Going through a really stressful time in life? Try meditation, they say. Chronic pain? Meditation can help! Digestive issues, sleep problems, or cancer? You guessed it…
Meditation seems to be the prescription for all ills these days. The recommendation comes from a good place — meditation does work to reduce anxiety and stress (via the stress hormone cortisol), encourage physical relaxation, calm the fight-or-flight response, increase mindfulness, improve brain function, and so much more.
But meditation isn’t for everyone. If you are one of those people who can’t seem to clear your mind for even 5 minutes a day, it can be infuriating to constantly get the breezy suggestion of “just meditate” for every issue. If only it were so easy.
The good news is, there are several alternatives to meditation that achieve the same results but may be a much better fit for you.
Try Breathing Exercises
One of the simplest and most similar ways to achieve the same results as meditation is through breathing exercises. The nice thing about this method is that you can do it anywhere — even on the go — and you already know the basics given that you breathe up to 20 times a minute. The key to using this natural process to reduce your stress lies in how you do it.