The idea of being in stillness is counter-cultural to our fast paced, always on the go society. Multi-tasking is the norm, long to-do lists the standard and every second of the day is scheduled with an activity that needs to be done.
Yet in my personal life I have discovered the tremendous power that comes from practicing stillness on a regular basis. I invite all of my clients to incorporate this practice into their lives because I know the difference it can make.
How you choose to be in stillness can vary but here are 12 benefits that I hope will encourage you to start the practice.
Being in stillness reduces responses in the parasympathetic system, which is responsible for fight or flight and increases responses in the sympathetic system, responsible for rest and relaxation. In other words, it calms your mind allowing you to feel more at peace and less stressed out.
Ability to let things go more easily
The key to being in stillness is to not engage with any thoughts that come in your mind. This practice of letting go of thoughts carries over into your life in general. You learn the value of letting go of the things that aren’t working so you can create space for what will work.
Able to hear your own intuition
There is a cacophony of voices out there trying to tell you how you should be, what you should do, how you should look, and a myriad of other shoulds. When you practice stillness, you learn to silence those voices and can more easily tap into your intuition to know what is true for you.
Anchors you into the present
Much of the anxiety and stress felt in life is related to future events. Things that need to get done, plans that have to be finalized, outcomes that could go terribly wrong. All of your thoughts are focused in the future. Stillness anchors you into the present moment so you can deal with what is rather than what might be.
Increases listening skills
As you learn to listen to be more present, a natural by-product is you get better at listening to others. You stop waiting to talk and instead learn to actually hear what others are saying and you respond more effectively and empathetically. This leads to richer more rewarding relationships.
While stillness is not intended for problem solving, you can often find clarity around a situation that has been troubling you. Stepping back from it can give you a perspective that you won’t see when in the middle of it. Stillness offers you a way to step back.
Improves your sleep
The general relaxed state achieved as a result of practicing stillness can help you fall asleep more easily and experience a more restful night’s sleep. Practicing stillness can also help you fall back asleep more easily if you wake up in the middle of the night.
Improves your overall health
In addition to improving your sleep, being in stillness lowers blood pressure, improves your immune system, and increases serotonin levels. All of which has a positive impact on your health.
Being in stillness pulls you out of your left brain and allows your right brain to be more activated. Your right brain is the creative center of the brain. Increased activity in this area of the brain offers a change in perspective and can often lead to unexpected outcomes.
Improves ability to handle adversity
Adversity is going to come in one form or another. The peace that comes from practicing stillness will support you as you deal with life’s difficulties. You may not be able to change your situation but the practice of stillness can help you respond to them differently.
Probably one of the unintentional great benefits of practicing stillness is you become more aware of how you are in the world. You notice yourself better as you interact with those around you and you notice how you are adding or taking away from the relationship. You start taking ownership for your role in the things happening in your life rather than staying in a victim or victim-like mindset.
Connects you to a higher power
Practicing stillness makes you aware that there is a higher power at work in the world. Your story is part of a much larger story that is unfolding. You are co-creator with a force that while bigger and more powerful than you still conspires on your behalf. Awareness of this keeps you grounded.
I know practicing stillness feels nearly impossible to do but give it a go, have a little faith and I promise you will experience some of these benefits.
Here’s to you rising into your greatness!
From my heart to yours,
If you know this is important but can’t figure out how to get started, let’s talk about what it could look like for you to incorporate stillness into your life. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me today.
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I recently read an amazing book about practicing stillness that I believe is a great resource for people who want to add more clarity in our busy world: Art of Being by Erich Fromm. Super short, yet extremely useful book about how to become more patient.