Have you ever been to a place in which you felt time truly stood still? Or at least you wanted it to, for as long as possible, because its magic still had things to teach you, its secrets still hiding behind golden sunsets and painted mountains washed in the rays where the end of a day meets the birth of the next. A place where the intoxication of fresh air and the monumental silence and stillness of nature makes your gut jump and expand with the excitement and gratitude for endless possibilities ahead.
If only we could garner and create this feeling everyday, right? This time last summer I had the most amazing opportunity to attend a wellness retreat in Bozeman, Montana. Most of us aren’t able to put our feet into a grandiose nature scene on a daily basis, much less make our way to a regular yoga class. But why aren’t we better about creating that feeling at home, or even on a small scale? In theory, we’re able to connect with ourselves any hour of the day, and it’s a simple thing to do. The kids, the job, the deadline, the workout, the healthy dinner, the family commitments, and stress, just to name a few, are all reasons that keep us from dialing in. The normal chaos of everyday life becomes overwhelming, and while taking care of everyone else, we lose sight of ourselves, our own breath, our surroundings, and any sustained mental stillness.
Our society is non-stop, and for whatever reason, the notion of “busy and stressed out” has somehow translated itself into a metric in which we directly judge ourselves. As if being the busiest person in the room makes us more successful. Stop and breathe. Now repeat. There are small things that we can do every single day to tap into our internal energy and mindfulness, thereby creating a larger sense of calm inside our daily chaos.
As soon as you wake up, start each day by writing down 3 things that you’re grateful for. By focusing on positive things in your life, it can help put the small stressors into perspective later in the day when the chaos starts to take over.
Helpful Outlines: The Envision Planner, by Nicole Meline
The Five Minute Journal
There is no wrong way to meditate, and it can be done anywhere, and for any length of time. Your mind can wander or you can focus on your breath, which is the point of meditation, but in our world today, it can mean anything you want it to. Just allow yourself to commit the time each day, whether 5 minutes or an hour, to breathe, and sit still. The benefits of meditation are astounding and there are infinite resources available.
Good Read 10% Happier by Dan Harris
Good App: Headspace
This is such a buzz world, but take it quite literally. At least once a day, ask yourself, “What do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What can I touch? And what do I feel?” This helps us to stop and focus on the moment. Think of all the biggest moments in your life. You can probably remember something about each of your senses at those times. This simple exercise can also be combined with meditation and, if practiced regularly, will help you connect more deeply with your daily world. This is also a great exercise to do with kids, to get them thinking about their breath and being mindful from an early age.
Good Song and video for kids: “Belly Breathe” by Colbie Caillat and Common