In our crazy, hectic, chaotic days it is all too easy to get caught up in the rush and lose sight of our zenful state of mind. That is okay. You are a human being and we are designed to fluctuate, it is all part of the ebb and flow, the wax and wane. Don’t beat yourself up. That is not productive.
What is productive is maintaining a state of awareness. Become aware when your energy is off and your heart rate is increased. Take note when you’re zoning out or acting without thought. If you notice any of these things, most likely you could use a quick and mindful, return to zen.
This process will look different for different people and so don’t think you can just swipe your best friend’s back to zen game plan. You have to commit to figuring out what works for you specifically. While your friend may rely solely on deep breathing, this process could simply add to your stress level and result in thinking “this doesn’t work for me and I am destined to be stressed”. Do not be discouraged and keep an open mind.
5 ways to return to Zen.
1. Deep Breathing
Now this does not work for everyone, but it is a tried and true way to slow everything down, internally and seemingly externally. While the internal slow-down is measureable, as your heart rate will slow and your blood pressure will decrease, the external slow-down Is only based on your perception. Clearly, unless you are an x-man of sorts, you cannot actually slow down the world around you, but when you slow down inside, your mindset shifts and you realize that you actually can keep up with the world around you, if you just look at bits and pieces and take everything 1 step at a time.
2. Sensory Check in
Take as many minutes as you can, even if it is only 1, and note all your senses – touch, taste, smell, sight, hear. Go through the list and note as many observations as you can make for each. This exercise increase mindfulness and brings about a feeling of peace through shifting our focus.
3. Go to your Happy Place
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in what you would consider to be a peaceful and safe environment. For me, this place is an open filed with a king size bed in the middle of the field, bathed in morning rays. I am surrounded by trees, birds, deer, anything earthy is welcome in my peaceful paradise.
Now Imagine yourself comfortable and at peace surrounded by healing light in this specific place. Stay there as long as you are able, or until you feel that imagined peace, pulsing in your current self.
There are many people who swear by the calming effects of aromatherapy. Lavendar is king, or queen, in the realm of calming aromas. To make use of this method in a pinch, all you would need to do is keep a bottle of lavender essential oil near at all times, and do some inhalations when you feel the need to return to zen. You can also make use of lotions or sprays, I just recommend making sure it is a quality product that if I may suggest, was not tested on our furry friends.
This one can be difficult to access depending on where you are, but getting yourself close to any sort of natural or earthy surroundings can be very zen inspiring. Earthing specifically is a practice where you stand barefoot in the grass. This is not always possible, especially if you live in the desert, but even gazing at some trees, or running your fingers over the leaves of an indoor plant can have a calming effect. Take notice of the textures and smells and sounds, and revel in the slow pace of the earth and try to emulate that.
Now this is only 5 ways, but there are many more. I recommend trying each one and seeing how you feel after. I also suggest trying more than once. Deep breathing the first time can feel awkward and more frustrating if you’re putting too much pressure on it, but after you repeat the practice it feels more natural and the benefits come easier. So keep it up.
I also recommend trying a combo of the practices if able. For example, you can easily combine deep breathing and aromas, or earthing and sensory check ins. Keep trying till you find whatever method or combo that brings you back to zen.
Now go do good things & life a life of intention.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I hope it adds value to your day.