Have you had a taste of stillness yet? Maybe you experienced it while trying a meditation technique or a delicious flow you immersed yourself in while engaging in a new hobby. And now, you’re ready to start making stillness a lifestyle.
You may already know the benefits of stillness. Are you hungry for more ways to find peace in and outside of your meditation practice?
I know the feeling. These days, the state of being still comes naturally; but in my early days of coaching and writing in the meditation space, I was relentless in my hunt for inner peace. I had to create a strong foundation for stillness to flourish.
If you’re just getting started, head to my ultimate beginner’s guide for practicing stillness.
I talk a lot about using meditation to create space for stillness. But meditation doesn’t come easy. You might ask yourself: how can I get stillness in my life? For me, it comes from my 20-minute meditation practice or sailing the Pacific in my sailboat. The beauty is there are many ways to cultivate calm and stillness.
Today, I will share some easy ways to find stillness in your everyday life. Then, I’ll share a resource to solidify your practice. Inhale…exhale. Let’s get started.
Everyday Stillness to Success: 7 Ways to Practice Stillness
But what does stillness feel like, exactly? There are many ways to find stillness. And the best part? You’re already doing many of them; you just need to practice being in the present to reap the benefits.
1. Savor Every Sip and Bite
How often do you sit down and take your time eating a homecooked, delicious new recipe that you or your loved one cooked? Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or catching up on work, too distracted to savor the flavors?
Within a few minutes, you finish your meal. Do you remember what it tasted like past that first “mmmm?”
Next time you eat a meal or sip on a coffee, tea, or delicious beverage, leave your phone in another room or turn it off. Be mindful of every detail. From the aromas gently wafting through your nostrils to the different flavors dancing on your tastebuds, to the textures and sensations — soak it in and enjoy it all.
This is called mindful eating, a technique that health expert Joseph Nelson attributes to a greater appreciation for life. Sound familiar? That’s a sign of stillness.
2. Lose Yourself to the Music
Do you have a favorite song that gets you pumped? A calming playlist that chills you out during a stressful day?
Here’s a secret: you don’t have to narrow your focus exclusively on music to achieve stillness. It’s one of the few things you can multitask and still receive meditative benefits. The next time you take a shower or catch up on work, play some inspiring, grounding music in the background.
Eventually, you’ll pause and appreciate the tunes, feeling mentally calm and grateful for the way the music moves you. This awareness of the present moment is a beautiful example of the importance of stillness.
3. Be Present in Conversations
Have you ever listened to a friend or loved one talking while simultaneously mapping out to-do lists in your head? This is a pattern many of us do, and it takes us further away from inner calm.
It might mean that you need to set boundaries with people and yourself. Or it could mean that your thought patterns are stuck in a state of “monkey mind,” the Buddhist phrase for hopping restlessly from one thought to the next. But why is stillness important for your mind in conversation?
Practicing stillness helps you calm your mind to engage in conversations fully. In turn, you’ll build more meaningful connections and experience the power of being still.
Easier said than done, right? Small habits lead to big change. Listen intently to whoever is speaking. Revel in the stories they’re sharing. Take note of the advice they’re giving. Or, if it’s a challenging conversation, devote your full attention so that you can come to an understanding.
4. Indulge in a Massage
Massages might seem like commodities but considering the stillness they help you achieve; they are a worthwhile investment into your wellbeing. A masseuse can loosen your muscles and alleviate tension carried in your body.
A massage — even a visit to the salon or local spa — will recharge your batteries, rejuvenating you with the sumptuous peace you need to tackle all of life’s obligations. You’ll feel calm and relaxed, and this is a great time to practice breathing techniques or simply savor the calming oils, aromas, and sensations.
Challenge yourself to quiet your thoughts and not worry about the next moment. Stillness is appreciating what’s in front of you and permitting yourself to enjoy the experience fully.
5. Surrender Your Thoughts with Journaling
Journaling is a relaxing activity that lets you release your thoughts and surrender them to a page. Why is this important? Because when you release the thoughts and emotions weighing you down, you create space for stillness and inner calm.
What happens when your mind is silent?
When we meditate, we acknowledge our thoughts then let them go. Journaling offers a similar catharsis.
The lightness you feel after? That’s the reward for releasing thoughts that no longer serve you. Carve out five minutes a day to journal, or, if you need a little nudge, use a gratitude journal with prompts.
6. Tap into A Physical Flow
Movement is essential for physical and mental health. Physical activity, including circuit training, cardio, yoga, tai chi, strength training, or walking, releases the brain’s feel-good hormones serotonin and endorphins. In turn, your brain enters a more balanced, joyous state. Many call this state stillness, and I agree.
We can become tense from our thoughts and society’s expectations. Stress can wreak havoc on our physical and mental health, lowering energy levels and increasing blood pressure.
Physical activity combats these risk factors, promoting a healthy body and mind. If something’s stressing you out, sweat it out in a HIIT class or yoga session.
7. Get Outside for a Walk
When was the last time you went outside just to enjoy the warm sunshine and sights of nature? A walk is a small way to practice stillness with big rewards.
You can bask in the fresh air and sunlight hitting your face, indulge in the pretty sounds of birds, feast your eyes on a big park or open field, or if you’re in a big city, watch the people pass by, listen to the sounds, and get lost in the moment.
Even a short, brisk 10-minute walk can reset your day and put you in a state of stillness, leaving you refreshed, focused, and happy. From there, anything is possible!
Start Making Stillness a Lifestyle Today!
How do you find inner stillness outside of meditation? As you’ve learned, living a life of stillness is easy when you adopt it into your daily habits. You can carry it with you through everyday activities. Stillness is everywhere and available to you whenever you want it. From walking around the block to enjoying a tasty dinner, mental calm is ready to grace you with clarity and peace in just about every activity.
It’s incredible how many ways you can adopt stillness into your lifestyle. I’m still amazed at its abundance and benefits, which is why I created my Stillness to Success Course. In it, I offer actionable guidance to help you create a plan to reach your goals, find inner peace, and live life by your design.
It’s all about finding gratitude and awareness in life’s simplest pleasures. Roman philosopher Seneca knew that, so I’ll leave you with this quote: