8 Ways You Can Find Your Zen, Even In The Most Chaotic Times
I’ve been suffering from major chaos of the heart, mind, and soul lately. Maybe it’s just a symptom of my summertime sadness or the impending change of seasons. I’ll admit, I’m a little stressed out about the state of my affairs (and relationships). It’s all normal stuff, YES, but damn, it can get overwhelming.
Life gets so busy and chaotic at times. With work commitments, appointments, a family to take care of, and the like, simply trying to get through your daily tasks each day can be all-consuming. (Especially where matters of the heart are concerned.) Even when you do make it to the end of your day — and we always do — you can be left feeling just as frazzled as you started, which can then have a knock on your sleep and the following day. And Voila! One chaotic or stressful day can easily turn into a vicious cycle.
I would know.
This is where self-care comes into play — and really matters. While it’s easy to practice proactive self-care when things are going good, it’s much more important to practice self-care when they’re...well... NOT. Here are eight ways to find your zen, even in the most chaotic of times.
1. Count to Ten
I know you’ve heard this one before. We’ve all heard this one before. It may sound really simple, but just counting to ten in a moment of chaos or madness can help you calm the raging emotions. It enables you to give yourself that time to feel what you are feeling, and slowly calm down from the motion or situation.
2. Be Silly and LOL
It’s no secret that we often feel at our most zen when we are relaxed and happy. One of the ways we can feel these common emotions is when we are laughing or being silly. As we get older, we are less likely to do something silly or deliberate just for the fun of it, but this can be an instant way to find your zen in busy and stressful moments of your life.
Can you remember the last time you really belly-laughed? Try having a spontaneous dance party with yourself, skip instead of walking, or do as my mother does and try the “laughing treatment.” It’s easy. Start by forcing yourself to laugh out loud, and continue, until suddenly you’re actually laughing so hard at yourself, that all other worries slip away.
Pro Tip: It’s even more fun if you do this with a friend.
3. Try Yoga as an Exercise
Anyone who has ever watched Legally Blonde knows that exercise is a great way to get those positive endorphins raging around in our bodies. BUT, if you also want to feel zen in the process, then a great exercise to consider is yoga. There's pretty much a style and practice for everyone, enabling you to stretch out your body in different ways as well as working on your breath and taking time to relax. Think of it as a moving meditation.
Don’t just take it from me: 8 Reasons To Hit The Mat And Start Practicing Yoga
It’s easy to get started. You can simply put on your yoga pants and follow a YouTube video, or head to a local class in your town or gym. I’ve recently started my own at-home yoga practice using YogaGlo, and it’s a great way to find my inner zen and take some time out from the daily grind. (My BF can 100% attest to this. I'm a much better GF after some time on my mat.)
4. Meditation Can Help You Seek Clarity and Focus
Take it one step further than yoga. Meditation is another zen practice that focuses more on your thoughts and emptying your mind. Throughout meditation, you are taking deep breaths and emptying your mind of busy thoughts. It can be hard to master at first, but not to worry! There are plenty of tutorials online to help you get started
I’m a total newbie and really struggle with meditating on my own, so I use the Headspace app for guiding my meditation practice.
5. Take Deep Breaths With Your Favorite Mantra
You know I’ve been slanging mantras all summer long. Often the simple things are the most effective. So if you have your own mantra that you like to live by, then simply repeat while taking deep breaths. It’s kind of like meditation, but more fun (and easier), IMHO.
You might try a simple mantra like the common yoga term of “let go,” “stay calm,” or “be positive.” Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could try repeating something more complicated and long-winded. The beauty in mantras is that they can be whatever you want or need them to be. Make it personal to you. Or just steal mine.
6. Walk Somewhere Instead of Driving
Walking is a great way to feel more zen in a chaotic world, so if you are struggling, choose to walk somewhere instead of driving. The journey may be long, but the way it makes you feel could far outweigh the lengthy trek.
7. The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Rising early can often be a great way to start your day. It can enable you to feel positive and zen right from the moment you start, helping you to work through your day more positively.
Pro Tip: Don’t think you can get away with this one, unless you're tucking in earlier, too. Sleep is v v v v important for health and happiness and you should be clocking at least 7-8 hours a night. So, if you do plan on rising early, be sure you’re giving yourself enough time each night for your REM cycle to do its magic.
8. Choose to Feel at Peace
Finally, choosing to feel at peace and finding your zen can sometimes be the only action you need to take. Everything we do in life is a choice — whether it feels like it or not — the anger or stress you feel is a choice, much like the happiness and joy you experience at other times.
SO. Why not choose to feel this way in your moment of madness or weakness? Instead of drowning in the chaos, choose to feel peace and happiness. It sounds hard. And it is. But sometimes something as simple as forcing yourself to smile in light of your internal chaos is enough to trigger the shift.
How do YOU make time for self-care and find your zen in the most chaotic of times? Comment below and let me know!
*Feature Image via Sakara Life.
*This was a collaborative post.