5 Ways to Find Your Inner Zen 

5 Ways to Find Your Inner Zen 

Modern life is often hectic and loud. As much as we would like to, it is not possible for us to all escape the rat race and move into an idyllic cabin in the countryside. In a time when external stressors are overwhelming, looking inward can allow us to stay anchored and unbothered. Here are some ways to find and foster your inner zen.

Meditate

When your mind is full of noise and endless thoughts, it can be difficult to concentrate or be productive. This can lead to more frustration and stress. Meditation is a time-honored way of turning down the volume of your busy mind and bringing your focus back into the present.

An effective meditation does not need to take a long time. Even ten minutes can help to quieten your mind and bring you inner peace. There are many meditation apps and videos online that provide guided meditations you can follow. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it yourself anytime.

Take slow, deep breaths through the nose, exhaling through the mouth. Close your eyes and observe your body, mind, and mood without judgment. Allow your mind to wander as you focus on your breath. After some time, gently bring your awareness back to the physical world and open your eyes.

Move

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and release physical tension. When you exercise, your body and mind turn away from harmful negative fixations and focus on immediate action. Your workout burns off excessive stress hormones and leaves your muscles tired and relaxed.

There are many ways to be active, depending on your health and fitness level. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise such as jogging, walking, or yoga each week. That said, any amount of exercise is helpful. You can start with short exercise sessions and gradually add more time.

When possible, try to exercise outdoors. Being in the open air has been shown to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as improve your mood. Receiving a small dose of sunshine will also allow your body to generate vitamin D which is essential for your overall health.

Nourish

We all know that ‘you are what you eat.’ There is no better self-care than taking pride in what you feed your body. Bad nutrition can lead to a diminished ability to cope with stress. Be sure to eat a nutritious and balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole foods, and healthy fats.

Try to take time out to prepare meals for yourself. Cooking ensures that you are mindful of the importance of nourishing your body and helps you to better appreciate what you eat. It can be a simple meal like a salad or toasted cheese sandwich but be proud of yourself for making the effort.

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Unplug

With our gadgets always within reach, it can be difficult to unplug. Often, we find ourselves scrolling mindlessly on our phones. This can be relaxing for a short time but may also teach you to suppress your stress and numb your feelings instead of acknowledging and addressing them.

Try to avoid looking at any screens (including the television) an hour after you wake up and an hour before bedtime. This can allow you to center your mind in the morning and relax easier in the evening. You can do this during the day whenever you are feeling overstimulated as well.

It can be tough to set aside your phone. We are addicted to notifications and FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. Designating a ‘quiet drawer’ to store your gadgets may help you to fight the urge to constantly check your phone. Over time, you will feel much more comfortable being in an unplugged state.

Connect

The time spent without our gadgets can be used to connect. Depending on what you like, there are many things that you can find meaning in. You can connect with your inner self, your passions, other people, or nature. Whatever you choose, be sure that it feeds your soul.

Connecting with other people who share your passions can give you a strong feeling of purpose and contentment. Talking to other people may allow you to gain perspective on your problems. You may find a friend to commiserate with or discover that your concerns are not such a big deal after all.

If people are not your thing, connecting with nature is another wonderful way to foster your inner chill. Spending time in green spaces can help you to forget your stressors and simply bask in the joy of being alive. Combine this with meditation or a forest walk and you have a trifecta of happiness.

Barbara Santini
Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.