Life can be pretty stressful sometimes. Alright, life can be stressful a lot of the time! Between work, family, and maintaining some kind of social life, it can often feel like things are just too busy for you to handle. Not only that but the pace of modern life only ever seems to be increasing. With computers and smartphones becoming faster and more powerful than ever, we’re all used to getting things as fast as possible without ever having to wait for it. It’s enough to leave a lot of people feeling pretty overwhelmed. One of the most common things that people recommend for those who struggle with stress in their lives is meditation, and there are many people for whom meditation is extremely effective. However, there are just as many people for whom sitting in a room, cross legged, with your eyes closed is the least relaxing thing in the world. Luckily for those people, there are actually a lot of things that you can do that have a very similar impact on your mind as meditation, while also offering other things that you can focus on to prevent you from losing patience with it. Here are just a few alternatives for people who hate meditating.

Painting

Anyone who’s ever watched a video by the late, great Bob Ross will know just how soothing it can be when a canvas goes from being totally blank to being the basis for a beautiful image. Of course, just watching someone else paint a beautiful picture is one thing, it’s something else entirely to do it yourself. One of the best things about painting is that it really forces you to zero in on all of the little details that you might not otherwise notice. The way that light bounces off a piece of fruit, or how a droplet of water distorts the reflection of whatever it’s resting on. These kinds of things allow you to escape your life for a little while into a world of color, light, and shadow. Not only that but you have something at the end of it that you created entirely by yourself.

Fishing

For a lot of people, fishing is just about the closest thing to meditation that there is. After all, they have a lot of things in common. They both involve sitting down and doing practically nothing for long periods of time, and from the outside, they both seem pretty dull. However, fishing is actually far from being as boring as it might seem. The wonderful thing about fishing is that it gives a sense of purpose to the long periods that you spend doing “nothing.” You’re not doing nothing; you’re waiting for that all important catch. And when it does happen, the thrill is absolutely exhilarating. Sure, there’s quite a lot of equipment that you need, but places like Otto’s Tackle World have gear that’s suitable for pretty much all budgets. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or someone who’s just trying it out for the first time, there’s nothing quite like the soothing feeling of sitting by the water and waiting for something to bite.

Journaling

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When people think of journaling, they often think about emotional teenagers spilling out their feelings about their schoolyard crush and how much they hate their parents, but it’s actually an incredibly valuable pursuit. In fact, it’s often so valuable that many therapists recommend it to their patients. The great thing about journaling is that it forces you to think carefully about the things that have happened to you throughout the day. Not only does this give you the chance to exorcise many of the feelings that you might have about it, but it gives you a chance to look at the things that happened throughout the day from a slightly more nuanced, distanced perspective. You may find that journaling not only helps you feel less stressed but can actually improve your decision making and help you see the things in your life more clearly.

Golf

If you’re the kind of person who wants to stay active but you don’t really enjoy incredibly fast paced sports then golf is perfect for you. Not only is it a surprisingly effective workout, but the sheer amount of mental exercise that it offers is a great way to forget many of the most stressful parts of your life. There’s no room for you to think about work or traffic or any of the other things that stress you out when you’re focusing on the wind direction, the angle of the green, which club to use, and all of the other things that you need to consider while you’re lining up your shot. Not only that but the feeling of satisfaction as you improve your skills and reduce the number of strokes it takes you to get it into the whole is incredibly intense.

Jogging

woman running shoes

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Please always talk about what a fantastic workout jogging is but they rarely draw attention to just how good it can be for your mental well-being as well as your physical health. Plenty of studies have shown that people who go for runs regularly are less likely to suffer from things like depression and anxiety. Jogging releases a lot of endorphins and can provide you with a fantastic rush and feeling of joy. Not only that but the sheer state of absolute focus that you get into when you’ve got your headphones in and you can’t think about anything other than the rhythm of your feet on the pavement and the direction that you’re running in means that there’s no room for thoughts of life’s little stresses to get into your head.

Any one of these can be a fantastic way to pull your mind away from the stress of everyday life. Sure it’s not always easy to do so but having something that you can use to relax and detach yourself from whatever it is that’s really stressing you out is always going to be extremely valuable. The important thing is that you find something that’s right for you.