Every day, we face distractions. It’s become so easy to get caught up in the details of our responsibilities that we sometimes forget to take time to enjoy all the things that give life its beauty. Technology offers a tempting escape from our thoughts, but too much indulgence in technology can make us miss the simple pleasures: the first fireflies of the summer, the first cricket’s chirp…
There are a few different ways to immerse yourself completely in the moment. You can create a retreat for yourself in nearly any environment by using any combination of these three techniques for relaxation:
Complete Sensory Experience
To reach complete relaxation, an easy place to start is to focus on each one of your five senses and appreciate each of them individually. Set up a place for yourself where every sense can be activated.
Surround yourself with art. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated—just something you like—something that makes you happy. It’s amazing the difference that can be made by simply taking a few quiet moments to appreciate someone else’s creative vision. This simple practice can help us feel more connected to other people.
Quiet gives us a chance to hear the words within our own minds, but too much quiet can make it difficult to turn off that constant inner-monologue. Subtle sounds in the background can go a long way towards reaching complete contentment. The chirp of birds, the tinkling of the wind through a chime… these are sounds that promote tranquility and can help promote wellness.
This sense is as simple as popping open a bottle of pop. Just enjoy it, and focus on the taste. Clear your mind of worries and fill them with thoughts of everything you’ve accomplished. Think of your drink as a well-deserved reward—and it will taste even better.
Do you have a favorite spot to sit outdoors? A bench in the garden? Or maybe even beneath a tree? Wrapping up in a blanket, and leaning against a pillow can make that experience even more comforting. Take a moment to run your fingers along the material, admiring each stitch, the textures soft and soothing against the skin. Notice the warmth of your own body that’s contrasted against the air outside the blanket. Appreciate every second.
Grow something good in the garden. There is so much satisfaction that comes from watching life thrive. So set a seed in the soil and tend to it each week. You’ll feel so proud of the sprout that fills your yard with fragrant perfume.
Take your senses a step farther and promote each one of them with a mindful activity. Make space for clear thoughts through working with your hands and being more aware of what surrounds you. Build something from raw materials, or take a moment to watch water flowing from a fountain, touch the water, paying special attention to its effect of relaxation on each of the senses.
Embrace Even the Smallest Pleasures
Set a table
…with a nice tablecloth, even for simple meals… even for takeout.
…with garlands for even the smallest celebrations
Light some candles
…once the sun goes down and enjoy their simple glow
These are just a few ways to bring some new energy into everyday activities.
Whatever your lifestyle, whatever your state of mind, you deserve a personal retreat. Even just a little bit of mindfulness can go a long way towards increasing your overall mood and sense of wellbeing.