Did you know there are other activities that could achieve the same benefits as meditation practice?

By Nicole Ganglani | Art by Saii Shah | Photo from Wallance Chuck/Pexels

We’ve been preaching about the benefits of meditation for a while now but we also understand that it’s not for everyone. For some people, it takes more than mindfulness techniques to cultivate a calmer mind. But research suggests that there are other activities that could achieve the same benefits similar to a meditation practice (reduced anxiety, better sleep, more focused and happier mood). Here are some alternatives to meditation: 

Listen to music

Listening to music can both help you pause and process your thoughts. Researchers from McGill University found that emotional music (or any song that gives you chills) releases the same dopamine as meditation. The researchers also found that anticipating your favorite song gives another dopamine boost, so make sure to create a playlist filled with your favorite songs. 

Write down your thoughts

Journaling is another way to break down your thoughts or even attempt to quiet them. Expressive writing has been proven to help you manage stress in a healthy way, clarify your thoughts and feelings and solve problems more effectively. One effective way to journal is to treat it like a diary, where you talk about your feelings at the moment.

Go for a walk outside

Walking was found to be one of the best exercises for your mental health because it eases mental fatigue, transports you to another world and improves memory function and brain coordination. An article published in Outside Online points out that walking in nature could be science’s newest drug-free medicine. When you go out for a walk, you’re exposed to nature, which has restorative effects (relaxation, calm and revitalization) that has found to reduce stress, anger and hostility

Laugh out loud literally 

According to a study published by Loma Linda University, laughter stimulates brain waves called gamma waves similar to what occurs during meditation. Joyful or mirthful laughter can be derived in different ways, which is why it’s best to look for things that make you laugh out loud. Whether that’s watching funny videos on the internet, chatting with your friends or listening to your favorite comedian, find ways to make yourself laugh out loud, literally.