Stress Relief for the Non Yogi

The other day my dad asked me how to handle his stress…he had read my blog-all of it, and while he was impressed, he didn’t find it all that helpful because he wasn’t into yoga although he did find that focusing on the breath was somewhat helpful. But what could he do…he isn’t going to start meditating, or taking yoga classes or getting massage. So what are his other options.

the short answer….meditation is not about sitting in lotus position, holding a mudra and trying to empty the mind….at least not in my world. My mind is way to active to even attempt such a feat with any chance of success. For me, and probably most people who have a touch of ADD, I meditate by moving and experiencing. In other words, I find activities that require all of my concentration…activities that get me out of my usual repetitive thought process….

What do I mean by that? Well, when I go skiing and am hurtling down the mountain balanced precariously on two skis I can not think about my bills, my problems, my issues or anything other than skiing because I will fall. When I read I am fully absorbed in the story I am reading, When I hula hoop I need to use all my concentration to keep that hula hoop up and spinning while in a warrior pose or a squat, or trying a new “move” while hooping. When I juggle, or play with the spinning sticks I need to focus all my attention on that activity or gravity takes over and it all goes to shit. So if you are like me, you will need to start with something that requires all of your concentration something that challenges you and allows you to leave all your thoughts behind, so that you are simply in the moment experiencing it, as it is. So then, when you return to your normal mind space–suddenly things seem different, less stressful, more handleable, simpler even.

Once you find that state of escape from your usual thoughts…you can then return to that space over and over again at will…practice makes perfect right. Eventually you will become familiar enough with that mindset that you can start to bring it into more and more aspects of your life.

So tell me, dear reader, what do you do that allows you to escape your monkey mind? and possibly more importantly–how often to you engage in that activity? Do you purposely seek opportunities to escape your usual thought process? Please comment below, your comments may help another reader find that space of peace.

 

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