Stillness is something we were taught as a child, either in the classroom or at home. I often found it difficult to sit still, as I am sure most children did. And now as adults, we long for stillness and enjoy sitting quietly away from the chaos of work and day to day life. Achieving physical stillness is easy but finding stillness of mind is more difficult and something most of us struggle with.
Most of us are overwhelmed with technology every day and this can lead to our minds being overstimulated. This can have a negative effect on our nervous system as it works overtime to deal with the continual rush of adrenaline. This in turn gives us a prolonged feeling of stress and all the associated symptoms. With continual stress our body will start to experience physical symptoms as our immune system starts to shut down. We may be more prone to colds and flu and other illnesses as our body struggles to fight off the invading viruses.
Stillness of the mind is so important if we are to lead an happy and healthy life. It has been proved that activities such as mindfulness and meditation can help improve mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Mindfulness helps us feel more present in our life. It can help us slow down the constant chattering thoughts in our busy mind.
So how can we embrace stillness into our life? Firstly, it is important to choose a place or a room where you will not be distracted by noise or outside influences. I find it easier to ‘switch off’ if I am in a room which has little distractions and is barely furnished. This gives me less to look at, although you can close your eyes to avoid the physical distractions.
Next, turn off your phone and all digital technology. Even better, leave the phone in another room and then you won’t be tempted to sneak a look at it. Or switch the phone on silent and put it in your pocket or bag. Try not to be tempted to look at it before you finish your stillness session.
Once you are placed in the best surroundings, then it is time to let yourself go. I simply let my thoughts wander until I am effectively daydreaming. Daydreaming is a wonderful way of achieving stillness as our thoughts generally don’t make sense, which is perfect. We want to allow dreamy thoughts into our mind, so we are not tempted to analyse them and give them importance.
Alternatively, why not try a craft or hobby that allows your mind to wander away from busy thoughts. Perhaps try painting, knitting or pottery which require some concentration but still allows for quiet thoughts. Sometimes being creative can slow down a busy mind and create a sense of calm.
Personally, I find that walking in nature is perfect for inducing stillness of mind. Away from noise and distractions of daily life while walking among fields and wildlife is often the best thing for a tired mind. Just thirty minutes a day walking can be enough to create a feeling of peace.
So why not try create some stillness in your life? Start with just ten minutes a day and see how it helps improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Until next time