We are bombarded by media and noise all the time. On the bus, many of us are plugged in like zombies, imbibing a steady stream of google music and podcasts in a desperate last ditch effort to battle back the silence (and accompanying boredom) of a long ride home. At work we’re managing meetings, calls, emails and demands. At home many people go through the day with the accompanying soundtrack of cable TV or constant interactions with family and friends. All of this makes it hard to make time for stillness.
Stillness, it would seem, is overrated these days. And that’s a problem. Here’s why:
PsychCentral says it can be a hidden tool for the best communicators. According to the Huffington Post, stillness can be instrumental in bypassing burnout, heightening sensitivity, dissolving tomorrow’s troubles, improving memory, intentional action and self-awareness.
In the past, we’ve provided some tips for slowing down and some strategies for maximizing the art of reflection. For me, “stillness” is a critical part of balancing my week. It gives me time to reflect, to disconnect and, most importantly, to relax. Here’s how I do it.
Find a space and make it your own
Every Saturday morning between 8 and 9:30 am, I visit a local bakery, order a coffee and muffin or scone and settle in to a nook next to the windows. Immediately on sitting down, I can feel the stress melt away.
Be consistent and disciplined
For me, it’s Saturday morning. Hell or high-water, I try to make sure I get out of the house for stillness. Setting a day and time and following it with regularity is a good way to ensure you’re taking the time you need to refresh and re-engage with your busy life.
Anchor your silence with something you enjoy
Stillness and the silence accompanying it wouldn’t be complete without my trusty Globe and Mail. By slowly and leisurely going through the paper, my mind unwinds. You might not be a Globe and Mail person. Maybe you like to journal, read the comics, meander through a thick book or just take in your environment. Whatever you like to do be still, make sure you do it.