In this hectic world that we live in, we’re quite constantly addicted to be stimulated. We constantly need something pulling at our awareness. When are we ever truly focused? We’ve got a Word document on our laptop, while our favourite TV show is running in the background, while we’re texting our friend while a pop album is running in the background.
We’re addicted to multitasking. We’re addicted to constant stimulation. Technology has helped us connect with others more than ever before, but tragically the same technology causes a deep sense of loneliness, inadequacy, depression are more. Technological advancements have pummelled us into constantly feeling as though if we’re not on our phones, we’re missing out on something.
Although, if you’ve ever investigated the YouTube videos on Social Media detoxes, the vast majority of them indicate that much to their surprise, spending those large periods away from all their “social” apps didn’t lead to their lives falling apart. Who would’ve guessed right?
Want to enjoy solitude? Break free from constant distraction. TV running in the background, turn it off. Wanting to check your phone every 2 minutes? Move it away. Addicted to your email? Resist. A core component to Buddhism is understanding the actions we do that undermine our sense of peace. And with this knowledge, we stop doing those things to encourage a sense of peace, happiness and stillness within ourselves.
Let’s jump right into it. Before I do, I just want to remind you that you don’t need to have a special gene to do this. You don’t need to be born with incredible patience, some magical gift or mind-boggling discipline. Inner peace, stillness and happiness is achievable to all, albeit it might need a bit of hard work. Definitely achievable. Let’s jump in.
- Become aware of the present moment. The Buddhists believe that your perfect self exists in the present. If you’re worried about the regrets of yesterday, or the pressures of tomorrow, you’re mentally unavailable to enjoy the present moment. Nothing is quite as deep or peaceful as enjoying the present moment. Breathe. Focus on now. Will you take time out to just be present?
- Take your time. Very often our mind is incredibly occupied, thinking of the next thing to do constantly. Not only do we not take the time to appreciate the present moment, we don’t take the time to just focus on what we’re doing now. Stop worrying about your next goal, you can tackle it when you get there. Briefly note it down, and focus on your current task. You’ll likely do a better job, drastically reduce stress and enjoy it more too. Will you slow down a bit?
- Seek stillness. No one is capable of going at 100% all the time. Influential studies have shown that our focus suffers tremendously after 30 minutes of focusing on a task. Losing focus is nothing to feel guilty about, be proud that you focused for so long! Use the 30 minute rule to your advantage, after every 25 minutes of working, take a few minutes to just close your eyes, breathe and rest. Away from your phone, your emails, your responsibilities, everything. A few minutes for just you. You work really hard, you deserve it. Are you going to rest for a few minutes today?
- Be true to yourself. Your journey is truly unique. Your experiences, your pains, your laughs, your memories, your lessons, everything else. They’re all unique to you. While keeping advice in mind is important, ultimately you know what’s best for yourself. Take risks but don’t be afraid to admit when you made a mistake. Be true to who you are. Living up to someone else’s standard is stressful and tiring. Are you being true to yourself?
- Angry and jealousy aren’t productive. Logically, does you being enraged to the core with jealousy, hurt or whatever it maybe, help the situation in any way? The only person that is really suffering is you, and only you. You’re the one that has to suffer the stress, the emotional instability and the lack of peace. It’s you who suffers. When you find yourself following a train of thought that’ll make you angry, shift your focus onto your breath. Emotions come and go, focus on your breath and let the emotion fade away. Does anger help or hurt you?
- Practice gratitude. Whether we’ve got love or hate within ourselves, we’re the one who has to experience that emotion. Don’t hate on others; you may dislike others but why should you suffer because of your dislike? Every single morning, spend 2 minutes making a list of all the things that you’re grateful for. Examples include being grateful for being alive, for having food, for having shelter, for friends and family, for your opportunities etc. Try it consistently for just one week, and just notice how you feel and go from there. Keep a diary, and whenever you feel down remind yourself of all the positive things you have going on in your life. What are you grateful for?
- Deepen your relationships. As mentioned in a previous article, humans are social creatures. We love attention, affection, love, care, consideration and so on. Now we can’t demand that from someone, but it is quite fulfilling to be that person for someone. Ask questions beyond ‘how’s work’ and ‘want to grab a drink’ and really get to know them on a deep level. It will help you to more deeply connect with others, make life more fulfilling and ultimately, as corny as it sounds, your soul will feel less lonely. Ask deeper questions, pay attention and dig deep. If you’re curious, just ask. Building powerful friendships help make life immensely more meaningful and engaging, thus allowing you to appreciate moments of stillness much more. It will help you appreciate life more as a whole. How will you deepen your relationships?
- Quit comparing. Truthfully, there will never ever be ‘enough’. As soon as you buy your dream car, a faster car will be released. The perfect TV? A bigger one will be out within a month. A large mansion? An even bigger one with more facilities will enter the market within a year. Due to intense factors like social media, the desire to want to compare our circumstances, and the internal voice endlessly repeating that you’ll be happy if you just have that one more thing is deadly. Happiness comes from inside, don’t compare and be happy with what you have. If it gets the job done, and provides utility, is there really a reason to upgrade? Learning to let go of that constantly nagging voice, will help you immensely in achieving present moment stillness and peace. Better yet, resisting that urge to consume can help you save and invest, helping you grow your wealth. How will you invest your money?
- Sleep. We all know that sleep is vital for our bodies. The truth of the matter is that we need sleep. We constantly push our bodies to new extremes and always try to do more and more. But without sufficient rest, we’re bound to burnout. Rest, give yourself at least 7.5 hours to sleep, and up to 9.5 hours. Sleep, take off commitments to ensure sleep. Your body and mind will thank you for it. When will you sleep tonight to ensure you get enough sleep?
Thank you so much for reading, I hope this helps you. If you did find benefit from this, I’d rather greatly appreciate you leaving your email down below. You’ll get access to my blogs as soon as I post them, they’ll be sitting in your inbox.
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Feel no pressure to do though, I am more than grateful that you’ve read this far. Wishing you an amazing day.
Till next time.