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Is your life full of chaos? Do you struggle to make time for yourself? Welcome to adulthood! Finding a work/life balance while raising a family and keeping everyone happy is a non-stop juggling act for nearly every American.
As the stress piles up, you may begin to feel as though your life is spiraling out of control. The turmoil in your life can appear to have no end in sight. But, there is a solution: simply slow down and find Zen in your life.
The definition of Zen is “to see, to observe, and to look.” This is often difficult to achieve if you do not make a conscious effort, but learning how to find Zen in times of chaos through meditation, relaxation, and laughter is the key.
Set Your Morning Alarm Several Minutes Earlier
As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm.” How does this apply to your busy lifestyle? Waking up a little bit earlier in the morning can give you a few extra minutes to get ready and have some alone time before it’s time to wake the kids.
The early morning is often the quietest time of the day in a busy household. Make use of this time to write in your journal, perform some yoga, or enjoy a cup of coffee before you begin preparing breakfast for the family.
Find Five Minutes Each Day to Meditate
The morning will come and go, so what do you when you find yourself stressed out in the middle of the day? Five minutes is all you need to take a short break from daily responsibilities and refresh your brain.
When meditating, you should sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on taking deep, full breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Sitting on a meditation pillow such as the Trevida Zafu Meditation Cushion can help you maintain proper posture during your meditation, by keeping your spine aligned. This cushion is perfect for sitting in the standard Lotus pose as you sit with your legs crossed, your back straight, and your hands resting on your knees.
While performing five minutes of meditation each day can help combat stress, it can also provide you with a wide array of other health benefits. It can prevent chronic insomnia, control pain, and lower your blood pressure.1 So, grab our Zafu Meditation cushion and spend a few minutes each day practicing your meditation techniques.
Take a Deep Breath and Count to Ten
If you do not have time to take five minutes to yourself, then simply give yourself ten seconds. Anything is better than nothing. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, inhale through your nose, and count to ten. Slowly exhale through your mouth and open your eyes. This short pause will help you relax. It gives you a chance to reassess the situation with a clear mind.
Adopt an Optimistic Outlook on Life
Are you a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” type of person? The former can be difficult to achieve, especially when everything seems to go wrong.
When your children are arguing, the dogs are barking, and you’re trying to prepare dinner, it can be hard to look on the sunny side of life. It’s during these moments when you need to take a step back and realize that every little thing will be all right.
You could even choose a mantra to repeat to yourself, whenever life seems to throw an obstacle in your way, such as “everything will work out for the best.” Use the previous tip, of taking a deep breath and counting to ten, while repeating your mantra. Your heart rate will slow and you’ll feel more balanced.
Meditation can also help you achieve a better outlook on life. A study conducted by Professor Richard Davidson, from the University of Wisconsin2, found that daily meditation can increase activity in the frontal region of the brain, in the same area connected to optimism and positive thought. Basically, meditation can help you become more optimistic.
Walk or Cycle to Your Local Stores
The next time that you need to visit the local convenience store or your favorite coffee shop, walk or cycle instead of driving. Give yourself an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, as you take deep breaths and get your blood circulating. This also lets you avoid the unnecessary stress that can come with driving a vehicle and dealing with other drivers.
Laugh Out Loud When You Get Stressed
Laughter is the best medicine. When you find yourself ready to crumble, fed up with everything, force yourself to laugh out loud. Perform a good, deep belly laugh. The absurdity of laughing at a moment of great stress can be incredibly refreshing.
Laughter is a great way to distract your mind and keep worries at bay. The activity gives you a chance to refocus and get back to what you were doing without any added stress.
Doctors are not entirely sure why laughing is so beneficial, though they do know that it produces an effect similar to working out. As you know, physical activity has been known to release feel-good endorphins. Similar to working out, laughter increases your pulse and sends more oxygen to your brain and tissues3 to release those positive hormones.
One-minute of deep laughter can get your heart going the same as spending ten minutes on a rowing machine. So, when you get stressed, one of your best options may be to let out a good hearty laugh.
Learn How to Let Certain Things Go
Learn how to let go of things that you cannot control, including other people’s behavior. When you are stressed and at the breaking point, think about the reasons for your stress. Identify the negativity you’re holding onto to make positive changes.
Generally, you will find that the biggest stress relates to something that is beyond your control. You’re relying on an ideal, outcome, or expectation that is not directly influenced by your decisions.
Holding onto these expectations is a fantasy. It’s wishful thinking and it produces unnecessary stress in your life. Once you realize this, it will be easier to see that clinging to an ideal actually hurts you. Focus on the things that you can influence and do not worry yourself with the things that you cannot control.
Realize That Chaos is Natural
Chaos is natural and life is unpredictable. It’s how you deal with this chaos that allows you to find peace. If you can find just a single moment of peace during your day, you should discover that it’s easier to tackle life’s challenges.
Understand that you cannot control everything and that you will face distractions and obstacles. It’s easy to get caught up in these distractions, but you shouldn’t allow this to keep you from getting what you want out of life.
Life can be exhausting. Luckily, there are ways to find your inner Zen despite what is going on in the world around you. You do not need to allow responsibilities and demands to pile up to the point where you cannot take it anymore. Put these tips into action.
While using the Zafu Meditation cushion to ensure proper posture, start each day with meditation. Give it a try and see what a difference meditation can have on your life, even in times of turmoil and stress.
- Morgan N, Irwin MR, et al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23608661
- Brunette, Lisa. http://news.wisc.edu/meditation-produces-positive-changes-in-the-brain/
- Griffin, R. Morgan. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter
- iofoto, Depositphotos. http://depositphotos.com/9247994/stock-photo-happy-laughing-woman.html