May 27, 2024

Embracing the Power of Stillness: 7 Ways to Slow Down & Connect with Ourselves.

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“Sometimes stillness is the best movement.” ~ JClay


Racing thoughts, overanalyzing, incessant scrolling, binge-watching, feeling restless and edgy, constantly looking for something to do to distract yourself, to feel better or possibly avoid what you’re feeling; does all this and more sound familiar?

Sadly, this is what the present day reality looks like for so many of us. We’re constantly stimulated and even if there’s only one minute of silence or we have nothing to do, we immediately want to fill it up with something.

Why? Because we’re told to value action more than stillness. Our energy is always restless, moving, never still, and the moment our mind tries to latch on to this stillness, a voice pops up out of nowhere and tells us that there’s something gravely wrong with not doing something.

Not only do we live in a culture that glorifies hustling, we’re also deeply uncomfortable with our deeper emotions that only seem to surface when we’re not busy. Our insecurities, fears, old hurts, and future worries only come up once we give ourselves the space to be and breathe—something we don’t want to do.

Yet, this is something that more and more of us need to do.

Being able to be still and mindful of our own inner world allows us to:

1. Tune into the smaller moments of life that are filled with messages for our growth and well-being and those glimmers that fill our days and nights with lights of hope and gratitude.

2. Tell our mind and body that it is okay to slow down and find that sense of safety within.

3. Reduce stress levels.

4. Sleep better because a racing, restless, overanalytical, and overstimulated mind doesn’t know how to get into resting mode, which is necessary for good quality sleep.

5. Reduce our reactivity levels because being on the go keeps our nervous system on guard all the time and makes us sensitive to any incoming information. While we all have our triggers, being constantly on the go at times makes it incredibly difficult to manage ourselves overall and anything can then become a trigger.

6. Connect with our deeper thoughts and emotions, and it allows clarity to emerge as this slowing down allows our subconscious to take over, and yes, there are times when our subconscious will not bring up happy, pleasant stuff. In order for confusion to clear and for us to operate with some clarity, we need to have all the information that could be available to us. For that to happen, we need to be able to tune into our inner wisdom.

While most people think slowing down and being still is something to stay away from, the fact is that being still and mindful of our inner world is the most beautiful gift we can give to ourselves and the world. We all have our past baggage, future concerns, and troubles in the present to deal with. Yes, at any given moment, there is a lot to think about and process. But all this overthinking, processing, and analysing leaves us tired, drained, and edgier than usual. That’s why we need to be able to insert small pauses into our thinking and living. Then, being still is not about not doing anything; it’s actually just being present to our own presence—which, for most of us, is tough.

“Being still and doing nothing are two absolutely different things.” ~ Jackie Chan

Stillness grounds us into the present moment and takes us away from the illusion of control. It tells us that being ourselves and being present in our own body is safe and where we need to be. With all this running that we keep subjecting ourselves to, it’s important to slow down, take it easy, do nothing, and just breathe. Really, that’s all.

However, there are other ways in which we can make this slowing down and being still a part of our lives:

1. Notice your breathing. Most of us don’t even realise that we’re not even breathing properly because our body is constantly holding onto so much stress and tension. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to our breathing. Take deep, slow breaths, paying attention to the inhalation and exhalation. This can be done anywhere and helps in centering ourselves amidst daily chaos.

2. Schedule downtime. Keep your phone, laptops, iPads, and all gadgets aside for some time. Your mind and body will thank you. Regularly disconnect from digital devices. Set boundaries for screen time and take breaks from social media and electronic communications. This helps reduce mental clutter and allows for moments of stillness.

3. Connect with nature. Spend time in nature without any electronic devices. Walk slowly, observe your surroundings, listen to the sounds of nature, and be fully present in the moment. This can be incredibly grounding and refreshing.

4. Journal. Journaling is a great way to connect with your inner world while also slowing things within and outside of you. Whether you use a prompt-led journal or scribble your thoughts away, what matters is that you do it.

5. Mandala art. Drawing mandalas or even coloring them with some soothing music in the background is an amazing way to ground yourself while letting the flurry of your thoughts settle down.

6. Visualise. Take 10 to 15 minutes, sit by yourself, and simply visualise your calm, happy, safe space.

7. Gentle stretches or yoga are great ways to slow down, focus on your breathing, and connect with yourself.

8. Gratitude practice. Use a journal or engage in gratitude meditation to remind yourself of all the blessings that you do have despite the roadblocks and challenges.

And remember, slowing down is not about adding another to-do on your list. It’s about dropping all the to-dos and just being.

Be present to and with yourself.

And when everything feels too much, just breathe.

“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still.” ~ Leon Brown


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