Recently I’ve felt constantly stimulated. Hyperaware of the impact of my busy lifestyle. I’ve tried to take a step back. And listen to how I feel; physically, emotionally and cognitively. Noticing that my body has a lot to say. It’s crying out for some relaxation. And yet, my usual methods haven’t worked so well recently. Historically, writing my blog, browsing online or watching TV were my go-to methods. But I’m realising they still rely on technology; requiring an active and engaged mind. And currently, that’s not what I need. What I need is time for my mind to go quiet.
For A Guide to Pressing Pause for Your Mental Health read here.
Hustle & Bustle
Whilst we often require our bodies to be ‘on’ at all times. Constantly active for long daylight hours until we collapse into bed. How many of us tune in to our bodies? Really listening to the cues that tell us what it needs. We’re not designed for 24hour stimulation or activity. So, why do we act like we are?
I noticed myself doing this today. Returning home after a few hours out, I felt how achy my limbs were, how foggy my head. I could feel my need to sit and wind down. And yet, I did the exact opposite. I started running around doing chores. I told myself it was better to do them now rather than later. Whilst that may be true, my motivation and productivity will undoubtedly be less by evening. I noticed myself ignoring what my body had to say. I shut down those cues and overrode them with logic. Logic which may be flawed. I am usually exhausted by evening. But perhaps that’s because I don’t have breaks in the day. Would listening to what my body needs and responding enable me to be more productive ultimately?
For How to Use Solitude for Your Mental Health read here.
To me, finding silence means becoming more adept at noticing what our body and minds have to tell us. Tuning in to the way our body feels. The emotions we are experiencing. Our reactions to different stimuli . It’s only when we stop and pause, that we are able to do so. And, like everything, it takes practise. Today may be the first time I’ve really noticed my needs in the moment. The more I listen for them, the more I’ll be able to react and provide..
By listening I’m understanding why screen-related down time isn’t hitting the spot. My mind craves quiet, it wants to find silence. Screens, however passive the activity may be, are stimulating. Right now, I need something different.
So, instead I’m seeking other kinds of relaxation. I’ve started lighting a scented candle and reading before bed. The difference it makes is huge. I’m sleeping so much better. I’ve also started adult colouring, enjoying the simplicity and the colours. It helps me be more mindful and I often practise deep breathing whilst doing it. My desire for quiet has also led me outdoors more. The opportunity to simply be. Yoga has provided similar benefits. There’s something comforting in flowing from one movement to another. And the acceptance of sinking into a posture with no need to rush or move on quickly.
Overall, this desire to find silence has significantly impacted my mental health. Leading me to better sleep hygiene, opportunities for mindfulness and deep breathing, and more time outdoors. It has offered me newfound opportunities for creativity. And changed how I think about exercise. Moving to a calmer, more relaxed routine of walking and yoga. Rather than more frenetic and high-paced dance and kickboxing.
For How to Find a Slower Pace in Life read here.
Right now I feel like I am sinking in to this new routine. Trying to find a slower pace in life. I’m such a busy person usually, and that hasn’t changed. And I don’t think it will. Leaning in to what our body needs doesn’t have to mean complete change; unless we want it to. It can mean being thoughtful about how we use our time and what we do with it. For me, relaxation meant watching or browsing. Exercise meant intense cardio and calorie burning. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. So, I’ve adopted to some new habits. They may not be what I need in a few months time. But I’m open to accepting that it’s what I need right now. And, when that changes, hopefully I’ll still be listening to hear when that happens.
What do you think about finding silence? Are you able to tune in to your own needs? And adapt accordingly? What works for you? As always, let us know below.