How to Create Peace in Stress

Hoo boy. I had lofty goals for blogging this fall but it seems that real life has kept me nice and busy. Thankfully things are going well – I just haven’t time to collect my thoughts into coherent blog posts. A big thanks to Cinova and Irshad for contributing material over the last month or so. Anybody out there – if you would like to contribute a blog post (yours or someone else’s) please let me know by leaving a comment.

This week I figured I would share a blog post by Claire Diaz Ortiz (http://clairediazortiz.com). In this post she gives some tips for finding peace in your daily routine. I am a big fan of taking time out to do nothing, personally 🙂
Paul T

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By Claire Diaz Ortiz

Usually, we don’t see the peace around us.

Instead, we bury our heads in work and play and family and life-life-life and sometimes – only sometimes – do we raise our head and really see the world around us for the calm that it really offers. We may know that living in the present is key to health and happiness, but it’s hard to remember that in the midst of our eternal days of moving parts and stressful overwhelm.

But we can try.

Here are three ways to see the peace around you. Today, and tomorrow, and the day after that.

  • First Thing in the Morning, Do Nothing: I’m a big fan of having a morning routine (see my ebook about how to create one), and one of the key steps in the seven step routine I go through every morning is a moment of pause, wherein I try to do nothing. Nothing. I look at the wall, I drink my tea, and I let the thoughts flow in. There are other ways to do this to achieve peace – meditation and prayer, for example – but I find that actually having a moment of nothing is effective all on its own. Meditation and/or prayer can come later.
  • Take Mini Breaks Throughout the Day to Breathe: One of the best ways to bring yourself back to the moment in a day of stress or overwhelm is just to pull your hands away from the keyboard, move your eyes to the window, and breathe. Let the thoughts come in, and let the thoughts flow out. And breathe all the while. I’ve heard meditation practitioners say that making sure your feet are on the floor at key moments of grounding can also help you feel more connected to what’s going on around you as well. So try that as well as you breathe.
  • Find a Moment of Stop in Your Day: Mini breathing breaks are great, but what’s even better is a 10 or 15 minute period of time where you can take a stop and do nothing, all for yourself. I find that the best way to do this – especially in a corporate environment where it’s not necessarily possible to stare at the wall for 15 minutes while others look on in wonder (!) – is to take a short break to go on a walk. Outside. Combine it with a trip to get a coffee, say, or to run an errand you need to do. But in those 10 minutes of walking, don’t make phone calls. Don’t listen to podcasts. Just walk and breathe and wait as the thoughts jamming your mind slowly rearrange themselves into calm.

These tips aren’t revolutionary, and they also aren’t incredibly different from one another. They follow a key theme of taking time out – in small and smaller doses. But they are powerful. They are all about finding moments to disconnect from the speeding train of your life to bring your mind and heart back to calm. They are things I try to remember to do daily, and things that may help you as well.

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