By Meredith Mobley
Our society has conditioned us to live and find comfort in the façade of “busyness.” If you aren’t busy, you aren’t being productive. You aren’t making progress. When in fact, the complete opposite might be true. Taking time out of your “busy” day to actually be still might prove to be far more beneficial and lead to more productivity than the busy schedule you had prior.
“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.” – Morgan Freeman
The benefits of stillness. Always being on the go and not taking time for self is a toxic way to live. Just ask Arianna Huffington, found of the Huffington Post and author of Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder, who finally made time to slow down her life after waking up in a pool of her own blood one morning in her home office. She had been so busy that she collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep. The very work that kept her going was building a toxic lifestyle for her. A wake-up call unlike any other she had received in the past, Arianna took time to be still and reflect. In doing so, she was able to take the appropriate steps to redefine success for her and catapult her life in a direction that was much happier and healthy for her.
Stillness brings you clarity. It draws you into the moment and makes thoughts and ideas clearer than they were before. Taking a simple moment to be still and clear your mind could be the difference between making a decision that will lead you down the wrong path and one that will lead you down the right one.
Being still can lead to better health, as well. For many, the demands of work and life introduce unnecessary stressors into our lives. Too much stress can lead to problems with your heart, high blood pressure, weight loss and gain, emotional instability, and more. Taking only two to five minutes out of your day can act as a reset button, an opportunity to refresh your way of thinking, being and doing. It’s an opportunity to shift your focus from the negative and redirect it to more positive and productive thinking.
Finding time for stillness. Stillness is a habit. It won’t happen overnight. Research shows the average adult attention span is five minutes. If we can’t even focus on things deemed important for more than five minutes, how can we focus on nothing for at least that long? The answer is relatively simple. You must find the time until it becomes second nature. Finding time for stillness doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process.
Combine it with your everyday tasks:
- On your way to work, take the last two to five minutes of your commute and be still. Turn off the radio, sit in your car or find a place to sit outside your office and just be still. Focus on your breathing and be still.
- If that doesn’t work, find stillness in your next trip to the restroom. In the stall, take a moment to shut down your thoughts, take a few deep breaths and be still.
- Or, let practicing stillness be the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning. Instead of picking up your phone, checking social media or email, take one minutes to lay in your bed and be still.
Practicing stillness. Let stillness become a habit. When starting out, finding time to practice stillness may be harder than it seems. Find a quite space, use music if you need to or even practice by repeating a simple mantra like “I am still” or “I am quite.” Make stillness a part of your regular routine. The more you live in the present moment, the more you will find joy and peace in every moment following it.
How do you practice stillness? If you are new to this way of life, try out some of my tips above and let me know how it goes.
About Meredith: I’m a mother, a daughter, a sister a friend and a forever partner to my soon-to-be husband. I have a thirst for knowledge and am constantly on the quest towards further enlightenment. A ten-year public relations social media and marketing professional, I took a leap of faith in 2012 and branched out on my own as a contractor and owner of Thought Bubble Communications. Since then, I’ve learned so much about myself as a professional, an entrepreneur and a woman. I want to share what I’ve learned, so I write. Follow me online through my blog EntrepreneHER as well as on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.