When we develop and follow routines it can help bring some stability to our life and reduce stress. What is meant by routine? Wikipedia defines it as:
… a sequence of actions regularly followed…
It is a practice, pattern, programme, schedule, plan or custom, performed on a regular basis rather than for a special reason.
It takes a determined mindset to establish and maintain a routine until it becomes habit. When it is a habit the benefits can be enjoyed without so much effort. Let's face it, it does takes effort to overcome varying motivation. Sometimes we can feel pressured by competing tasks demanding our action, or we are unwell, a little down or simply fatigued; these factors can throw our routine out. Have heart, just humbly start over.
If you have experienced some benefit from your 'wellbeing routine' you can strengthen the commitment with greater insight. For example, it helps to ask yourself "what mindset hinders or helps performing this positive habit" ? "Are there other unhelpful habits that get in the way?" "Do I encourage myself or thank myself for my efforts (successful or otherwise)?" The answers to these questions may vary over time, so be curious and see what works for you. I think many, if not most of us struggle with this; so be kind, be patient and move gently past the seduction of established, unhelpful ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Letting Go Of Negativity
What can you do when you feel so sensitive that it seems that you feel have no protection against the harshness of the world and the people in it? If you are experiencing low mood and/or high anxiety, it may be more difficult to face the world of work, family, friends or indeed, any social engagements at all.
At these times, it is likely that you may be identifying with the negative emotions or negative evaluations of others, in a sense you become the negative emotion and attribute hostility to the antagonist "out there", the "other". If this is the case, it helps to recognise your sensitivity, to put some distance between you and the source of threat by engaging the mind more objectively . This type of objectivity helps detach in a healthy way from the mindmerge with negativity. "Then you will be better able to do the action that will be a little closer to nutural or constructive attitude.
QUIETUDE: “a state of stillness, calmness, and quiet in a person or place”
It’s often so hectic leading up to Christmas when we are tired from twelve months of meeting the various demands in our lives, keeping up with expectations of our workplaces, our families and of ourselves. There is a distinct buzz in the mind as it races from one thought to another, anxious lest an important detail is forgotten that may result in further complication, best avoided.
It was with much appreciation, and peace of mind that I was able to embark on several days of silence, away from the city and of frenetic routine. Strange how the silence evoked a vivid display of the myriad habits of thought and behaviour. I was confronted with the impact of my lifestyle and how little space was available to contemplate and examine whether I was living in a way that was consistent with my values of service to others, patience and equilibrium. Which I was not, by the way.
It took several days for the internal chatter to quieten; and then a tranquil headspace replaced the mental busyness and revealed some deeper insight into what causes the departure from peace. I had been seduced by the notion that to “do more” was competent, efficient, important and to “just be” was time wasting, proof of inefficiency and unrealistic. This belief was dispelled after a few days of meditating, walking and allowing peripheral vision to wonder over meadows of lush grass, strewn with wildflowers of white, yellow, blue and magenta. Devoid of the usual distractions such as TV, books, movies and chat fests with friends and family, my mind settled into a peaceful rhythm and the subtlest feeling of happiness arose.
Quietude helps to still the internal ‘white noise’ of incessant chatter and soothes our nervous system from the constant bombardment of sensory input. What is realistic, is that we can be as, if not more effective in our life endeavours by factoring in quietude.