Stillness – The Mind’s Medication For Stress

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No matter where we look, technology is everywhere in our culture.  Not only is it everywhere, but it’s getting more and more advanced every day.  That smartphone you just bought is practically out of date within a few months.  There’s no doubt that technology is a great thing and offers us many opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be available, but one of its many promises is to make our lives easier.  Strangely, the move advanced technology becomes the busier we seem to be and the less time we have to ourselves.  Think back to the last time you’ve been able to just sit back and relax with absolutely nothing to do and nothing on your mind…Can’t remember? Ok.  Think back farther…maybe farther… Don’t beat yourself up- I couldn’t either.

 Is it any wonder that stress and anxiety seem to be more prevalent in today’s culture than anytime in history?  Our brains are constantly filtering an overwhelming abundance of stimuli practically every waking hour.  Work bleeds into personal time.  Personal time takes the place of rest time.  Then, you get a whole 5 hours sleep to repeat the process all over again the next day.  Yep, life is definitely stressful. 

 So what’s the solution to this madness?  Stillness.  Yes, as in sitting still without the TV on, without your cell phone, and without your “to do” list rolling through your mind.  We need at the very least 5-10 minutes of this time a day to give our minds a rest from the endless information it is processing.  Think of it as the brain’s way of resetting itself, and it gives the body a chance to start releasing the stress that’s been bottled up all day.  Set aside a little time everyday to just be quiet and still your mind, and you’ll begin to feel less stressful and will actually become more productive at work.

 Without much free time as it is, how do you schedule in time for stillness?  Well, the main thing to focus on are the benefits.  Being quiet and still probably aren’t the first things on your list of exciting things to do.  You will most likely learn to appreciate the time more once you start seeing the results it’s producing in your life.  The less stressed you are, the better you’ll sleep.  Your mind will begin to become clearer and more focused.  You will find you can get things done quicker and be more productive with less distractions in your mind.  You’ll be a happier, more fulfilled person the less stress you have in your life.  It comes down to prioritizing this time into your daily schedule.  It may seem like an unimportant action, but it can drastically change your life. 

 Here Are Some Ideas To Get Started

  • Lounge on the couch and organize your thoughts
  • Just sit and observe nature
  • Meditate
  • Pray
  • Listen to ambient, classical, or jazz music
  • Go for a quiet walk, bike ride, or drive

 What other things help you “reset” yourself after a stressful day?

How do you make time for stillness in your busy schedule?

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/colinsd40/14470019407/”>Colin-47</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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