Meditation is not the only way to achieve mindfulness and relaxation. There are many alternatives that can be just as effective in helping you relax, become more mindful, and develop positive mental health habits. From activities like breathwork and golf to support groups and setting goals, let's explore fun and different ways to achieve mindfulness without meditation.
The reason it is important to find meditation alternatives is that truthfully, many people struggle to sit still and focus on nothing for more than a few minutes. Another pitfall of meditation is that it is often seen as a way to escape reality or disconnect from the world. While there are some benefits to meditation, many people find these alternatives to be even more effective and enjoyable.
The Top 20 Alternatives to Meditation:
Breathwork is an increasingly popular practice for achieving mindfulness and relaxation. It involves coordinating breath with body movements to create a state of deep relaxation and connection with the body. Breathwork can help clear the mind, reduce stress, improve sleep, boost energy levels, and increase focus. Examples of places that offer breathwork classes include YogaWorks, CorePower Yoga, Breathe for Change, and our very own Breathwrk Studio in downtown Venice Beach, CA. Additionally, there are a variety of apps and websites that offer online breathwork tutorials. Download Breathwrk on the App Store or Google Play Store to get started.
Golf is another activity that can help you become more mindful and relaxed. Playing golf requires focus and concentration, which can be beneficial for helping manage stress levels. Golf also encourages quality time outdoors in nature, which can have a calming effect and help reduce stress. Check out a local country club in your area to get started.
Martial arts is another great way to be mindful without meditation. Martial arts can help improve concentration as well as physical fitness. It also encourages discipline and respect while teaching self-defense skills. Martial arts classes are available at a variety of gyms, dojos, and private studios. Examples include East West Martial Arts Academy, Krav Maga Worldwide, and Renzo Gracie Academy.
Basketball is another activity that can help you become more mindful without resorting to traditional meditation. Playing basketball requires skill, focus, and concentration—all of which can contribute to achieving mindfulness. It also encourages quality time outdoors in nature and physical exercise. Challenge your closest friends or join a pick-up game at your local court.
CrossFit is another activity that can help improve mindfulness while getting physically fit in the process. CrossFit exercises help build physical strength and mental grit, which can help increase focus and concentration. CrossFit classes are available at a variety of gyms and private studios. Some examples include Tidal Crossfit, Reebok Crossfit Gym, and The Forge CrossFit Box. If you have a ClassPass membership, try a local CrossFit class in your area next time you want to get a sweat in.
Pilates is a great stress reliever and can lead you into a state of relaxation. Pilates exercises help improve focus, balance, and coordination while strengthening the core. Pilates classes are available at a variety of gyms and private studios. Some popular examples include Core Pilates NYC, Pure Barre, and Ahava Pilates.
Tennis is another activity that can help you become more mindful without traditional meditation. Playing tennis requires skill, focus, and concentration—all of which can contribute to achieving mindfulness. It also allows you the opportunity to get outdoors in nature and practice physical exercise. Try a quick Google search for tennis centers, and even consider trying out a private tennis lesson in order to get your skills up.
Art is a great creative outlet that can lead you to inner peace and relaxation, all while having fun while doing it. Creating art helps clear the mind, reduce stress levels, and boost creativity. Examples of art classes include The Art Studio NYC, Clayroom, and Painting Lounge. Art classes can also be a great group bonding activity for coworkers, friends, and family.
Tai Chi is known to be a great mental and physical practice, helping to achieve mindfulness. Tai Chi exercises help build physical strength and mental clarity while reducing stress levels. Tai Chi classes are available at a variety of gyms and private studios. Examples include Taoist Tai Chi Society, Tai Chi for Health Institute, and Lotus Yoga & Tai Chi.
Yoga is one of the most well-known activities for achieving mindfulness, stress relief, and relaxation in one short session. Yoga helps improve focus, balance, and coordination while strengthening the body. Examples of studios with amazing yoga classes include YogaWorks, CorePower Yoga, and Bikram Yoga.
Do you love getting lost in a good book? Reading is a great way to practice mindfulness and experience an “escape” from reality. Reading books helps to clear the mind and relax the body. Check out your local library, bookstore, or online retailer to get your hands on a great new book to start off 2023.
