Do you ever feel the need for peace and serenity?
Do you take time out of your busy day to retreat, rest, reflect, and re-charge?
Do you have a quiet space?
Many of us live a frenzied, fast paced life that leaves little time or space for ourselves. Too much noise, too much crowd, too much talking makes the need for a personal refuge – a quiet space – a necessity more than choice.
The mental, physical and even spiritual benefits of spending time in a quiet space are well documented. Taking just a few minutes to relax in the tranquility of a peaceful spot can relieves stress and re-charges us to meet the challenges of the day.
Although a quiet space can be “internal place”, we’re talking today about creating an “external” area for quiet contemplation.
Your quiet space does not have to be an entire room, an out-of-the-way corner will do just fine. Ideally, you will associate this space with relaxation to the point that entry to the area triggers the relaxation response.
Create your quiet space with intention.
Begin by figuring-out what makes you happy, comfortable and relaxed and then incorporate these elements to make the space special.
At a minimum a quiet space should include:
- Comfortable Seating: Choose from floor cushions, a gentle swaying rocker, recliner, or a stuffed chaise to stretch out in.
- Calming Sounds: Introduce some wind chimes or a water fountain. The soothing sound of running Water is often a standard fixture.
If the space will be shared with others, there are a couple of things you can to do “make it your own”:
- If the water fountain doesn’t work for you, try using your iPod or noise reducung headphones or a white noise machine
- Introduce a personal calming visual: A soothing screensaver, for example
- Stimulate your sense of taste – peppermints for mental clarity, calming herbal tea blends, cinnamon red hot candies to awaken the taste buds
- Incorporate your sense of touch with objects offering a variety of textures such as crystals, feathers, sea shells, woven cloths, a huggable teddy bear, etc.
And please, no excuses about not having the perfect space. Your car or the chapel should work quite well.
Use your quite space as you wish.
Reflect and meditate or simply retreat and do nothing. The little space you’ve created is for you: try to sit still and absolutely do nothing. Just breath; sit there not thinking, not doing, not worrying, just being.
And when you retreat to your private space — for whatever time you have — allow nothing to distract you. No phones, no twitters, no peeking at the clock. In fact, set an alarm so you don't have to worry about the future.
And use your quiet space when you wish.
Do so first thing at beginning of shift to charge-up or last thing at end of shift, to purge the tension of the day.
The Center for Mindfulness