How to Reduce Stress Without Meditation

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Whether you're looking to reduce stress, increase mental performance or improve physical health, one of the most common antidotes you'll likely encounter is meditation.

"Something I have noticed recently in the West: Meditation is prescribed for everything from mental health to career direction to cancer," author Nick Hatter writes in an article at wellness website Thrive Global. "While meditation has shown to have positive effects, such as lower blood pressure, lower stress, and is no doubt a useful tool and spiritual practice, it does have its limitations."

Perhaps its biggest limitations are that it is really hard to master, and takes years to perfect. "I have one friend who says he gets profound insights from meditation. While I am happy that he gets these results … he's pretty much a full-time Buddhist [and has] meditated for 10+ years," Hatter continues. "Like anything, practice makes permanently better. However, most of us do not have 10 years or time to be a full-time Buddhist (nor do we perhaps want to be)."

According to Hatter, there are ways to get the benefits of meditation without the investment. Instead of meditation, for instance, consider practicing mindfulness.

"'Wait, isn't that the same as meditation?' Well, no, not exactly," Hatter notes. "You can practice mindfulness anywhere: walking, eating, showering, etc. I personally like to practice it in the spa. I like to feel the sensation of the jacuzzi streams, the way my body relaxes in the steam room in the heat, the cool pool water. Tuning into physical sensations is a wonderful and healthy way to relax."

And if it's enlightenment you're after, try hiring a life coach. "For rapid insights and growth, life coaching is another option," Hatter concludes. "Depending on the modality and the skill of the practitioner, this can be incredibly powerful to discover what unconscious beliefs and behaviors might be holding you back."

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