Whether you need a moment to de-stress, want more quiet moments in your life, or want some health benefits – taking time to find your zen is easier than you think. Not only is it easy, but it’s necessary!
Life is so busy. In order to appreciate and enjoy it, or even to get through the rough patches, we need to find the moments that take us away from it all. Moments that nurture our spirit and quiet the chattering in our minds.
The first step is to make yourself a priority! Let go of any guilt you have for taking moments of self-care. Remind yourself it’s important for your well-being. Start minimally if needed and work your way up to a daily practice. It doesn’t take long before it becomes a habit, and even better, something to look forward to.
There are so many ways to find “zen” or create it. Here are my personal top ten!
1) Go for a walk, alone! No partner, no kids, no dog! Just you! Stop along the route to take notice of simple things. Maybe it’s the birds flying, trees blowing, or the warmth of the sun on your face. While you take notice place your hand to your heart and breathe deeply. Enjoy how it makes you feel and say thank you.
2) This leads to practicing gratitude. Feeling grateful and saying you are grateful opens up a whole new world. When you take time to send out that grateful energy into the world, it returns to you tenfold. Learn to be grateful for all moments, not just the good ones. The bumps in life are also lessons to be grateful for.
3) It can be really tough to quiet the mind but regular meditation practice can help. Find the best way to meditate, for you! I sometimes like to lay down with headphones and follow a guided meditation. Other times I enjoy the mediation space I created in my room, or I will simply sit on my swing in the backyard and pat my dog. However you can find ways to quiet your thoughts. It is natural that our minds will wander while we meditate but just recognize it and go back to your focussed place.
4) I recently discovered the benefits of burning resin. The smoke of frankincense is used to quiet a racing mind, making it useful for meditation. Myrrh can also be used to still the mind and align the energy centers of the body. These can burn anytime in your home. I am currently burning some as I type this!
5) Creativity helps! I love to crotchet. I don’t make much more than a scarf or a blanket but it’s the simple act of taking time to do something you can focus on in quiet. Something that you can enjoy, that isn’t stressful. I am also an artist, and because of the type of art I do, I can actually delve into a form of meditation while drawing that requires no effort. For others – I can imagine dance being amazing for this, or a potter becoming one with the clay. Try something new, something that can take you to that place of complete zen.
6) Exercise. Yoga would be the first thing that comes to mind as it encompasses the body, mind, and spirit. Tai Chi would also be great for this. Even a bike ride or a run. When we move our bodies we allow energy to move and flow through us. We also can release that “feel good” dopamine or “happy” serotonin from our brain.
7) Tune up your energy centers! Otherwise known as chakra balancing. There are seven energy centers that start at the base of the spine and run to the top of your head. When these centers are blocked it can stop us from living fully, and can even cause illness. Each energy center has a specific function that is related to a specific emotion. I once asked my energy worker how often I should have this tuneup done and she replied “you will just know.” The more time you take for yourself, the more in tune you will become with your body and what it needs.
8) Massage or reflexology are more than helpful with pain or discomfort, they also can produce feelings of caring, comfort, and connection. How nice does it feel to have someone care for you?! Sometimes we are so busy caring for others that we forget how much we also need to be cared for.
9) My other all time favourite thing to do that makes me feel completely grounded and grateful is the simplicity of rocking a baby to sleep. Watching them doze off while you offer warmth, connection, and a hypnotic rocking motion. Then to enjoy the complete peace on their face and the slow, quiet breaths they take.
10) Lastly, sometimes we just need a break from everyday life and this is when travel can give us that take me away moment. I have heard it said sometimes you need to go away to miss home but I also think going away helps you find a safe, sacred home in yourself.
I’m sure there are a thousand other ways to find and add zen moments into your life. No matter what you choose to do or practice, doing so with an intention of caring for yourself will make all those moments (big or small) zen.
Article written by Sherry Sobey