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How to Benefit From Meditate Even if You Can’t Sit Still

Yes, you can gain the benefits of meditation even if you can’t sit still.

Do you want to meditate, but have trouble sitting still? That was and continues to be me. It is especially challenging when the facilitator prescribes a very specific way of sitting and where to put my hands. For many adults, the most difficult part of meditation is finding a way to sit or lay down that is comfortable and in which they can stay without moving for at least 20 minutes, frequently much longer. Maybe your legs start or your back or neck begins to throb. You may need to shift around frequently. Regardless of what is keeping you from settling into a comfortable position, it’s difficult to still your mind when it feels like your body is refusing to cooperate.

Studies show that moving during meditation has its advantages, including burning more calories and living longer. On the other hand, excessive movements while you are meditating can distract from your meditation being as powerful as it can be.

Luckily, you can enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of meditation even if you are unable to find a comfortable resting space. Start with these proven strategies that will help you feel more at ease during meditation.

1. Prepare yourself. Switching gears quickly from driving or during a busy day to sitting or lying still can be a struggle. Smooth out the transition. When possible spend some time before your meditation preparing for your session. This could be as simple as 3 deep, intentional breaths as you get out of the car into the meditation space.

2. Remember your purpose. Moving can be an indication of boredom or lack of engagement. Remind yourself why meditation is important to you. If you must move your body due to physical discomfort do this keeping your mind focused on the meditation.

3. Fold your hands. In meditation, we are frequently asked to have our palms on our laps facing upwards. If this does not work for your body change your hand positions. Just pressing your hands together can encourage you to be still. Experiment with different hand positions.

4. Hold something. Holding something in your hands makes it less likely you’ll engage in movements.  You can use traditional prayer beads or any small object like a crystal.

5. Touch a wall. The desire to move during meditation can be associated with nervousness or anxiety, which is especially troublesome if meditation sometimes brings up disturbing emotions for you. Sitting with your back against a wall can help you feel supported.

6. Keep practicing. Being distracted by the desire to move during meditation is like any habit. Each time you manage to overcome this desire, you’re training yourself to make positive changes in all areas of your life.

7. Respect your limits. Just as with any new physical practice you many need to start with a shorter period of time.  You are much more likely to succeed if you start for shorter periods and increase over time.

How to Meditate When Your Body Does Not Seem to Cooperate

Very few adults can sit in a full lotus position when first learning to meditate.  Give your body permission to let you know what it needs and adjust accordingly.

Use these strategies to loosen up before meditating.

1. Stretch regularly. Stretching will help you become more flexible and will open up your hips and shoulders.   Even what may seem to be the smallest movements will be hugely beneficial

2. Do yoga.  Many say that they can’t fit a yoga class into their already busy schedules.   Learning just a few poses and practicing them regularly can be a significant help in keeping you flexible.  YouTube has a large number of yoga videos.  If you do have some physical issues search for “restorative yoga”.

3. Warm-up. Heat can make your body instantly feel more flexible.   If you are meditating at home take a warm shower first.  If you out rub your hands over your legs and arms to stimulate your circulation before meditation.  During meditation, our bodies tend to cool down so it is very helpful to have a shawl or a blanket either on you or close by before you meditate.

4. Sit up straight. Proper alignment relieves aches and pains.   Check that you are sitting with your weight on the center of your sit bones. Relax your shoulders and lift your chest.

5. Use props.  Especially in any type of restorative process props during meditation can become your best friends.  They can be household pillows and blankets or cushions and bolster made specifically for meditation.

6. Listen to your body. Any modification can be beneficial if it helps you to focus. Sit on a chair or on a cushion. Stand up or move around when you need to.

With a few simple adjustments, you can meditate comfortably even if you tend to be restless or have trouble touching your toes. Bring greater happiness and peace into your life by developing a regular practice.

Surprising Ways To Live More Spiritually

Spirituality can be defined in a wide variety of ways.

For many seekers it’s about connecting with something greater than yourself. You might call it God, the universe, or nature. Whatever words you choose to describe it, it’s an experience that gives deeper meaning to your daily routines and ordinary actions.

While searching for something sacred can produce dramatic results, the process can be simple. It doesn’t require extensive therapy or taking a year off work to trek through Tibet.

Try these 15 ways to live more spiritually, starting with where you are now.

The Inward Journey:
1. Accept yourself. Recognize that you are worthy of love and happiness. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses. Give yourself credit for your efforts and learn to enjoy your own company.
2. Develop self-compassion. Examine how you speak to yourself. Choose kind and inspiring words. Forgive yourself for past decisions and move on from the past. Treat yourself extra gently when you’re struggling.
3. Set intentions. Plant powerful intentions in your mind. Identify the things that you want more of in your life and what you want to contribute to the world.
4. Use affirmations. Create empowering statements that strengthen your motivation and boost your energy. Repeat them throughout the day. Ensure your affirmations are positive, specific, and written in the present tense.
5. Create rituals. Spend your first and last moments of the day cultivating your spiritual side. You could pray, meditate, or list the things that you’re grateful for.
6. Think positive. Look on the bright side. Focus on what you like about your coworkers and neighbors.
7. Be mindful. Make conscious choices instead of going through life on autopilot. Notice your habitual reactions and ask yourself if there are more constructive solutions that you could try. You might praise your children instead of nagging them or empathize with your boss instead of arguing with them.

The Outward Journey:
1. Slow down. It’s difficult to appreciate life when you’re rushing around. Stop for a few moments and pay attention to your breath. Focus on one task at a time and discover the joys of being fully present.
2. Limit distractions. Cut down on activities that drain your time and provide little lasting satisfaction. Track how much time you spend watching TV or checking social media.
3. Smile and laugh. Spirituality can be fun! Look for the humor in challenging situations and be willing to laugh at yourself.
4. Practice self-care. Protect your health and wellbeing by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. Manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
5. Build a community. Reach out to others with similar spiritual interests and values. If you’re part of an organized faith community, participate actively in events and discussions. If you’re looking for new friends, try going to retreats, author talks, or Meetup groups.
6. Find a teacher. Do you feel like you would benefit from some instruction and guidance? Search online for meditation centers and yoga studios where you can find someone to work with or ask for referrals.
7. Encourage cooperation. Nurture strong and supportive relationships with your family, friends, and coworkers. Work on your communication and listening skills. Be generous with sharing your time and resources.
8. Take risks. A spiritual journey involves challenging your self-imposed limitations and embracing uncertainty. You may sometimes feel uncomfortable as you look more deeply into yourself and question your assumptions, but the rewards are worth it.

Find meaning and purpose by welcoming a greater sense of spirituality into your life. Changing your daily habits can transform the way you see the world and help you to discover more bliss and mental clarity.