Stillness - An Antidote to Busyness

Is it possible to use the self-care practice of stillness as an antidote to busyness and the problem of busyness? Stillness is the self-care practice of ‘doing nothing just being’, and is not something New Yorkers, like me, are acquainted with. Even when meditating, an ambitious person might find oneself working too hard to create a result. Achieving is such a strong goal for many, that it can create other habits that make-work without accomplishing much at all.

Wasting Time vs Creating Time

Even when we waste time, we are busy engaging in an activity like watching, downloading, tinkering, fidgeting, wishing, longing, rushing, regretting, or engaging in negative self-talk. Yes, you can disconnect and unplug but even a technology break won’t help if you’re busy waiting for the detox to end. Otherwise we tend towards boredom, because we have not learned to enjoy the power of stillness. The practice of stillness is the opposite of busyness, and could be the answer you’ve been looking for. While you might equate stillness the absence of movement, it is also equivocal to peace within. When referring to stillness as a practice, one can simply ‘be’ without striving for anything at all, without having any particular goal in mind, without seeking. It is an empowering place that exists within us all where you can discover yourself, without trying. It’s a place from where rest and relaxation are achieved in a moments, energy regenerated, and from where epiphanies spring.

The Intentionality of Stillness

While one may stumble upon stillness accidentally, perhaps while vacationing on the Mediterranean or at the lake, for most, as with all self-care practices, it’s a process that involves a small amount of daily discipline and intentional connecting to oneself. Here are 5 Steps to Creating Stillness

  1. Take 5: Make it the first 5 minutes of the day, or the last five minutes of your lunch break. Don’t talk yourself out of it - there are plenty of benefits to be had in 5 minutes.

  2. Comfy body: It’s much easier to gather stillness when your body is relaxed and you are alone, so find the best place you can but perfection is not required - how’bout a park bench, car or bed.

  3. Return to Learn: Recall an experience of stillness you had in the past. Remember the setting, the feeling and put yourself there again.

  4. Take it Slow; even for a few minutes. There is no rush, no where to be and no where to go. Remind yourself of this.

  5. Make Room for something new. If you find your old thoughts coming in, allow yourself to say ‘not now’, or simply let it pass and go back to the stillness