Finding Inner Peace Through Stillness
This Week's Simple Tip
Just close your eyes for a minute and imagine you are at the ocean or sitting on a bench by the side of a babbling brook, listening to the sound of the water. How does it make you feel? Now imagine you walk in to a kitchen or restaurant to the aroma of one of your favorite meals cooking? Besides making you drool, what emotions do you feel? Lastly imagine the feeling of the warmth of sunshine on your shoulders ... songwriter John Denver even wrote a song about it describing the feeling of sunshine as a 'high.' What these things have in common is that they all likely stir up happy memories in your mind, which in turn have a calming effect on a person. In fact recent research from Rutgers University revealed that recalling happy memories can help combat stress and improve the mood. The nice thing about memories like such is that we are able to skip the step of consciously working on feeling inner peace, and instead without doing anything, just feeling the calm. While many of us may not be able to get by the water, smell our favorite meal cooking or bask in the sunshine each day, there is still a way to replicate that same sense of inner peace, and how to do it is to make some time each day to simply be still.
The health benefits of stillness are undeniable:
Improved Memory Function
Overall Brain Function
Improves Blood Pressure
This Week's Focus
This week, make it a point to carve out at least 5 minutes each day to simply be still. The earlier in the day you can make this happen, the more beneficial you'll find it ... I like to sit first thing after I get up. Find a convenient space in your home where you can sit in a comfortable position. Take 2 or 3 deep breaths, exhaling from your mouth. Then gently close your eyes and focus on your breathing. As you breathe in and out through your nose, allow your heart and mind to relax with every exhale. Try to keep the focus on your breathing and if thoughts distract you, intentionally let them pass, and return your thoughts to your breathing. Before long, you will find yourself really enjoying this special time. You will experience the benefits within a week of dedicated effort so give it the full week. I am betting it will become a practice you will want to continue and even expand :)
Click on the serenity sticky, which will open in a new window, then right click and press "Save." Print, cut and post the serenity sticky above on your bathroom mirror to remind you of this week’s focus. Good luck!
Little Serenity Tidbits
1. Sometimes you see a picture that just takes you away to another place. You might be able to find one here that helps you ease in to stillness.
2. Even though I close my eyes in stillness, the practice of lighting a softly scented candle beforehand is like a signal to my mind that this is the beginning of your quiet time. Here's a nice candle option to try.
3. Certain days it is just more challenging to be still than others. When this happens to me, I start off the same way with some deep breaths and closing my eyes, but then listen to a guided meditation to help me. Here is a 4-minute one to try.