At Flow we often write about unwinding, slowing down, and finding peace and quiet. But it’s easier said than done in our hectic everyday lives filled with commitments, meetings, looking after the kids, organizing meals and responding to all those notifications. So these tips might just help you find some serenity in the brief in-between moments.
Here’s how you can relax and find new energy for the rest of your day:
Talk less and listen more
Listening can be difficult because we’re used to immediately sharing our thoughts through dialogue. But you’ll find it much more calming to simply listen more often and not instantly participate in the conversation. It allows you the time to organize your own thoughts and form a deeper connection because you are truly listening to what the other person has to say, and not just thinking about what your response will be.
Turn the volume down (or off)
Switching on the radio as soon as you get in the car or putting in your headphones once you sit down on the train: these are automatic acts for many people. Yet being tuned in to constant sounds such as these can exhaust you because your brain has to work all the time. Naturally, your surroundings will never be completely quiet, but it will bring you a great deal more serenity to just listen to the cars passing you by on the highway, instead of music or talk shows.
Meditating doesn’t have to require a lot of effort and time; you can meditate in the five-minute break between meetings. All you need are a few minutes and silence. Time to focus on your breathing and clear your mind. And if you still find meditation difficult, just start by sitting still for five minutes and doing nothing: this way you become comfortable with yourself and meditation will follow naturally.
Find calm spaces
Don’t go to busy shopping malls or cafes when it’s your day off; look for places where you can enjoy some tranquility instead. For example, go to a museum or read a book in a quiet café or library. This way, you get the best of both worlds: you’ve gone out somewhere, but you’re also exposed to a lot less stimuli.
Turn off your notifications
If you’re constantly distracted by your phone, you’re bound to feel agitated, no matter how peaceful or quiet your environment is. So turn off those notifications (or your phone completely) and think to yourself: I will only respond to my messages when I have the time and space to do so, and not when my phone demands my attention.
Go into nature more often
Nowhere will you experience as much serenity as in nature. The Japanese even have a special word for it: shinrin-yoku (forest bathing). This meditative form of walking is conquering the world simply because it has proven to be a good way to reduce stress and improve your health. And to find calm in daily life.
*Read more about slowing down in Flow 19 Days of Mindfulness.
Text Quirine Brouwer Translation Julia Gorodecky Photography Eduard Militaru / Unsplash.com