Due to our modern lifestyle, many of us have been conditioned to always be on the go. To always produce, to always be entertained and never have a moment of calm and silence.
This blog post explores 8 practices for a calmer life which may help you create more health and wellbeing in your life.
It is like we are afraid of what exists in the silence. At first, the silence might be frightening, but eventually, it will hold a lot of wisdom. Trust me.
Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy Amazon’s next-day delivery, the announcement of a new iPhone and other critical medical innovations. These outputs are typically all done by workers who work long hours.
Even still, I don’t think working 16-hour days, where you never have time to rest, move your body, meditate, and connect with other human beings, is a life worth living.
Nor does it lead to consistent life satisfaction.
There is a mental health crisis going on; we cannot blame it all on places of work, yet, it is a massive ingredient. With the cost of living going up, people also need to work longer to pay the bills.
It’s like slowing down; having healthy boundaries with work and creating calm has become an act of rebellion. I’m not advocating a “return to nature”, either. I think that being in nature is essential, but I don’t think returning to becoming hunter-gatherers is the correct path forward.
I sense that the path forward is about balance because I think meaningful work is vital for our health and wellbeing, but even meaningful work should not cost our health and wellbeing. I don’t work in a large company with many employees at the moment, but I used to, and I think where many companies get things wrong is pace and scale.
And by that, I mean that many people are expected to do the job of 3 people instead of one only because profit and scale are more important than people. I have never worked in the finance department, so I don’t understand all of the money stuff, meaning I could be wrong here, but my intuition is that I’m not.
For everyone, there should be a time in our day when we create calm, which is vital for our quality of life. We obviously can’t blame work for everything; people choose to go out drinking, watch Netflix for hours after work, and have long commutes instead of creating calm in their life.
People also have to make choices to bring more calm to work and home. The responsibility sits with the employer and the employee.
I don’t want these practices to be “another thing you need to do”. Only do them if you feel there is time and it is your priority. But I suspect that as you consistently implement one or more, you will find that you can’t live without them and that there will be time.
8 practices for a calmer life
Create Conscious Awareness
Awareness is the first step towards any change you want to make. You will only change if you know the areas you need to work on.
Become more aware of your thought patterns, feelings, emotions, body, and spirit. As you do, you can begin to take slow, patient, intentional steps towards being at your best.
Building conscious awareness starts with pausing, reflecting and being one hundred per cent honest about what you are contributing to making a situation worse.
You can create more awareness in meditation, by journaling and speaking to a coach or a therapist. In our spiritual mentoring sessions, we do help people create this sense of awareness.
Life is unpredictable, and so much is out of our control. Instead of forcing a situation, do what you can to be your best and allow the cards to fall the way they will.
You can, of course, have a vision, purpose and a sense of a general direction you want to go, but sometimes that is different from the way that is meant to be. You did not fail because you could not bring that specific situation forward; you are only being moved in a different direction.
Have resilience, learn and move on.
Going inwards is instrumental for sensing what you need to do next. We all have an inner sense: always talking to us, helping us, and nudging us forward. Only through inwardness can you make a conscious connection with that inner guidance.
You can reach that inner guidance via the portal of meditation.
Connecting with your inner guidance will take time, so be patient and allow that voice of spirit to flow into your being. You will know when it is authentically there.
In whatever shape or form it takes for you, create space for solitude where you have no or little stimulus from the outside world. I go for long walks where I leave my phone at home and practice daily meditation.
Many outcomes in our life are due to social, spiritual, and environmental factors. Still, at some point, we have to take responsibility for our life. We still have a modicum of free will to make choices.
You are choosing to fill every evening of your life with another “ fun activity”, whilst perhaps you need to be at home, do a light stretch, meditate and journal. You are not losing out because you are not “doing something”, which will generate another Instagram photo.
You will only be in this incarnation one time. Do not waste your time entertaining unhealthy relations romantically or otherwise. Set those healthy boundaries and move on.
You can learn about setting healthy boundaries from this book: Better Boundaries.
Try to move your body every day in whatever shape or form it takes for you. Be it light stretching, walking, or high-intensity exercise – whatever works for your body. Movements shift energies in your body, which will do you a ton of good.
I’d say 30 minutes a day is excellent.
Sleep is the essential medicine in our life – ensure you get enough good quality sleep.
You should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
There are some excellent suggestions from The Sleep Foundation and Huberman Lab about improving your sleep quality.
What do you think is missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.