We all have different methods of coping and meditating, don’t we? Some people meditate through yoga. Some exercise religiously at the gym. Some pack their schedules to forget about their distress. However, there are many that grapple for escape without understanding how to find a method or outlet that works for them.
The first result on Google when you type in “Meditation Techniques” is an article by mindful.org which recommends finding a quiet place to relax and reflect on your emotions and thoughts in a typical meditation method. But, does this work for everyone? There’s a common practice in yoga where you lay down and let go of all of your worries. And, it never worked for me. My mind always raced at the maximum speed never slowing down while everyone around me seemed perfectly serene and excited for the two-minute break before jumping into another yoga pose. What happens to those people with an unrelenting and loud mind? How do we seek relaxation and comfort?
This is a diary for those unconventional people with no interest in regular methods of meditation.
This is a diary of meditation techniques. Maybe you will find one that you would like to explore.
One: Music. A pretty common choice. But, powerful. Few people in this world would deny that music does not relax them. However, the choice of music varies between people. There are classical music lovers, but there are also people who enjoy listening to movie/game soundtracks on repeat. I love the slow beats of R&B also while in love with the waltz music from Cinderella (oops, childhood obsession).
Two: Sounds. This can go hand-in-hand with the music section. Listening to heart-warming sounds (from rain to ocean waves) can facilitate sleep for people with insomnia. Many of us might have heard of white or brown noise as background sounds for some relaxation. Have you thought of listening to just plain rain? Or the sounds of a city during night-time? I am guilty of both. As a pluviophile (a person that loves rain), the videos of people simply walking through a city with the sounds made by rain give me extreme comfort. Maybe you can find a sound that works for you. Even the no-talking walking videos are top tier as relaxation sounds because it is soothing to listen to the sounds of people in a vibrant city. Pick a city you like and enjoy its heartbeat through its residents. A YouTube channel recommendation would be the Watched Walker with videos mostly focused on London. Maybe you will memorize the city’s roads and attractions (I think I can navigate central Copenhagen almost by myself at this rate).
Three: Painting. Again, a common choice. I am not an artist. As someone who struggles to draw straight lines, painting without help is an unreachable goal for now. A token of advice for all those who want to paint but are intimidated by their lack of skills. I have a solution for all of you. Simple: follow YouTube tutorials. I paint on small canvases with the help of painting tutorials that take you step-by-step through the process, and it is the best thing ever for my unartistic self. I find solace in painting, and using some help along the way was the best thing I stumbled upon during quarantine.
These are my main categories. I can’t remember the last time I sought some peace without the help of music or paintings or the sound of rain and city. The traditional methods of meditation never work for me as a person with a loud mind. I have looked up meditation techniques and failed to enjoy most of them. What might work for me might not work for you. There’s research that shows people’s inclination towards human sounds for relaxation. A few examples that could be explored for this would include ASMR channels or audiobooks. “Netflix is my go-to method to relax”, states Maherah Shaik, a sophomore. Binge-watching Netflix might be the most unconventional meditation technique explored, but it can be feasible considering that movies or other entertainment allows people to forget their worries and become indulged in a different world. Again, methods can vary for each person.
Meditation cannot be described in general terms because the same techniques do not work for everyone. Think and experiment with different methods until you find one that makes you feel completely content. Take a walk outside with your headphones blasting your song obsession of the week. Find a fantasy book with elves and dragons to leave you craving for more sequels. Play the guitar that has remained untouched in the corner of your bedroom for weeks. What works for you is what works for you. Don’t question it and enjoy it.