits of endorphins (Happy people just don’t secrete cortisol).
If you struggle to find your state of flow, try writing in a journal, or picking up an adult coloring book, and see if it’s your thing. I would suggest avoiding TV shows as a state of flow, even if it does draw you in.
Still really want to do it the old fashioned way? You can make sitting on that cushion work.
You may want to perform a yoga sequence before trying to sit in silence, if you go from your busy day to day life to sitting down and expecting your thoughts to magically clear, you may be in trouble. Yoga was actually created as a way to prepare the body for meditation.
If you still find your thoughts rambling through your head, as they pass through your mind, say to yourself “Thinking.” and return back to a clear head. You may find yourself repeating “Thinking” the entire process at first, but as the thoughts come across, picture them like clouds, and do not become attached to them, as time progresses they will lessen.
Another way to get excited about the meditation area, is to actually purchase a cushion, make it comfy, even cute too. It’s also an added bonus to purchase essential oils to get you in the calm state of mind.
No matter if you choose an active meditation practice, or a traditional one, you can expect to get a better handle on your day to day life. As your practice continues, slowly increasing in time as you go on, you will reap the benefits of decreased cortisol, increased awareness and a better ability to thrive in your day to day life.