How to Practice Stillness

In our culture, stillness is regarded as a negative thing. It seems to be thought of as inaction. And if you are being still, then you are being lazy.

None of this is true. Stillness is an action, and a powerful one.

What’s more, it can change your day, and in doing so change your life.

Think for a minute about this scenario. You’re in the middle of a frazzled day, swamped by work and meetings and emails and interruptions, or hassled by kids and phone calls and errands and chores. You start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of everything needing to be done in your day.

You pause. Stay still for a minute, and breathe. You close your eyes and find a stillness within yourself. This stillness spreads to the rest of your body, and to your mind. It calms you, centers you, focuses you on what you’re doing right now, not on all you have to do, and all that has happened.

The stillness becomes a transformative action. It helps you to feel calm and centered. And can spur action if you were starting to feel stuck.

Stillness can be a powerful answer to the noise of others. It can be a way to push back against the buzz of the world, to take control. It can remind you of what’s important.

The Strength of Stillness

Stillness has a calming effect on the world around you as well. By becoming still, you can cause others to pause, to pay attention. Your quiet also will quiet others.

It takes strength to be still when others rush. It takes courage to be different, to go against what everyone else is doing. Others might think you are weird at first and that is okay.

It takes strength to find stillness when the world around you is in a constant state of busyness, but it’s a strength that’s in you, and you only need to find it. Almost ironically, stillness is what will allow you to find that strength. Be still, look within, and it’ll be there.

How to Practice Stillness

Stillness doesn’t always come naturally and in our busy world, it can be something that we forget to do even if we know how to do it. If not, you can practice.

1. Start Your Day in Sillness

Stillness is a powerful way to start your day. Whether you sit with your morning beverage watching the world wake up or sit on your bed focusing on your breath. It sets the tone for your day and helps you to center your mind. Even 5-10 minutes is great.

2. Take Regular Stillness Breaks

Every hour, set an alarm on your phone or your computer to go off. Be still for a minute. During this minute, focus on your breathing, to bring yourself into the present moment. Let the worries of the day melt away and only focus on your breath. Then allow your focus to expand beyond your breath to your other senses, one at a time.

3. Pause, When Chaos Erupts

In the middle of a crisis or a noisy day, stop. Be still. Take a deep breath, and focus on that breath coming in, and going out. Find your inner stillness and then let your next action come from that stillness. Focus on that next action only.

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