Have you ever looked at people and wondered how they seem to be incomplete tranquility despite the constant chaos of the world? People who are just so at peace and calm that you wished you were like them? People whose inner peace constantly radiates to those around them?
These people were not born with genetic predispositions. They were born with the same biological system that you have. The thing is, these people were able to wire their brains to make zen habits a part of their normal state.
Don’t worry, because just like them, you too can make zen habits a system of your own. Your brain just needs retraining and re-focusing.
7 Life-Changing Zen Habits You Can Adopt Today
“Breath is the link between mind and body.”
— Dan Brule
On top of the list, breath is very important. With whatever situation you are in, it is important that your mind and your breathing are communicating properly and entangled. Rapid, out-of-control breathing could result in an erratic, out-of-control mind. A calmer, controlled breathing also corresponds to a controlled mind.
Seven deep, focused, deliberate breaths will be enough to sustain a calm and peaceful breathing. It is a simple trick and once you get used to it, you will find it natural to do so.
2. Tell a new story
“You have to begin telling your story in a new way. You have to tell it as you want it to be.”
— Abraham Hicks
Making habits stick to you is to tell yourself a new story. If you keep on telling yourself that you are a short-tempered person, you will not be able to move on. You are constantly looking backward so it’s no help at all.
Tell a story of how you want yourself to become and it will happen.
Always put a positive affirmation on yourself daily:
“I am the (your name) that contagiously spreads love to all that I meet.”
“I am the (your name) that is calm and resilient.”
“I am the (your name) that loves beyond comprehension and is powerful beyond imagination.”
“I am the (your name) that ____”
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Perhaps you don’t know this yet, but smiling is one zen habit that’s worth sticking to.
Have you noticed that when someone smiles at you, you also smile back?
Your smile, regardless of how it was generated makes your brain throw a happy party.
Scientifically speaking, smiling releases neuropeptides that directly combat stress. Happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin are being released as you spread across a beautiful smile. Your body, blood pressure, and heart rate relax as well,
Smile when you feel happy. And you’ll feel happy when you smile. It can create a huge feeling of happiness and tranquility.
Smile. It’s healthy.
4. Reprogram the way you perceive suffering.
Difficulty is the name of an ancient tool that was created purely to help us define who we are.”
— Paulo Coelho
You perceive suffering as suffering if its causes are unjustified.
One example is that if you go to the gym and you feel the intensity of your muscles burning, you won’t perceive it as suffering because the discomfort that you feel is justified. You were working out and the muscles burning is an indication that you are growing stronger.
On the other hand, if you have to move a piece of furniture and you feel the burning sensation in your muscles, you don’t see strength in it but only perceive it as suffering. Why? You wonder why the couch is heavy, that it’ll take a bit until the moving is done, and if you need to move into a new house, then all kinds of thoughts alongside the situation. You were not able to justify the discomfort so you don’t see the strength that’s been created out of it. You only feel the pain.
The thing is, discomfort means we are growing. A mindset like this can change a horribly timed nuisance at the post office to a teacher of patience.
Switch your perspective into teachers rather than tormentors. Perceive suffering as part of growing.
This is what peaceful beings possess, a change in perception, where they can sit tranquil amidst the chaos. A habit of changing your perception will bring you a state of peace despite any storm that may come your way.
5. Go into nature
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir
In today’s busy and modern world, we easily become distracted by social media, screens, the internet, televisions, billboards, commercials, noise, attention seekers, and constant mental clutter. These are distractions that exist within us and from sources outside that cause us to be a bit disconnected and frazzled.
The best thing to do? Disconnect. Unplug.
Find yourself in the solace of nature. Take a hike or sit quietly. Turn off your phone. Turn off your music. Listen to the peaceful sound of the river and let its melody wash off the clutter in your mind. Open yourself and sit in silence until you regain your soul as it calms down. Dive into the beauty of the world around you.
This is one zen habit that is incredibly amazing to adopt. You may not do it daily but do it as often as possible.
6. Be present.
“Wherever you are, be ALL there.”
— Jim Elliot
More often than not, we are doubtful. We fail to launch. We put one step on the past and one foot in the future which creates an awkward stance in the present.
Look around you. Seize the day. Seize the moment. Be present. Be in the here and now.
Feel everything that exists at the moment. If you won’t, you’re gonna miss it.
Meditation is a zen habit. You see, meditation and peaceful living are synonymous.
This type of deep connection with yourself enables an inevitable inner peace. You will no longer be distracted by the outside world coming up against you because meditation is a powerful tool in connecting with your higher self.
You don’t need to sit on a special pillowcase with Native American music, incense, and candles (although that would sound nice) but meditation can be anything.
It’s simply a time where you get to connect to yourself more. To feel your breath and to feel your heartbeat.
Meditation is listening to and acknowledging your mind and quieting it. You can do it while running, yoga, even washing the dishes, or just dancing off to techno music. However and whatever it is, its purpose is to know and connect with yourself.
If you want to do a more traditional form of meditation, you can follow through with a guided meditation.