I don't revel in saying this, but I am stupidly busy at the moment. I'm working too many hours and doing a lot of travelling. That's not a badge of honour, and something I'm working on (a life coaches work on themselves is never done). However, what I am finding is that even though I'm cramming a lot in, I have a sense of peace and calm that I don't think I've experienced in years. And I can only put it down to taking some time each day to switch off, and just...be.
If you're anything like me your head can be a very loud place sometimes. There's always so much to think about, so much to organise, so much to think over and reflect on the past, so much to try and achieve and think about for the future. Every little tiny crevice of our brain is full-to-bursting with thought and rumination. There's no wonder that come the end of the day we feel so bloody exhausted yet unable to sleep. You with me? Yes? Then it's time to start practicing the art of being still.
'Being still? Are you insane? I haven't got time to be still!'
I know, I know, I hear you. We've all got busy lives. There's always something we should be doing, or something we should start doing that we're not, but think about it this way; if you can find time to get exercise for 30 minutes per day to keep your body healthy then why would you not find time to keep your mind healthy? One might argue that this is more important and better for you.
"In an age of distraction nothing is so urgent than paying attention."
Why is being still so important?
- Being still is important for so many things in our lives that it makes total sense:
- By finding space to be still in the now - and living in that moment - allows us to make sense of both past and present.
- Space and time without distraction allows us to make the most of the experiences and our responses to them.
- Learning to free yourself from the constant anxiety of pressure, things and external 'noise' helps us to prepare for dealing with the realities of life as they come along.
- Time out allows you to time to collect yourself and gives you excellent coping tools for when things get too much.
- By slowing down we gain the ability to see that making a living and making a life are two different things.
"Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance."
Need some help in being still?
It's not something that comes particularly naturally to us these days, so here's 5 tips on how to get yourself some still:
Set aside some still time
Like that 30 minutes of exercise; find yourself 30 minutes for stillness exercising. If you need to remove yourself from where you are in order to get some still time then do. Make sure that you are free from your everyday distractions.
Just that. Sit. Still. Sit on your hands if you have to. Sit and be - if only for 10 minutes.
"I get those fleeting, beautiful moments of inner peace and stillness - and then the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day, I'm a human trying to make it through in this world."
Be present with your thoughts
Sit with your anxiety and discomfort, get used to doing it. Address your thoughts; watch them come and go through your mind, let them drift in and out as they do, don't get too hooked on one thought process; let it float through your mind.
Watch the clouds
Sit back and watch the clouds drifting past. Work out their form, movement, direction, their shape. Imagine your thoughts and anxieties drifting off with them.
Get OK with the art of being still
Practice makes perfect. Practice your still time. Do it on a regular basis. The more you practice the better off you'll be in your emotional and mental health.
Give time to stillness, you will benefit overall, so take time to enjoy the peace and just be.