The word ‘Zen’ to me conjures images of peace, harmony and feeling at one with yourself and the world.
The 21st Century lifestyle is busy and the majority of us are trying to find ways to bring balance and to focus on the important areas of our lives.
The Urban Dictionary describes Zen as: ‘a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.’
Being mindful and taking time each day to breathe, focus on the moment and ensuring that we schedule in down time, helps us to find clarity and bring some calm and order to our state of being.
How to find mental clarity in a busy day
Meditation is a great way to introduce calmness into your life. I never thought I could clear my mind long enough to meditate but with practice you can achieve a meaningful meditation. I have also learned that it is okay for our minds to wander during meditation. We just accept it and then return to our breath and focus.
Incorporating some form of meditation each day will bring inner peace and calmness to cope with the problems of the day. However, some of us struggle to remain calm and focused because of our ‘monkey minds’ that just won’t keep quite and still.
Creating your own 3 word mantra for the day helps during times of stress and anxiety. Select 3 words that have a meaning for you. Repeating your 3 word mantra throughout your day will bring focus and clarity to your mind.
8 benefits of bringing more ‘Zen’ into your life
- Provides clarity of mind
- Encourages us to have an open mind to life and what it offers
- Improves our concentration
- Improves our sleep
- Can provide a new perspective on problem solving
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Helps you to recognize your feelings
- Brings mindfulness and self-reflection
Try the following breathing exercise for at least 5 minutes – you can spare 5 minutes for your health and well-being can’t you?
The Square Breathing Technique
Square breathing is a very simple technique and a method to focus the mind using controlled, deliberate breathing.
A square has four equal sides. And, square breathing has four equal sections.
- Find a quiet place where you can comfortably sit or lie down without distraction.
- Close your eyes.
- Take a moment to try to clear your mind – focus on something that makes you feel good
- Breathe for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds and hold the breath for 4 seconds. Repeat for 5, 10 or 15 minutes
If you are feeling stressed or anxious at any time during the day and practice Square Breathing.
Joining Min at Write of the Middle for Zen Tip Tuesday.