We live in very busy times. Now, more than ever before we are almost constantly consuming content from external sources, social media feeds, TV, magazines or from the people around us. It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. Even though this might not be an easy, quick fix for it, I have noticed the importance of embracing more stillness in my own life. The benefits it has on my own mental health and my monkey mind.
Here are some of my favourite ways that I like to embrace more stillness into my everyday life:
- Meditation. I try to make sure I get at least 20 minutes each morning of sitting and concentrating on my breath. This really helps to prepare me for the day ahead, ground me and helps me to function so much better during the day. Meditation can seem quite overwhelming if you are new to it. I would always recommend starting with Guided Meditation (it’s the practice I also do for the first 10 minutes). My current favourite app to use for this is Headspace, but the Calm app has also been extremely useful and helpful for me in the past. There are sooo many benefits of meditation including (and not limited) of reducing stress, anxiety and depression, better concentration, helps you to appreciate life more. Looking after your mind can also help your physical health.
- Yoga. There are a lot of different types of yoga and you can find one that suits you best. But, as this is a post about stillness, my favourite yoga for embracing more of it is Yin. Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures that are held for longer periods of time (this might range from 45 seconds to 5 minutes or more). It’s such a beautiful practise and I would definitely recommend trying it out with a yoga teacher or checking out Yoga With Adriene.
- Being in nature. For someone who’s recovering from agoraphobia, I wasn’t always so keen on the outside. But, I’ve been able to observe that with my growth and more healing has come more desire to spend time outside. Being able to just sit and observe the plants, trees and little creatures feels great and so calming, giving the thinking mind a break. Sometimes I love to leave my phone at home to be fully in the moment, other times I like to take my phone or my camera and appreciate my surroundings while taking some photos of it.
- Listening to music/Quiet time. Sometimes, I really love to listen to more chilled music and simply do nothing, daydream or make choreography up in my head. Other times, I like to embrace the silence and just be with myself without any background music. This gives my monkey mind time to unwind. It helps to have those kinds of breaks during the day, so when the time for sleeping comes my mind is usually not as busy then.
- Cuddling your pet. I have had Millie (my cat) for over a year now, but she still teaches me to slow down and rest more. She’s also a very needy and a cuddly cat, so when she wants attention, she wants ALL of my attention. Which actually is such a great practise for me to be more mindful and focus on just being with her.
- Conscious breathing. Whether you do practise meditation or not, finding little breaks during your day to focus on your breath (even just 3 ins and outs) can realllly help! I like to take these kinds of mindful breaks during my day, especially during the busy ones! Usually, when we think we don’t have time for it, is probably when we most neeed it.
- Spend time offline. I love this one. As someone who predominately works online, I love taking time to switch off. This is probably something that recharges me the most. I’m usually able to prioritise tasks that need to be actually done, but also take more time to implement more of the points above.
I hope this list will give you some ideas of how you can embrace more stillness in your own life. Sometimes we need more of those times to really listen to our bodies, take it easier and slow down. And that’s of course okay! Recharging our own battery is one of the most important thing we can do for ourselves and for the people around us.