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7 Mindfulness Tools for the Fidgety Meditator

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Have you ever struggled to meditate consistently? Do you envy those with a seemingly effortless daily practice and wonder how they make it work? What I’m about to say might shock you, but meditation isn’t for everyone. If you love seated meditation, fantastic! Skip straight to the below mindfulness tools.

If sitting cross-legged on a meditation cushion just isn’t working for you (whether your legs cramp or your mind won’t stop spinning), you have not failed. There are dozens of ways to practice mindfulness. Seated meditation is just one way, and for some of us it’s difficult and not enjoyable. Traditional seated meditation was practiced by monks who meditated many hours each day, repeatedly for months to years. It wasn’t created for the modern human, with work, family, hobbies, and other responsibilities that contribute to stress or racing thoughts.

Finding the right (enjoyable) meditation practice for your unique life is the key to stepping up your mindfulness game. Below are just a few options for practicing mindfulness without getting ants in your pants.

7 Mindfulness Tools for the Fidgety Meditator

  1. Shinrin-Yoku: Take a walk through the forest. Studies show spending time with trees in silence/solitude lowers blood pressure and heart rate, decreases sympathetic (fight/flight) activity, and increases parasympathetic (rest & digest) activity.
  2. Restorative yoga: Google these poses – legs up the wall, corpse pose, and constructive rest pose. Spend 10 minutes in a restorative yoga pose. Close your eyes and feel your body melt into the ground. Set a timer if you need to be somewhere, because it’s easy to fall asleep!
  3. Breathwork: Practice 4-7-8 breathing. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds (keep your throat relaxed), then exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this at least 3 times for a quick and easy relaxation technique you can do anywhere. I often practice 4-7-8 breathing while commuting home from work, or in the middle of the day if my stress level is high.
  4. Chanting: Some immediate effects of changing include regulating the breath, balancing relaxation and activation of the nervous system, and reducing limbic system activity resulting in decreased stress response and increased patience and empathy. You can chant any word or phrase that resonates with you. My favorite is “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” the mantra for removing obstacles.
  5. Floatation therapy: If you haven’t tried it yet, flotation therapy is a wonderful mindfulness practice. During flotation therapy, a combination of sensory deprivation and magnesium salts produce a deep sense of relaxation, calm, and peace.
  6. Kundalini yoga: Kundalini yoga, the yoga of awareness, combines meditation, mantra, breathwork, and movement to restore balance to the energetic pathways and chakras in the body. This is powerful stuff, so be sure to seek out a Kundalini certified instructor.
  7. Shake it out: Shaking can help rid nervous energy, and improve circulation and lymphatic flow. Simply stand up, shake your right arm 10 times, left leg 10 times, left arm 10 times, and right leg 10 times. Repeat this same sequence from 9, all the way down to 1. Take three deep breaths after you complete the sequence and notice how your body feels.

I hope you enjoyed these mindfulness tips. Remember, health is a journey. It’s not the destination that matters, but our experience along the way!

With Gratitude,

Christina

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