How can you come to a place of calm and clarity, when you're in a state of stress and duress? How can you declutter your mind, when your thoughts are racing?
The neurotransmitters circulating in your blood during these times have your heart racing, your belly tight and your muscles tense, ready to move into fight or flight. We call this the sympathetic response of your autonomic nervous system.
You've tried to sit still, close your eyes and stop your thoughts, but about 44 seconds in you can't stand it anymore. You have too much to do and can't take time to give this 'do nothing' business a try. That's coming from a place of stress and duress.
The key is to work with your biology, don't fight it.
Myth: Sit still to achieve stillness
Sitting still, closing your eyes and stilling your thoughts is only one form of many ways to meditate. Don’t limit yourself by reimagining yourself as a monk sitting in stillness. Instead, work with your biology, not against it, to shift to a state of calm more easily. (In bodywork circles, we call this ‘working in the direction of ease.’)
So what does that look like? I call it Moving Meditation.
Work with your current autonomic state of fight/flight and move. Engage in rhythmic movement that couples your breath to the movement. If you want to go ‘fast’, choose walking, hiking, running, swimming. If you want to go ‘slow’, find a qigong or tai chi group in your area or online.
If you’re on your own, be sure to unplug from your devices. Notice and connect with the environment you’re in. Be with your surroundings, be with yourself as you walk or jog along. For this is really what meditation is about: being in the moment and staying connected to the present. Set a timer for 12 minutes. Then set free any agenda, just move with your your rhythm. Let your breath come alive.
Stay tuned for Option 2: Engage your Social Engagement for easier meditation