Stress less: Easy ways to be still without sitting still

We stress less when our body and mind are still, but stillness does not mean the absence of movement.  It is rather the absence, or letting go, of the things that disrupt our stillness. Photo: Nina Stawski

WASHINGTON October 13, 2012 - We usually use the word stillness to indicate lack of movement, but stillness can also be the lack of apparent movement. A top spinning so quickly that it appears still illustrates how stillness can be motion-without-conflict; conflict would make the top wobble. 

The stillness of motion-without-conflict can be experienced by stopping activity and quieting the mind, or by pursuing an activity wholeheartedly; fully engaged. Either way, choosing stillness means letting go of concerns that cause distress and make us wobble. 

To relieve stress, think about becoming more still, not through the absence of movement but by releasing your wobble-makers. Engage in activities or take steps that will help you to relinquish mental and emotional conflicts, worries, or frustrations.  

5 Suggestions for Wobble Reduction 

1. Aside from a clock or watch, make the bedroom a digital free zone. Create a quiet sleeping space that is a haven from the rush and noise of the world. Watch TV and play or work on the computer elsewhere until you are ready to crawl in for a good night’s sleep. Eventually, your body will begin to relax as soon as you enter the bedroom. 

2. Most people spritz themselves clean in the shower which can be relaxing or rejuvenating. To really become still though have a good soak in the tub with a few drops of an essential oil (lavender is very relaxing) in the water. Maybe add some quiet music and candlelight. Put a do not disturb sign on the door before closing it. There is only one rule; while you soak, let the rest of the world fade away. 

3. Have at least one place in your home dedicated to an activity you love to do, an activity you easily lose yourself in. This dedicated area must have ready all the tools necessary for your activity. Then, you can take 15 or 30 minutes to engage in it without having to search for what you need, which is usually too much bother. 

An activity station might be a comfy chair and a stack of books, a woodcarving bench in the basement, a knitting nook, the makings of scrapbooks or greeting cards, a charged camera, a place to jot down ideas, or a basketball by the back door. If the activity is always ready and convenient, you are more likely to do it. 

4. Treat your eyes to plenty of sunlight everyday. When eyes are hit with the full, natural spectrum of the sun’s rays, light sensitive cells in the eyes come alive. Those cells are well connected to our pituitary gland. This gland gets a buzz from the invisible blue spectrum of sunlight and then stimulates production of melatonin, a hormone that we need to fall asleep and sleep well. 

Our brain’s hypothalamus also loves the sunlight and we want our hypothalamus to feel loved. It has influence with our body’s 24 hour patterns, hormone regulation, mood, energy, mental clarity, quality of sleep, and reaction time. If the hypothalamus is wobbly, we will feel stressed no matter what is going on. 

5. People may not stroll much anymore, but it is a great way to relax. If strolling is unfamiliar to you, it means walking at a slow comfortable pace for no other reason than to enjoy yourself, the fresh air, and the environment. The slow pace helps quiet the mind. 

Strolling with someone is enjoyable. It’s easy to converse when your arms and heart are not pumping at aerobic rates. To take stillness to the next level switch from strolling to lollygagging. If you do not know the meaning of lollygag, it is in the dictionary. 

Learn more about managing stress at Healthline.com.

Other source: Schiffmann, Stillness. http://www.movingintostillness.com/book/meditation_moving_into_stillness.html  


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Jacqueline Marshall

Jacqueline Marshall is a writer for Help For Depression, and freelances primarily in the areas of psychology and personal development. She has a MA in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed therapist living near Chicago.

Jacqueline has experience helping those diagnosed with severe, persistent mental illness, and in providing general therapy services for individuals, couples, and families. Prior to counseling, she worked in graphic design and music education.

When not writing or counseling, Jacqueline enjoys reading literature and math-less books about quantum physics. She is a published poet, and has studied animal communication and energy healing.  

 

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