Podcasts can be a great way to dive into a deeper state of mindfulness and develop a more positive mindset. Listening to podcasts helps clear the mind and relaxes the body while providing entertaining content across a huge range of topics. Apps such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts provide a wide variety of podcasts to choose from. Pick your favorite genre and start listening.
Movies and TV shows can be very relaxing after a long day of work and stress. Watching movies helps clear the mind and relaxes the body while allowing you to be transported to a new world, all through your TV. Some great streaming platforms include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, where you can explore a wide variety of movies and shows to try out.
Support groups can be extremely helpful in lowering anxiety and achieving mindfulness. Talking with people in a supportive environment helps reduce stress levels and can help greatly improve your mood. Examples of some great online support groups include DailyStrength, Mental Health America, and The Mighty. If you prefer to join an in-person group, your local area likely has many great options.
Have trouble staying motivated, stress-free, or productive? Having a life coach can change your life for the better. A life coach will help you set achievable goals and provide guidance in achieving them. Examples of life coaching services include Achieve Today, Coachology, and Life Coaching Strategies.
Setting goals is a very important step in achieving peace and mindfulness in your life. Setting clear and achievable goals helps to keep motivation levels high and encourages focus on the task at hand. A goal setting app such as Strides can help track and achieve goals.
Therapy is another excellent way to achieve inner peace and take that weight off of your shoulders. Talking with a mental health professional helps reduce stress levels, improve mood, and build positive coping skills. Examples of popular therapy services include Talkspace and BetterHelp. You’ll be able to find a virtual therapist where you don’t even need to leave your house for your appointment.
Walking and hiking can be great ways to relieve stress and be more grounded in your life. Connecting with nature helps relax the body and clear the mind. Trails, parks, and outdoor spaces can be utilized for walking and hiking, so check out your local trail or park today to get in a quick walk and de-stress.
Boxing is one of the most amazing workouts, allowing you to become stronger, sharper, and more relaxed by providing a healthy outlet for anger and frustration. Boxing involves physical exercise and teaches focus, concentration, and strategy—all of which contribute to improved mindfulness. Some great boxing gyms include Mayweather Boxing and Rumble.
Spinning is a challenging yet fun exercise class to get your heart rate up and your stress levels down. Spinning helps build physical strength and reduce stress levels while improving mindfulness. Examples of studios with great spinning classes include SoulCycle, Flywheel, and CycleBar.
Overall, there are many ways to become mindful without traditional meditation. From breathwork to boxing and from podcasts to life coaching, there is something for everyone. With the variety of options available, it is easier than ever to find an activity that fits your lifestyle and helps improve mindfulness. Take the plunge and pick one (or multiple) of these activities to focus on in 2023 and start building healthier habits in a mindful lifestyle.
• Taoist Tai Chi Society website - https://www.taoist.org/
• YogaWorks website - https://www.yogaworks.com/
• Corepower Yoga website - https://www.corepoweryoga.com/
• Bikram Yoga website - https://bikramyoga.com/
• DailyStrength support group website - https://www.dailystrength.org/
• Mental Health America support group website - https://www.mhanational.org/
• The Mighty support group website - https://themighty.com/
• Achieve Today life coaching service website - https://achieve-today.com/
• Coachology life coaching service website - https://coachology.org/
• Life Coaching Strategies life coaching service website - https://lifecoachingstrategies.com/
• Strides goal setting app website - https://www.stridesapp.com/
• Talkspace therapy service website - https://www.talkspace.com/
• BetterHelp therapy service website - https://www.betterhelp.com/
• Gotham Gym boxing classes website - https://gothamgym.com/
• Church Street Boxing gym boxing classes website - http://csboxing.com/
• SoulCycle spinning classes website - https://www.soul-cycle.com/
• Flywheel spinning classes website - https://flywheelsports.com/
• CycleBar spinning classes website - https://www.cyclebar.com/welcomeaboutus/our-story/
•National Park Service website - https://www.nps.gov/index.htm