Zen. The state of active peace in which we can truly just be
“Active peace can be described as an increased inner clarity, a feeling of inner calm, and a deeper sense of inner balance. This state of active peace is referred to psychophysiological coherence. The body responds favourably to the coherence state as well – emotional and mental states are revitalised, and the body’s immune and hormonal balance improves.
Science has shown a correlation between coherence and our ability to think, act, and decision-make. Cultivating coherence, or a deeper internal peace, can actually make us more efficient and more capable of experiencing a meaningful and connected life.”
Zen Habits: Nº1 – Re-wind and erase self-destructive thoughts. Replace them with compassionate ones.
It’s easy to accumulate low self-esteem when you’re not paying attention to how often you belittle yourself. Our inner chatter is surprisingly loud and constant, and we may not even notice how often we’re thinking negatively about ourselves. This self-talk can get pretty nasty, especially when we’re feeling inadequate, frustrated, anxious or depressed. These self-critical, judgemental comments we tell ourselves when we’re not happy with results in life will create a blockade between us and peacefulness. Imagine each hurtful thought laying a brick and constructing a wall between the place you are, and a place of peace.
Time to start knocking the bricks down. Developing zen habits in your life means practicing mindfulness, a monitoring of thoughts so to speak. Instead of letting our thoughts take their random course, guide the course in which our thoughts ought to go. When you find yourself thinking “I’m no good / I can’t do this.” Stop. Rewind. Erase. Replace. Try again. “I am worthy / I just need some practice / I’ll get there with time.” When a thought doesn’t serve you, wave goodbye as you flush it out your system. Treat yourself the same way you would treat someone you love, with compassion.
Zen Habits: Nº2 – Make time for nature
People forget how strongly nature impacts the mind and body. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day life and forget to seek awe in our surroundings. If you live in a strictly built-up city environment, find a day where you can take a trip to the ocean, the mountains, a valley stream, grassy rolling hills, the majestic forest. A slice of nature does more to us than we realise, it brings us right back to basics. Once you’re there, breathe deeply, explore, relax, enjoy. There’s nothing more zen than the peacefulness of a beautiful landscape.
Going to nature to seek peace is like going to a bakery to seek cake. It’s just easier to find it there.
Zen Habits: Nº3 – De-clutter
We fast accumulate items that we just don’t need, or use, that clutter our home and invade precious space. Spaciousness is important for a quiet mind, so if our house is feeling stuffy, overfilled with things we don’t need, it’s time to de-clutter. Donate or sell all that you don’t need, want, or use. De-cluttering regularly will help balance-out your living space, giving you fresh ideas and aiding clearer thinking patterns.
Be aware when you buy things and notice where you put things. Do you really need this thing? Create a space with peacefulness in mind.
Zen Habits Nº4 – Live in the now
The past has a sneaky way of stealing the peace from our present and hindering enjoyment. Well, not the past itself, but how we reflect and dwell on it. This is not to say that we should never look back, because memories can be beautiful, lessons can be learnt and progress can be measured. However, it’s when we allow the past to fill us with nostalgia, heartbreak, fear or misery, that we need to realise it’s now we’re living in, not then. That was that, and this is this, it’s what we have now and not what we’ve missed. Everyday we start fresh, and we’re forever changing. To make peace with the past we must appreciate it for what it was and move on from it. Once we’re okay with that, it can no longer cloud our minds with conflicting emotions that bleed through to our present state.
At The School of Natural Health Sciences we offer an array of holistic therapy courses that will help you to develop zen habits in your life including Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness and Stress Management. Our school has been training holistic practitioners for almost 20 years and each of our students has graduated with more than just a diploma. When you learn a holistic practice, you don’t just learn a new skill, you learn the life. Our dream was always to make health education easily accessible to anyone seeking to broaden their horizons and we’ve accomplished just that. If you’re interested in hearing about our students’ success stories you can read them on our testimonials page.
If you have any questions about our courses, please do contact us, we’d be delighted to hear from you!