When was the last time you just stopped? Stopped to take a moment, without devices, or distractions to be present, thoughtful and reflective? Through time, history’s greatest leaders have recognized the power of stillness. Stillness is not about inactivity, it’s about finding calmness when the world spins around you. A way to find peace, clarity and happiness is to focus on stillness during the chaos. In a state of stillness we are full and complete. We are serene.
Here are some suggestions for cultivating stillness to help you move from inner turmoil to inner peace.
Quieten the To-Do List
Stop your mind racing through the list of things that need to be done. Instead, write them down, then just work through one at a time. That way you can be in the present moment, fully and completely without distraction.
Give Yourself Space to Think
You might be working hard, but are you working smart? Whether it’s a longer than normal shower, a soak in the tub, 5 minutes of breathing exercises or simply looking out of the window, give yourself time to find a new perspective.
Take a Break from Devices
We feel an urgent need to stay on top of information. What we can do instead is deliberately delay responding, as many issues have a way of working themselves out. Reducing our exposure to news alerts can also help maintain calmness. Have the wisdom to select and limit your inputs. Try using ‘Do Not Disturb’ to block calls and turn off alerts.
De-Clutter Your Relationships
You probably already have a good idea of who your real friends are, but in times like these, it’s interesting to be mindful of who’s been in touch with you to check in. Use this time to unfriend toxic people who bring unnecessary drama to your life. Focus on those who lift you up, make you feel great about yourself and those who truly care.
Too many of us have been trying to do too much for too long. Now is a fantastic time to reassess. Slow things down. Calm things down and to let things go. Do less, get more.
The Power of Sleep
Embracing sleep will keep you at your best. Studies have shown great physiological benefits to having a good night’s sleep. Daytime power naps or siestas are also hugely beneficial.
Find a Focus
Find a new passion or reignite an old one, even if it’s just for five minutes a day to start with. From reading to painting, baking to building, these activities can help you create stillness as you become absorbed and fully focused on the task in hand.
Combat Desire-Driven Actions
Whether it’s for the latest iPhone or other superficial desires, they usually come at a cost. Accepting that you have enough can stop comparisons with others and make a huge difference to finding stillness in your soul.
Writing at the end of each day can help cut through the noise of daily life, and also improve our well-being during and after traumatic events. Be sure to face up to any tough questions that arise. Create a moment to find stillness and quiet reflection and get things off your chest.
Ease Up On Yourself
These times are extraordinary. There may be a list of books you want to read, or new hobbies and online classes to sign up to, but take it easy and don’t give yourself a hard time for not achieving. Choose one thing each day, and don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t finish it.
More Silence, Better Hearing
While our lives are too noisy, escape from the voices that are cluttering your life. Take advantage of silence. When you are quiet and still, become aware of the sounds of birds or cars and accidental noises. Rain on the roof; the wind in the trees. Focusing on these sounds is a great way to let our mind wander, even just for a minute.
Peaceful Souls, Peaceful Minds
The relentless pursuit of anything isn’t worth it if we damage our souls in the meantime. Stillness of the soul is the key to contentment. How do you nurture your soul? Is it through connecting? Showing kindness, compassion or humor? Staying connected is key. It’s arguably the most important thing that makes us human.