Have you ever turned off the TV and suddenly the house seemed so quiet that you became still as well?
When we are surrounded by noise, whether it’s from other people or our electronics, we don’t give ourselves the valuable time we need to be alone and quiet. Those two things, alone + quiet, can make a world of difference in your mental health. And you don’t have to take my word for it…
Mindfulness and meditation studies show:
- “Meditation and mindfulness skills led to improved sleep, greater relaxation…at the end of the six-week meditation course, worry, and thought suppression were significantly reduced.” (1)
- It can lead to cardiac risk reduction. (2)
- Reduces chronic physical pain. (3)
- Lowers anxiety. (4)
- But it’s not just about facts and figures, although those alone should have us rushing to practice meditation and mindfulness!
We Are Not Usually Taught How to Tune In
As children we are often taught to be obedient. We scan the room and pay attention to other people’s emotional clues, making sure we do the right thing and don’t get into trouble. This, of course, develops the “others aware” mentality so we will grow up to be people dependent on the reactions and opinions of others. But, I’ve found that a more useful skill is relearning to listen to ourselves. When we shut down our own, inner voice in favor of other’s emotional cues, we are silencing ourselves. And we are learning to place more importance on what others think, than on our own experience. We are getting rid of self trust, self care, and self awareness when we don’t listen to the voice within.
One of the most important things you can do is get quiet. Learn to listen to that voice again, especially if you’ve been in situations where it was further suppressed—like in your family, job, or an unhealthy relationship.
Quiet time each day allows you to tune in to your Self and get to know what that voice sounds like again.
Spending quiet time alone allows you to know who you are and what you need in any given moment so that you can be authentic.
When you listen to your inner voice, and spend alone time, you can begin to know what you want, what you really want. It helps you contemplate decisions you need to make, without other voices influencing you.
You can see how you really feel about a person in your life. Is that connection is healthy? Try a body scan and see how your health is and make mental notes to adjust your eating habits.
When you get quiet, you give that inner voice time to speak up. When you hear what it has to say, it sets a standard for your behavior. You will know, the next time you’re talking to that person, that you don’t deserve to be treated badly. You will know, the next time you go to grab that fast food, that your body deserves better.
And, not because I told you so, or because you read it in a book.
Meditation and mindfulness changes things because you told you so.
Look, this really is the key to long-lasting change.
You’ll stop acting from a program, habits, or other people’s expectations. It helps you set boundaries that don’t require you to look for other’s approval and other’s reassurance.
Learning to listen to yourself allows you to act from what is right for you within a given moment. It’s the way we tap into our inner leader and take responsibility for our own lives. Quiet time every single day is essential to get to know ourselves and what our energy is asking of us and communicating to us each day.
How do you get to know yourself?
Here’s a simple way to start:
- Find a quiet place in your home.
- Sit in a comfortable position. Sit on a soft surface like a couch or a chair with a pillow on it. Put both feet on the ground and relax your shoulders
- Close your eyes.
- Put your hand over your heart for a few moments. When we do this, we can actually sync our brain waves with our heart beat. It is the best position to begin to in tune with ourselves.
- Tune in. Afraid you don’t know how to tune in? Think about the one person, animal, place or thing that makes you smile right into your belly.
Did you feel that shift? You’ve tuned in.
At first, the mind resists. You begin to notice how active the mind actually is. But if you stay with it, coming back to your heart and the space between the eyebrows, the noise will begin to fall away.
Have compassionate patience with yourself and the process. The mind will rush around to different subjects, different to do lists. Tell it thank you, but you’ll talk about that later.
And, understand that thoughts will come in. They are not your thoughts. You are
not your thoughts. Thoughts happen. You can notice them, and then let them pass on through. After a period of quiet time, ask yourself what you are grateful for. Allow yourself to feel into the memory of a moment you enjoyed.
You can ask yourself a question you’ve been wondering about:
“What do I need to see most, right now?” “How can I take care of myself today?” “What should the next step on my health journey be?” “How can I experience a moment of beauty today?” “What is one negative pattern I need to be aware that I do?” “Where are my healthy boundaries? Am I honoring them, especially in my relationships?”
Would you like a little help?
So, sometimes a guided relaxation can help. You can use this link: https://drgloriane.com/shift-in-5-now/ to download a free Shift in 5 meditation.
It is short but very effective, and you will feel better as the words soothe your mind and spirit.