Think about the things that give you the most stress in life. Work, deadlines, expectations, making money, paying the bills, keeping up with the Joneses. Are they really worth it? Does an extra grand in the bank make up for that ulcer and the chronic un-happiness?
The busyness of life moves you out of balance and causes all sorts of mental and physical illness. You don’t often notice the accumulation but it can easily push you into exhaustion when you ignore it.
While most of us aren’t in a position to stop working any time soon we are in a position to ease or dissolve a lot of our stresses. And we can do that by learning to sit quiet.
Sitting quietly is one of the oldest and most effective forms of healing. It lowers our heart rate and relaxes our muscles. It clears our minds and boosts our immunity. We find peace when we are quiet.
It’s a difficult practice, sitting quietly with no music, no television and no-one to talk to. Most of us feel that we need to fill the space with something. But we need to resist the temptation. Everything can wait.
Turn everything and everyone off, even for a few minutes, at first. Learn to watch your breathing, the steady flow of air in and out of your body. Learn to listen to your thoughts, the interconnected memories, ideas and questions that appear then disappear from your mind. Learn to watch yourself, your urges to do something else, to plan and to set goals.
Let it all come then let it all go.
You’ll begin to enjoy the silence. It’s quite magic. It calms you down and helps you to feel centered. It’s also a true luxury, something that most of us just don’t get enough of.
Start with a little bit then add a little more everyday. Listen, watch and learn about yourself. Appreciate the stillness. Find your peace by sitting quietly wherever and whenever possible.
IMAGE: KAH WAI SIN