In Happy Gilmore, Happy was encouraged to go to his “happy place” when he was feeling stressed out about specific situations. In the movie, it was used as a gimmick for a laugh, but in real life, there is a major benefit in being able to locate your own happy place during the day. In a way, this allows you to meditate without meditating – you simply let your mind go to a place where you can rest and relax for a few minutes.
Instead of daydreaming during these times, turn your attention to being able to focus and you’ll be using an informal meditation process yourself! Here are some common ways people can benefit from meditation without actually meditating:
Enjoy some nostalgia. The right song can bring back some great memories. So can browsing through someone’s photo album online. As you see these visual queues, you are automatically taken back to favorite times at that place or with that person. Try taking things a step further by conjuring up a mental image of that person or remembering vivid details of a past memory. The brain remembers more things than you can possibly imagine and it really is stored up there – it’s being able to access those memories that becomes an issue. The more you practice this technique, the more you’ll be able to remember, and the more you’ll be able to find your own happy places.
Write in a journal. Writing is an effective meditation skill because it helps someone process difficult emotions and put them into a tangible format. You don’t have to be good at writing to be good at keeping a journal – what is important is the mental process that turns intangible emotions into a language that everyone can understand. As long as you are making an effort at getting what you’re feeling put into words, you’ll accomplish some meditation without meditating.
Do some chores. Sometimes we’ve got to get out of our own heads in order to be more effective at what we each do. That might mean getting some other tasks done that need to be completed, such as washing dishes, vacuuming the carpet, or even just making the bed. When we’re in a quiet space doing things that put us on a kind of autopilot, our minds are able to better process the information we’ve sent it and cope with stress.
Look up at the sky. Whether you enjoy stargazing or trying to figure out what animal shapes are in the clouds, looking up at the sky is a great way to change the perspective of things. What seems important now, at this very moment, may seem inconsequential to someone else looking in on it without jaded eyes. In gaining a new perspective of a situation, you may also find a new way of solving a stressful issue too. Why does this technique work? Just like all the other techniques do – it’s all about taking the emotion out of any given situation so that you can impartially analyze what is actually going on.