You’ve probably heard life coaches and yoga instructors talk about finding stillness. Phrases like “stillness is within you” or “stillness leads you to inner truth” sound important, but what is stillness?
Stillness is a state of deep inner calm; some call it nirvana, others call it a flow where the mind achieves complete peace and presence.
After a stressful workday, there’s nothing you’d like more than to squeeze in a moment of stillness amidst your to-do’s and nagging tasks.
I can relate. Before I started meditating, “stillness” wasn’t a word in my vocabulary. But after a few months of meditating consistently, stillness found me. I started to experience the power of being still in every aspect of my life. Are you looking to experience the same?
Then keep reading as I breakdown everything there is to know about stillness.
What Does Stillness Mean?
Calmness, silence, quiet — all of these are characteristics of stillness, but they are not the entirety of it. For instance, the most silent person in the world could still have a loud mind that’s eons away from stillness.
Stillness is a deep quiet in your mind, where you’re immersed in the present moment. Buddhist philosophy posits that inner calm helps you see everything more deeply and clearly, without holding onto any emotions, thoughts, or ideas.
What does it mean to practice stillness? It means prioritizing yourself and amplifying your inner voice. Think about it: when was the last time you felt utterly present? Maybe it was the sheer, uninterrupted joy you felt when you held your child for the first time. Or the mental clarity and connection you experienced after a heartfelt conversation with your best friend. The truth is, still moments are rare.
So often, every thought, conversation, and action become clouded by the noise of everyday life — think social media, work emails, worries, and expectations. Imagine how much closer you’d get to your goals without those interruptions, without all that noise?
Stillness is your state of mind when you can acknowledge the noise without letting it overpower you. For me, stillness was the clear path toward success.
But what made me take that first step?
Why is Stillness Important?
Have you ever wondered, “what is stillness of the mind?” It might seem like a nice bonus after a meditation session, but why is it important to be still in everyday life?
In my opinion, you can’t experience success without stillness. And I think everyone who has found success would agree, even if they at one point struggled to define what success meant for them.
Think about what you really want in life—having trouble? You can’t work towards an unclear goal. Inner peace gives you the clarity to understand what you truly want in life, helping you map out your dreams and desires into actionable, daily steps.
Maybe you’ll have a eureka moment once you meditate on your goals. There it is! Perhaps you’ll realize what you want most is to go back to school and become a lawyer. But life and all the noise of your obligations distracted you from that goal, quieted your inner voice.
Why is stillness important? First, it helps you understand yourself and your goals. Second, inner calm gives you the discipline required to move towards that goal. If you want to make it through one month at law school, you’ll need to develop the discipline to know that giving up is not an option.
Committing to meditation helps you uphold commitments to other aspects of your life.
Bottom line? This quiet headspace helps you get out of your own way and take you where you want to be in life. Now, how do you practice stillness in your day-to-day life?
How Do You Practice Stillness?
What is stillness meditation? Exactly what it sounds like: a way to obtain stillness through daily meditation. It’s a great way to practice stillness, and the more you do it, the more it becomes a habit.
Here’s how to practice stillness every day:
- Find a quiet, meditative space where you feel safe and inspired.
- Inhale and exhale. Let your breath flow into a nice groove to kick off your meditation session.
- Eliminate all distractions. Turn off your phone, just for 10-20 minutes to start — your law school buddies can wait.
- Be patient with yourself. Meditation doesn’t come easily. Thoughts will arise, acknowledge them, and exhale them away. Recenter yourself.
- Release thoughts that hold you down. For instance, if you’re deep into meditation and awkward memories from your past arise, breathe through them; release them.
- Prioritize practicing stillness every day. Even if only for 5-10 minutes. Stay the course and build on your momentum.
Now that you know how to practice stillness, what can you expect to happen?
What are the Benefits of Stillness?
In addition to pushing you closer to fulfillment and success, you’ll notice many other benefits
of practicing stillness. For starters, research shows that meditation helps you reduce cortisol levels (stress hormones) that add to the compounding stress we’re all feeling lately. If you’re in law school, that should be enough reason to meditate.
But there’s more. You’ll also have more meaningful relationships and conversations since you’ll approach people with more authenticity and presence.
Finally, you’ll feel better equipped to manage uncomfortable or stressful situations. Stillness helps you stay calm and look for solutions, rather than letting panic and stress take the wheel.
When Should You Practice?
Look, I know how busy life is; sometimes, it feels impossible to come up for air. But here’s the kicker: the more you let the chaos control your life, the more it amalgamates into tremendous stress, louder noise. So then, how do you develop a still mind amidst all the busyness?
To start, practice stillness during your daily meditation practice. Then, you’ll notice it all the time. Practicing stillness in your everyday life will become an automatic response during:
- Confrontation or arguments
- Alone in bed listening to music
- Chatting with a friend
- Cooking breakfast
- Going for a walk
- Visiting with friends or family
…the list goes on. The key is to make stillness a lifestyle; the more you prioritize inner peace, the easier it is to make it a philosophy and automatic response to anything life throws your way.
It Starts with You!
What is stillness amidst life’s stresses and uncertainties? The elixir to a happier, more fulfilling life.
Stillness is the deep quiet that helps you reach your goals, improve your relationships, and reduce stress. Without it, finding fulfillment and satisfaction in life is much more challenging.
How do you get inner stillness? By following the steps in this guide. But if you feel you need a nudge to get started, enroll in my Stillness to Success course. It’ll help you develop the tools and strategies you’ll need to experience inner calm, the wellspring that fosters fulfillment, happiness, and meaningful success.
Whether it’s graduating from law school, jumping into the freelance world, moving to a new country, you name it – this course will help you reach your goals.
If you have any questions or feel like sharing about what’s holding you back, let’s connect in the comments below!
“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”
–Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati