When every minute of your day is allotted into a jam-packed schedule, taking time to sit and be still may seem out of the question. We can so easily become stuck on autopilot and get swept up in the day-to-day to-do list that time passes without taking a moment to check in and see how we’re truly coping.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, taking the time to give yourself some space for relaxation and mindfulness is one of the most important things you can do to fortify your capacity to succeed. The power of a positive mindset and peaceful state of being is often understated. However, this is the key that unlocks optimal productivity, mental clarity and wellbeing.
If you’re someone whose mind is constantly buzzing and doesn’t easily quiet down, this journal entry will serve as a guide to help you reap the benefits of mindfulness and meditation without forcing yourself to sit still.
But first – why your mind won’t stop racing
Letting our minds bounce unchecked from thought to thought creates a habit that is opposed to stillness. This is why when you try to be still it feels so unnatural. The mind is addicted to constant activity, so forcing mental silence is easier said than done.
The good news is, you don’t have to stop thinking. You may have struggled with meditation in the past because the stereotypical expectation is to sit in complete stillness, free of any thoughts. You may think that if you’re unable to master this, then you must be doing it wrong. This perspective is harmful because it discourages so many people from practising meditation and reaping the incredible benefits of this practice. In reality, there are other ways to turn your focus inwards and tune in to your mind, body and surroundings.
Let’s break the stereotype
To practice mindfulness, you don’t have to sit cross-legged, burn incense, and transport your mind to a spiritual realm of complete peace and quiet. If this is what works for you, fantastic! If not, we have some great news for you: you can still find peace in meditation.
The concept of mindfulness has so much more depth than simply sitting still. We can break the core of it down into three components:
Choosing what to focus your attention on and the ability to hold it there until you consciously decide to shift it to something else.
- Sensory clarity
Detecting and embracing sensory experiences from your surroundings.
Allowing thoughts, feelings and sensations to come and go, allowing them to pass through without attaching any emotion or judgement to them.
Once you break it down to these elements, you can practice this anywhere, and at any time.
Tips to help anyone master mindfulness
Now that you’re aware of the core process, below are some tips to help get you started.
Clarify your ‘why’
It’s important to clarify the reason why you’re choosing to practice mindfulness. This isn’t a chore or an obligation, and seeing it as such can deter you from practising. Instead, it’s a commitment and investment to uplift your wellbeing. Your ‘why’ is your greatest motivator and once you clarify this, you can refer back to it at any time.
Meditate on the move
To debunk the greatest misconception about mindfulness – you don’t have to sit still! Get up and get moving. Go for a walk or a run, observe and embrace your surroundings. Give your mind something to focus on so that it doesn’t wander off, whether it’s counting your steps or timing your breaths.
Channel your focus into something active
If being active doesn’t get you into a zen mode, you can practice the three core elements of mindfulness whilst doing almost anything. Gardening, cooking, and even driving can give you the time and opportunity to take some quiet time in your mind.
Set daily goals
Consistency is key – the more you practice, the more benefits you will receive. Even if it’s five minutes a day on your commute to work, make the time and build on your practice each day.
Find some guidance
If discipline is something that you lack when it comes to your self-care, meditation classes are an excellent way to ease into it. Or, a retreat will give you an excellent dose of mindfulness and relaxation that is built up over months comprising of small sessions each day. This is a core component of the wellness activities and experiences at Eden, where we provide our guests with the space and support they need to achieve a state of mental peace and clarity.
To enquire about a stay at our award-winning retreat, click here.