Meditation—the ancient art of staring into space while trying not to think about lunch. You're supposed to silence the world, but your brain's racing at 90 mph, thinking about your grocery lists and looming deadlines. No wonder so many of us ditch meditation faster than a diet on a holiday. But did you know it isn't just about sitting silently?
Let's explore five alternatives that can assist freelancers—notorious for overworking and under-relaxing—in combatting stress, sharpening focus, and enhancing happiness.
1. Embrace the noise
Ever felt like your mind is hosting a full-blown rave with all your thoughts? This one's for you. Instead of trying to shut down the noise, give it a mic. Think of it as practice for those client calls when everyone's talking at once.
Here’s your cue: Close your eyes, roll out the red carpet for your thoughts, and let them strut their stuff. Surrender control, and allow your mind to roam wherever it fancies. But remember, you're here to observe your thoughts, not get sucked into their drama.
Guided visualization is like daydreaming but with purpose. Imagine walking on a beach or chilling in a meadow. It's an excellent way to manage stress and kickstart creativity. You can even visualize your career soaring. Now, if only we could visualize our deadlines away…
Here’s your cue: Close your eyes and think about your dream day. Dive into the nitty-gritty. What are you doing, what projects are you acing, how do you feel? Finish the meditation by affirming that if you can imagine it, it’s within your reach.
3. Mindful walking
Take a walk, but make it mindful. Feel the ground beneath your feet, observe the surroundings, breathe in the fresh air. Plus, it's the perfect excuse to get away from your desk and still call it work.
Here’s your cue: Keep your eyes wide open for this one. Hit the pavement without headphones or your phone. Be present and observe the world around you. What do the trees look like, what are the smells and sounds? What can you spot that sparks gratitude or awe?
4. Reflective journaling
Put your thoughts on paper and watch them dance. Try stream-of-consciousness writing without a hint of judgment. You'll be surprised at what may come out and at how much clarity this brings. Plus, you'll be practicing your writing skills. Just avoid turning it into another to-do list.
Here’s your cue: Set a timer for 10 minutes and jot down whatever comes to mind. If you need some prompting, consider: What’s challenging you right now and how is it helping to grow? How can you shift a mindset that’s not working for you? How will you put yourself first today?
5. Loving-kindness meditation
Focus on nurturing feelings of compassion and love towards yourself and others. It's a great way to balance out moments of frustration and when your inner critic's at its snarkiest.
Here’s your cue: Close your eyes and reflect on what makes you proud. How have you helped others? What about your day made you feel good? What did you find interesting or inspiring? What did you do well? What makes you unique?
- Let go of any reservations about meditation and try out the visualization meditation today.
- Here’s your cue: Close your eyes and think about what your dream day looks like. Dive into the nitty-gritty. What are you doing, what projects are you acing, how do you feel? Finish the meditation by affirming that if you can imagine it, it’s within your reach.
- After you finish, write down things that stood out to you. Write it on a sticky or leave a note on your phone as a reminder.
About Susan Rov
Susan traded cocktails and lattes for words that move. As a copywriter on a mission to end boring, she brightens brands and makes an impact. Number 463 on the list of fiction readers left standing, you'll find Susan at sunrise—running, writing, and wondering how to change the world next. That drive led her to become a founding team member of BRIL.LA.