So, You Want to Relax, Feel Calm More Often, and Be at Peace... But You Don't Want to Meditate?
As someone who helps people improve thier health and wellness for a living, I come across many clients, potential clients, and acquaintences who, when we get to talking, tell me about the stressful parts of their lives.
BUT when I bring up meditation as the solution, they say they’ve tried it and it didn’t work. Some say that they just can’t meditate. Or, they have no interest in it or feel it doesn’t mix with their religion.
They tell me that they really want to just get out of this constant feeling of stress, but just feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. And meditation just isn’t an option for them.
If any of this sounds like you, keep reading. Or if you are an avid meditator, you still might enjoy the solutions I present :-)
What You Don’t Understand About Meditation (and What You’re forgetting about Life)
Meditation takes discipline.
And I'm not saying you aren't disciplined, it's just that when life gets crazy and stress dominates every moment of our lives to the point where every little thing causes us to react with frustration, resistance, or impatience, we no longer have the patience for discipline. (We may even eat poorly when this happens.) We just want the solution now.
When in reality, the solution we need is to sit down, quiet the mind, get away from all stimulation (background noise, our devices, daily demands, etc.). The very thing we need is the very thing we’re resisting.
And you may be forgetting, that what we want in life doesn’t come easy, most of the time. It takes effort. Discipline. And desire.
I’ll share a short story to drive this point home.
In 2017, I wanted so desperately to heal my chronic health challenges. Yes, I complained. Yes, I was moody. And I honesty didn’t know what to do or who to turn to.
And then, I discovered the Medical Medium books by Anthony William. Using the information he writes about, I was able to take my health in my own hands and change it. Truly change it.
It took discipline to do a 180 with my food and it required effort to get this new way of eating right. And I did it without hesitation. I did it with faith because with all my soul, I knew I had found something good.
I tell you this example because getting what we want- especially if what we want is to feel a certain way- takes effort, discipline, and desire.
So, when I see people stressed out, only able to see what’s right in front of them and blinded from the possibilities of how their life can be different, I think of all of the times in my life I have felt this way and was able to make a change.
And the example above isn’t the only time I had to do this. And I know you’ve had times in your life, too, where you have dug deep to overcome something… probably multiple times!
My Best Advice for Beginning to Meditate When You Don’t Want to
#1: Start Slowly
Start with committing to sitting down for 60 seconds. Sit comfortably. Doesn’t matter how, as long as you’re comfortable. Take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Allow your belly to expand with every inhale and deflate with every exhale.
At first, who cares if you think about stuff, just come back to focusing on your breath and get at least 60 seconds of this done.
Then, when you have done the hard part and have actually taken a minute everyday or a few times per day, stretch out the minute. Aim for two, then three, then four, and so on.
#2: Know That You May Not Be Good at it Right Away and That’s Okay.
You may not be any good at it. You may suck at it. Do it anyway. Mastery takes a ton of f@$&^!* practice. Have patience with yourself. Expect that it won’t go perfectly every single time. Sometimes you may be resistant and frustrated about sitting down to even to it. But, do it anyway. Use self-discipline. You are the adult…. don’t you know better than the ego voice telling you that “You don’t want to do this, so why do it? It’s a waste of time.”
You do know better than that voice.
Okay, so you’ve given meditation a good go and it still doesn’t help you to relax.
I applaud your effort! Way to go.
Now, what to do if you just can’t do it.
You’re probably one of those people who need to use their body in conjuction with quiteting the mind and relaxing the nervous system.
I have two solutions to this that I use and my clients use.
The #1 way to quiet the body and mind and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (just like meditation does): Qigong
If you’ve read any of my blog posts, emials, or social media posts, you know that I am a big fan, practitoner, and teacher of Qigong.
It is essentially moving meditation. It’s an ancient Chinese system of exercises that moves qi (lifeforce energy) around the body to promote health, longevity, and relaxation.
It’s easy to learn and easy to do. And the results are amazing!
And I personally found sitting meditation easier after practicing qigong for a few months.
If you’d like to learn, I am available for private virtual sessions (yes, I can teach you with both of us on webcam!).
Or, you can learn from my teacher’s online program here: Flowing Zen.
The #2 Way to Quiet the Mind, Body, and Stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System: Yoga
You might have seen this one coming since Yoga is super popular.
It’s popular because it’s grounding. Calming. Stimulating. Challenging. Relaxing. It’s just yummy.
If you just want calm and lots of stillness, try a yin yoga class.
If you want some good stretching and moving and breating, try a Hatha Yoga class. This will be a work out, too, just not as intense as the following.
If you want more of a work out, try vinyasa classes.
And there are many more, so search around in your area or online for what will suit you.
I leave you with this…
You don’t have to feel stressed out all of the time. You don’t have to be reactive, on edge, and wired. You can feel calm, but you have to make some changes. I know you’ve probably been through challenges that have contributed to this way of life for you. And they’ve made you stronger. But, don’t let those challenges keep you from feeling at peace.
If you’re looking for more ENERGY, PEACE, & VITALITY in your life, please check out my online course: “Holistic Harmony for a Healthful Life: 10 Foundations to Balance the Body for More Energy, Peace, & Vitality.” These 10 foundations are essential to health- I found this to be true for myself and the clients I’ve worked with the past 10 years.
To your health and healing,
Hi! I’m Mandi Palmer, a Food & Lifestyle Success Coach and I bring fellow sufferers of chronic illness back to life. I beleive that by giving the body the tools it needs to balance itself, that it can also heal itself. And so when you work with me, we work together on discovering and implementing exactly what those tools are for you. Click below to schedule a session with me or to learn more about working with me.
<Disclaimer> This information is to be used for educational purposes only and is not to be used to diagnose, treat, or cure disease. The author of this article is not a doctor, licensed dietitian, or licensed nutritionist. By reading this article, you are agreeing to take responsibility for your own health and decisions regarding food and you waive the right to hold Mandi Palmer responsible for any negative instance or result that may occur after engaging with this information.
INSPIRATIONMARCH 6, 2019