The Art of Being Still

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By Chasidy Lambert, MSW, LSW – June 26, 2024 –

Life is busy! We’re managing so much in our daily lives to stay on top of things: jobs, kids, school, sports, other extracurricular activities, community projects, relationships with family and friends, staying healthy, managing finances…the list goes on and on. Getting all of these boxes checked can feel like a second job in itself. 

Our lives are buzzing as we attempt to make everything happen at once. It’s no wonder we are seeing the rise of young families moving away from the “city life dream” their parents once had to a minimalistic world view – a quieter life with activities like growing their own garden, decluttering, canning food, and other ways to escape the “chaos” and be more self-sufficient. 

Though escapism is not always healthy, we can appreciate the lost art of living a less stressful life by resting in our current reality. One way we can experience this stillness is through practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a skill often used in meditation.

To practice mindfulness, you focus on the present without fear of the future or dwelling in the past. There are different ways to be mindful, but the gist of it is being completely in the moment without any distracting thoughts. Mindfulness is a great skill for all ages to learn.

Studies have shown that mindfulness helps children develop skills such as self-control and stress management. It helps adults reduce stress and learn to enjoy even the small moments. When families combine their individual practices of mindfulness, they are able to make more meaningful connections together. Though being still in the hustle and buzz is often hard, utilizing mindfulness can be a simple yet effective way to reset our minds and bodies.

One activity I would suggest is gratitude mapping. You begin by taking a breath, being mindful of all the things in your life you are thankful for, and then writing a list of those things. This activity shifts the focus to a more positive mindset, which results in fostering kindness in our interactions.

Another activity you can try as a family is mindful listening. There are so many ways to do this, but the easiest one is going outside and closing your eyes. What do you hear? Pay attention to the birds, wind, and other outside noises. You can take it a step further and notice the grass under your feet or the wind or sun on your face. You can also use calming music for this activity.

Breathing, movement, and growth are basic human functions needed to live a purposeful life. To achieve the art of being still, we can utilize our mindfulness skills to reset our bodies and remind ourselves that our “to-do” lists and events are not what define us. Rather, it is the interactions we have with those around us.