Find Your Zen
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
We live in an age where busyness is praised, multitasking is commended and working overtime is the standard. We’re handling more personal technological devices than ever before, which promote constant check-ins, updates and peer feedback. Here in the Western world, we have an individualistic culture. We’re trained to work towards personal achievement–at whatever cost–right from the get-go. Throughout school we’re pushed to pick our “specialty” and competition with others is a constant. Our culture creates many super successful, qualified, hard-working people, but what’s the price tag? I believe we’re losing touch with ourselves and we’re slowly losing our grasp on inner peace. When we step into the space of personal achievement too often, we lose touch with our communities or loved ones and ultimately, we forget who we are and how we can make ourselves happy. It’s important to reach your personal goals, but to also have some balance in your life.
Consider for a moment what it would be like to shake off all the expectations you’ve set for yourself, the insane standards, the comparisons with others and see yourself just as you are. Remember how you used to play on the swing set as a kid? The warm sense of bliss that would wash over you when you allowed your heart to guide your actions. It was fun, wasn’t it? If you’re finding it hard to reach stillness and inner peace don’t beat yourself up about it. Allow yourself to explore other areas of your life that could bring you closer to tranquility. Here are my favourite top 5 ways to find zen!
1) Get outside! I LOVE hiking. Snow, rain or shine I’m out there, exploring different trails in Southern Ontario. Anytime I feel anxiety consuming me, or depression sinking in or I become overwhelmed by stress (as we all do sometimes) I hit the trail. Being in nature always shifts my perspective immediately. I realize how insignificant my self-constructed issues are and how at peace I can be if I tune into the beauty in the world around me.
2) Turn up the beats- Okay, so you maybe don’t want to play your favourite gangsta rap or rave tunes when you’re already feeling a bit rallied up, but music has its place in peacefulness. Seek out music that gets you grounded. If that’s Sia, awesome. If it’s Metallica, cool. Whatever brings you a sense of calm and (relative) quietness.
3) Move your body- Studies show getting physical releases endorphins, making your brain smile and your body happy. When you need to rest, rest. However, if you notice you’re in a bit of a black hole after staying immobile for too long, get up and going. Dance in your living room, get the lawnmower going, go for a run or–my personal favourite–hit your yoga mat!
4) Meditate- Or…at least give yourself quiet, alone time every day. I like meditating first thing in the morning for a few minutes. I roll out of bed and if my iPhone hasn’t screamed at me to answer it yet, I immediately move to my pillow and feed my brain the stillness it needs to be powerful. You can journal, read or just take some deep breaths in your office bathroom if you want to reset your racing brain.
5) Count your blessings- Gratitude.Gratitude.Gratitude. It’s HUGE! The more you focus on what’s good in your life and what you’ve gained by being you, the less you’ll feel unsatisfied and disconnected with yourself. As my mentor Michelle Armstrong says, “what we think, what we say-we manifest in our bodies and our lives.” Want more positivity in your life? Think and say positive messages and it will come your way.
I’m no professional self-help guru, but I enjoy sharing the tips and tricks that I’ve found along my journey to holistic health and happiness. One step at a time, we can all become more peaceful, enlightened individuals!