Our world today is FAST and FURIOUS.
6 Ways to calm your mind and find your Zen.
Not only do we work long hours, but we take it home with us. The wonders of technology offer us instant communication with customers, clients, bosses, kids, spouses and friends. On one hand that’s pretty cool, on the other we are never off the clock and never out of reach.
Sure, we’re getting more done in a day than people in decades past but that’s because we’re essentially working 14-hour days. Let’s be honest. It can be a bit much.
And that’s just one kind of stress.
- How about the stay at home mom that feels like a hamster on a wheel with the constant, repetitive, 24/7, mundane tasks she faces EVERY day, with little to no outlet for her own ambition or creativity.
- Or caring for an aging parent, special needs child, personal illness, single parenthood…
- Then there are all the emotional stresses of the varying relationships in our lives.
Frankly, it’s amazing we aren’t all walking around twitching and drooling. I’m sure our forebears would be shaking their heads at the craziness of our lives today.
I must admit I haven’t been one to stress easily in my life. I received a greatly appreciated attribute from my father. If I can’t do something about a given situation, I’m not going to worry about it.
What’s that old saying? “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” I love this!
At any rate, stress was not something I was terribly familiar with. I should have knocked on wood or something back then because we be mates now!
I have dealt with some pretty dramatic changes in my life over the last few years and have had to learn how to keep stress and anxiety in check. Some of these I talk about in a previous blog. Finding Peace Through Adversity
The following are some great ways to help calm your mind, take a mental break, relieve stress or help you fall sleep. You may enjoy a couple or all. The point is experiment, you never know until you try.
10 minutes of meditation
If you look at all the research and there’s plenty of it out there, you’ll see claims of everything from increased brain function, pain management and “emotional intelligence”. Psychology Today Some of these claims can be debated but what IS widely accepted is the use of meditation to relieve stress and anxiety.
We need to clear our minds of all the things that are stressing us out. Have you ever noticed the more you try to tell your brain to be quiet, the louder it gets? Meditation is fantastic for calming all that down.
There are 7 types of meditation each with their own sub groups. As with learning, some of us are visual, audible, physical and so on, we will each respond better to one form of meditation over another. This article does a great job of describing each.
If you search any style on YouTube you will find some great resources showing how that meditation works and walk you through the visualization.
Once you can picture it. You can do it on your own. Any time, any place.
Take a short break
- Walk away from your work and interact with a human.
- Walk outside for a few minutes. Get some fresh air.
- Find a quiet place and practice one of the meditation techniques you’ve been checking out.
- Stay off your phone. This has been shown to be less of a break and more teaching my mind to be distracted. Not a good tool.
Take a longer break
When was the last time you took a vacation day or 10? If you are an American you work more days each week, longer hours and rarely take vacation days more than any other industrialized nation. Dude! Take a break. Here’s some idea’s:
- Drop the kids at moms or a good friend and get a hotel room for the night. Plan a fun little “stay-cation”. Lounge around the pool. Order room service. Or stay at home and hit the links, movie night or a hike and picnic. Be creative.
- Visit out of town family. They can help with the kids and you can get a little time with your sweet pea.
- If you’re single, find a singles cruise or grab a friend for an adventure. Take up canyoneering and go Rappelling in a national park.
Get 20 minutes of exercise every day and you’ll feel like a new person.
There are all kinds of studies that show exercise reduces stress via less anxiety, balanced hormones and sleeping better among other things. It doesn’t matter what you do to start just get your body moving. Here are a few idea’s:
- I love RomWod (Range of motion workout of the day) Great for getting specific with areas that are bothering you. 10, 20 or 40 minute sessions.
- Yoga with Adriene is great too. You can mix meditation with some stretching.
Jog/Run, Brisk Walk, Hike
Google “hiking in my area” and see what pops up. I bet you’ll be surprised at the cool things to see just outside your city.
If a pool is not available to you most cities have a public pool or membership gym with pool.
My personal favorite. Why? Because I believe it’s the lazy mans way to fitness. Get in, work hard and get out. No 2 hours wandering around the gym not sure what to do.
or at least cut back. Caffeine has been shown to increase anxiety among other things. How much is too much?
Have some fun
Laugh with friends or family. Studies show there are great health benefits from this. Play a city league sport, Darts, Bowling, Card/Board games or Pickle ball. In other words, get out with other people and have some fun.
In short, you don’t have to do it all. Just do something, anything. Experiment and you WILL find a way to quiet the storm.
Working on strategies like this are what we practice in the Habitap Challenge. https://www.habitap.com One step at a time, we create habits that help us live healthier happier lives. Start Living Well Now. #habitap_life