Did you know there are other activities that could achieve the same benefits as meditation?
Art by Saii Shah | Photo by Wallance Chuck/Pexels
We’ve been preaching about the benefits of meditation for a while now but we also understand that it may not be for everyone. For some, it takes more than mindfulness techniques to cultivate a calmer mind. But research suggests there are other activities that could achieve the same benefits. Here are some alternatives you could consider:
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. They also found that anticipating your favorite song gives another dopamine boost.
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 manage stress in a healthy way, clarify thoughts and feelings, and solve problems more effectively. One way to journal is to treat it like a diary in which you talk about your feelings at the moment.
Go for a walk outside
Walking was found to be one of the best exercises for mental health because it eases mental fatigue, transports you to another world, and improves memory function and brain coordination. An article published on Outside Online points out that walking in nature could be science’s newest drug-free medicine. Exposing yourself to nature has restorative effects (relaxation, calm, and revitalization) that could reduce stress, anger, and hostility
Laugh out loud literally
According to a Loma Linda University health study, laughter stimulates brain waves called gamma waves similar to what occurs during meditation. Joyful 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 online, chatting with friends or listening to your favorite comedian, find ways to make yourself laugh out loud—literally.