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The Power of Doing Nothing

Posted 4/11/2017

I have noticed something rather disturbing about myself recently.  I have become a person who cannot just sit and be still.

If I sit down, then I reach for a device – a phone, my iPad – whatever is nearest to me.  then I surf, check social media, play a few games of mahjong…..and there goes an hour of my life I’ll never get back!

I tell myself that as an online coach, I have good reason to be no further than six inches from the internet at any given moment of my life, but in all honesty, is that good for me?  Nope.

And now I notice that my 15 year old son is unable to be anywhere without his earbuds in, music streaming or chatting to his friends on Skype, FaceTime or whatever the latest and greatest app is.

So my question is, when did we lose the ability to just be still and do nothing?  This need to do something, anything seems to have crept up on us and taken over our lives.  It’s sad I think.  Society has lost something in this.

Anyway…the reason for this blog post is to highlight the fact that this constant fascination with being occupied is actually bad for us unless we can bring it under some kind of control.

Having the ability to sit (or lie) and be still, unfocussed, relaxed and quiet is intrinsic to our ability to switch off from the stresses and strains of our daily lives.

The concept of the long soak in the bath after a stressful day was all about that stillness and reflection.  Now it’s more about making sure your iPad doesn’t get wet!

The benefits of being still and reflective for a few minutes each day are huge.  Giving your mind a chance to take a break, rest and rejuvenate itself as well as allowing you to pay attention to your body, how you feel and allowing your heart rate to slow, breathing to even out – it’s all good for you.

These days, there are apps you can buy that will walk you through this relaxation – and that may well be a good place for you to start.  But remember….if you are going to use an app on your phone to practice relaxing, make sure the phone is set to do not disturb and do not be tempted to pick it up before your relaxation time is over!!

Ideally, learning to be still and relax without the aid of technology should be the aim, but at the very least, make an effort to build some kind of stillness into your day.  Your mind and body will thank you for it.

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