We often refer to the struggle that meditation and mindfulness can bring. For so many, society’s emphasis on productivity makes stillness or redirecting thoughts very difficult. It’s important to remind everyone that we can practice mindfulness - and meditation - without sitting still or even ceasing all productivity.
The key is to choose an activity with a rewarding result. Something that requires your attention and care, but ultimately relaxes you. Here are a few hobbies the Silent Mind team enjoys for hours of peace and presence.
Whether you prefer a hook or a pair of needles, yarn work is a scientifically proven way to reduce stress. People who do it frequently describe getting “in the zone”, where they’re still focused on every second and each stitch, but have somehow transcended the stage where the mind is constantly thinking. It’s a great way to tune out and go inward.
You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a better combination than mindfulness and nature. Carefully weeding, watering, and mulching has real health benefits, believe it or not. Just focusing on your plants for 30 minutes per day alleviates stress and puts you in a better mood. Best of all, the end result is something beautiful and tangible that expresses love for our planet.
Instead of a sitting, silent meditation, a lot of people swear by a routine we call Morning Pages. Each day, you sit and write whatever you like for as many pages as you have set for yourself. You could write down your goals, anything that’s bothering you, or better yet, simple stream of consciousness. Writing is an excellent way to release burdensome thoughts you weren’t even consciously aware of, leaving you lighter and the mind emptier.
Naturally! What’s the main reason we love singing bowls and share them with everyone we can? They allow you to relax and reap the benefits of mindfulness with beautiful music. Linking the breath to the song of a singing bowl is easy, and playing it can be very rewarding also. You don’t need a background in music - or even a lot of practice - to create healing frequencies that ground and balance you.
Walking meditations are a favorite of ours, but you can also use simple mindfulness on a walk. As you stroll along, take note of everything around you - the quality of the air, the temperature, the colors that surround you. If you’re worried about productivity, remember that sun and exercise are necessary for every healthy, functional human. But of course, you can stop and do a little bird watching - another classic mindfulness hobby.
When we do things like watch TV or scroll through our phones, we’re too passive to be present. This does not help us increase our ability to focus, manage our time more effectively, or strengthen our self-esteem. Mindfulness, on the other hand, does all of those things.
What hobby do you have that you would consider a mindfulness practice? Please share it in the comments so we can give it a try!