There are a lot of crazy and scary things going on in the world right now. Uppermost in many people’s minds is the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Separating fact from hype. Figuring out how to self isolate and self-quarantine, while keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe. Much good and bad information comes our way daily about how to protect our bodies, but not much about protecting our minds- our sanity and security. Solitude and quietude are unfamiliar terms to most people living overly busy lives. But, as we sense the need to slow down or, even temporarily withdraw from the busyness of life, one of the key tools available to us is stillness.

Stillness is simply being present in a peaceful and non-stimulating environment. If you are like most of us, you have not been taking the time to experience real stillness on a regular basis.

When everything is moving and shifting, the only way to counteract chaos is stillness.

When things feel extraordinary, strive for ordinary.

When the surface is wavy, dive deeper for quieter waters.

Kristin Armstrong

Why are people resistant to the idea of stillness?

  • We believe we do not have the time to waste sitting around doing “nothing.”
  • We are addicted to distractions and do not want to be alone with our thoughts.

Why practicing stillness is worthy of our precious time:

  1. We gain a more accurate perspective.
    • When we are able to disengage for even a few minutes, we can get away from our negative thoughts.
    • We can step away from our lives for a minute, and we have a better opportunity of seeing the truth. Y
    • We are able to break away from our mental habits and experience more clarity.
  2. Our intuition can be heard.
    • We cannot hear the voice of our own intuition if we are never still.
    • It might be screaming at us, but we are completely oblivious to what it is trying to tell us.
    • We become wiser if we experience stillness on a regular basis.
  3. We will feel less stress, and be less stressed.
    • When our minds can take a break from our busy day, we experience less stress.
    • Of course, this enhances our sleep and overall physical and mental health.
  4. It enhances our self-awareness.
    • Being still affords us an opportunity to check in with ourselves.
    • We become more aware of our thoughts, aches and pains, and emotions.
    • And, instead of becoming engrossed in our habitual thoughts, we have the time and perspective to become more aware of ourselves.

Stillness has many benefits that can greatly add to the quality of our lives. If we are never still, we are missing out on a lot. It is very easy to miss all the options and opportunities available to us if you never lift our heads above the noise. Stillness requires some time, but it is time well spent.

How can I accomplish stillness?

  1. Meditate.
    • Meditation is the most obvious way to practice stillness, but it is certainly not the only option available.
    • Meditation is a simple, but challenging, skill to master.
    • Twenty minutes of meditation each day is an awesome way to practice stillness on a regular basis.
    • For more information, please read “How to Meditate: The Basics
  2. Turn off all of your devices and just sit, stand, or walk.
    • Disengage from your computer, smartphone, television, or other devices for a few minutes.
    • Just look out the window, stare at the wall, or close your eyes for a few minutes.
    • Focus on what you see, or just observe your breathing.
    • Strive to keep your thoughts to a minimum.
    • Instead, focus on the information your senses are providing.
    • What do you see, hear, smell, and feel?
    • Just a few minutes each hour can make a huge difference.
  3. Spend time with nature.
    • Try cutting yourself off from other people for short periods of time.
    • Walk outside among the trees, plants, and animals.
    • Simply enjoy your surroundings and give your brain a break for as much time as you can spare.
  4. Practice Mindfulness
    • Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, and at any time.
    • We can be mindful on the subway or in a business meeting.
    • How?
      • Keep your thoughts and attention on what you are doing and your current surroundings.
      • Avoid daydreaming, thinking about the past or the future, or anything that is not relevant to what you are doing in the moment.
      • An overly stimulating environment can be disruptive to the experience of true stillness, but continuing to practice can greatly turn down the mental or emotional impact of the activity happening around you.

Schedule a little stillness time into your busy life each and every day. It is truly that important! It is important now while things are scary. But it is equally important for all the other days of our lives as well.

You may be convinced that you do not have time for stillness, but that is one sure sign that you desperately need to do it… now.

Be still a little each day. Your life will be changed in powerful ways.

There’s a point when your tape of life runs off the reel

and there’s this stillness of your own – I got to know myself.

Melissa Etheridge

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash