Life is more hectic than ever. We are pulled in so many directions at once and we need to be able to find our zen and get re-centered quickly. I feel immediate overwhelm at times when I look at my daily planner, but I know I can find my zen again. It would be nice to be able to have Jason Momoa come give me a full body swedish massage, or do a full meditation or yoga class whenever things get crazy stressful but that’s just not always practical. As a coach my clients are always looking for quick fixes and easy hacks to quickly get from stressed to zen. These tips below not only work for my clients, they work for me (and my kids) too. Here are 5 quick ways to find your zen on busy days.
Put on a song that you love. This doesn’t have to be some traditional zen instrumental or ocean sounds used for yoga classes, (unless that’s what you absolutely love.) Use whatever song you’re feeling at the moment and lose yourself in it for those few minutes. If I’m stressed out I will take a quick break, pop my earphones in, close my eyes and listen to Tupac lose his mind on “Hit Em Up” before returning to care for the kids or drafting my post. When the song is over, try to stay in the mood it took you to, whether hyped up and ready for anything (as with the song mentioned above) or chilled out and peaceful. Embody the vibes and let it guide you through your next moments.
Create a Focal Point
When things are crazy at work do you notice your eyes drifting to the picture of your family on your desk? This is one way to find your zen. It’s calming to have a focal point photo or image on your phone or computer, even a photo in your wallet to turn to when things get hectic. This helps you shift your mode from cray to zen. Another focal point to use is a mantra. This is just a brief word saying that you can repeat to yourself when you’re ready to go postal. A few mantras to consider are:
- This too shall pass
- I am strong and capable
- Good things are coming my way
- Peace is my birthright
- The Universe has my back
- God is with me always
- I am peace, I am love
- Blessings are all around me
- I can handle this
My grandmother’s mantra was just simply “Jesus.” She’d repeat it over and over like she was willing him to walk through the door and take her stresses away. I copy her style and just say “Peace” or “Love” on repeat sometimes, whichever essence I want to bring it at the time.
Deep Breathing Exercise
OK Stop. Relax your shoulders. Relax your jaw. Relax your brow. Take a deep breath in for four counts. Hold it for four counts. Release it for four counts. How do you feel? Good, now do it 3 more times.
It takes under a minute, and it can relax you and get your head back in the game. You can easily find your zen once you’ve given your brain a minute to pause, enjoy the extra oxygen, and prepare to move forward.
This is just one of many breathing exercises that can help you get your mind right in the middle of a busy day. The benefit of this find-your-zen tactic is that nobody else has to know what you’re doing. You can do this practice while your boss (or your evil toddler) is screaming at you. They’ll be none the wiser and you’ll be better able to respond with love.
Don’t let the word meditation scare you. A moving meditation can be anything from a morning run or yoga session to washing the dishes or wiping a counter. I like doing a full body stretch when I need to get centered. I literally just stand and touch my toes, remembering to breathe, and turning my focus onto the good stretchy feelings in my back and legs. If you’re at your desk you can just reach both hands in the air and take a few breaths before releasing them slowly down.
If a quick stretch is not an option you can flex and release your muscles from your feet all the way up to your shoulders. These flex-and-release movements are almost imperceptible by otehrs, but will make you feel SO much better. The point is to take a second to move your body in the way that feels best for you at the moment to find your zen.
Close your eyes
I left the quickest get-zen-quick tip for last. So easy we even guide our toddlers to do it. Just close. your. eyes. (I mean…..unless you’re driving…then maybe do a different tip.) Take a minute and close your eyes. That’s it. You don’t have to do anything else, but you can couple this with a deep breathing technique or repeating a silent mantra….or both.
Closing your eyes physically shuts the stressor out of sight and subconsciously shuts them out of mind. With your eyes closed you can either just enjoy the “blank” space, or visualize your happy place. When super stressed I like to close my eyes and visualize my next step. Then I can just open my eyes and calmly get it done.
It’s your choice!
These are just a few of the many ways you can find your zen during busy days. It takes just a few second to get yourself back on track when things are hectic. Which tactic will you try first?
How do you find your zen?