Do you ever get a moment of peace? Or is your head constantly swimming with to do lists, appointments, deadlines and data?
I've put together my top ten tips to help bring a bit of peace back into your life and to basically help you to just chill the heck out!
1. Meditate - Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn't just sitting down cross legged and chanting 'Om', no it's way more than that. It's a chance for you to completely clear your mind, by slowly stripping away the stresses and niggles, or the 'noise' in your head, so that you're left feeling calm and at peace with yourself once again. It takes practice; you can't go into this thinking you'll simply sit down and inner peace will come naturally. But there are plenty of useful guides, apps, videos etc. out there that will help walk you through the meditation process. Set a plan to meditate for 10 minutes first thing every morning - it's a great way to start the day!
2. Go for a Walk - Not just any old walk, try going on a mindful walk. By which I mean really pay attention and notice things that you may normally miss. Smell the air, listen to the birds, feel the fresh air blowing on your face, stop and breathe in nature and take a moment to truly wonder at this fantastic world we live in.
3. Self-Care - Sometimes we all need a bit of help and it can come in the most unlikely of forms. Flower essences, aromatherapy, taking a bath, having a massage, in fact anything that you may normally consider a treat, is absolutely fine to do as often as you like, if it makes you feel good. Many of us are so caught up in the welfare of others that we forget to dedicate any time to number one. Taking that time to care for yourself should not be attached with feelings of guilt; what good are you to anyone if you can't even look after yourself?
4. Slow Down - Life is not a race, so don't treat it like one! Have a go at slowing down your life, whether it's how you eat, slowing down your walking pace or even how you talk. Stop being in such a rush!
5.Declutter - A cluttered house, workspace, diary = a cluttered mind so every now and again it's really beneficial to have a good old clear out. There has been a huge surge recently in the popularity of minimalism, with key people like Marie Kondo and the 'Minimalists' Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who advocate a sparse lifestyle choice as a means of 'sparking joy' and finding contentment in the bare minimum. And whilst I'm not suggesting you rush home and literally throw everything you own into binbags, it does certainly raise the bigger question of how perhaps we could be a bit happier if we just learnt to be grateful with what we already have.
6. Breathe - It sounds easy, something we barely even think about, but the vast majority of us don't do it properly. Breathing is one of life's essential functions, we need to breathe to survive yet, because we do it automatically, it's easy to be lazy with the quality of our breath. Taking slow, deep and meaningful breaths can do absolute wonders for both the body and the mind, and can instantly bring clarity and perspective to a stressful, overwhelming or indeed any emotionally heightened situation. Try incorporating some breathing exercises into your daily routine.
7. Get Creative - Channel your inner child and have a go at something creative. It doesn't matter whether you're naturally artistic or not, it's all about enjoying the actual process of creating and making a mess! It could be filling in a colouring book, baking, knitting, kneading bread or even making daisy chains, find the thing you enjoy and take pleasure in the peace and tranquility of artistic expression.
8. Write it Down - It's amazing how writing something down can somehow put things in perspective a bit more and make it feel as if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. My tip is to keep a notebook with you at ALL times: by the side of your bed, in your bag, on your desk, next to the toilet (seriously, I can't be the only one who gets amazing moments of inspiration whilst sat on the loo, can I?). Even if you never look through your jottings again, use it as a means of managing your musings.
9. Dance it Out - The phrase 'dance like nobody's watching' couldn't be more true and I have to confess that this is my secret not-so-guilty pleasure. In the same way that music can affect your mood, dancing is a great way of releasing lots of built up tension and giving those feel good endorphins a good kick up the backside. I like to pop on my headphones, turn up the tunes, close my eyes and escape to my own mini silent disco in my living room. Taking a moment to revel in your own insular world, where there is only you, the music and your movement, is incredibly liberating and I can't recommend it highly enough.
10. Do What Makes You Happy - Ultimately peace comes from being happy, so more important than anything else is to do the things that make you happy. After you've finished reading this article I'd like you to take a few minutes to think about what it is that makes you happy. Write it down and then put it up somewhere prominent to act as a visual reminder of all your happy things, so that when things start to get chaotic, stressful or overwhelming you can bring a little piece of peace back into your life.
Find more articles like this at The Art of Healthy Living.