There are all sorts of things that people do for their well-being, or in the name of self-care in general, ranging from meditation, to various diets, to days out at the spa.
Many of these techniques work well, especially in particular circumstances, and some more extreme approaches such as attending an ayahuasca retreat may also be helpful in specific circumstances.
Ultimately, though, there are things that everyone owes it to themselves to try, regardless what else is going on in their lives, for the sake of their general well-being. Certain practices simply seem to have amazing potential benefit for the vast majority of people, irrespective of what particular circumstances or situations they are confronted with in their lives.
Here are a few practices that you owe it to yourself to try.
Journalling used to be quite a widespread practice, but it has fallen out of popularity in a pretty significant way, as the digital world has become more and more advanced, and as we have all become more and more busy and distracted.
While journalling in a paper notebook may seem quaint, however, it’s a well-known fact that writing things down by hand has a therapeutic effect that typing things out just doesn’t. It’s also telling that various therapeutic approaches to dealing with traumas and issues involve writing about those issues.
The Bullet Journal Method created by Ryder Carroll has been acquiring a dedicated following in recent years, in part because of its minimalistic approach, and the fact that it is virtually endlessly adaptable to people’s individual journalling preferences, and personal organisational needs.
Whether you want to try journalling to record some of your deepest thoughts, or whether you feel like taking a more pragmatic and everyday approach to journalling that focuses on making a record of the tasks and projects that you have to manage, there’s a good chance that you’ll find that a bit of journalling significantly enriches your life and contributes to your overall sense of well-being.
The word “solitude” is often daunting for people, and comes with associations of social alienation and loneliness.
Periods of intentional solitude, though, are a very different thing – and can give you the space and time you need to come to terms with things, recharge your batteries, develop new ideas, and maintain an overall sense of balance in life.
Throughout history, many people have commented on the incredible power of these sorts of periods of intentional solitude. More recently, the famous Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge has written about the way in which the world today is too dominated by “noise,” by which he doesn’t mean excessive sound, but rather endless distraction and stimulation, and a lack of solitude.
According to Kagge, remaining constantly tethered to our smartphones, and constantly in the midst of social dramas, leaves us separated from our ability to connect with things on a deeper level, and to find the kind of balance in life that sustains us through difficult times.
In Kagge’s case, he walked solo to the south pole, while in a state of complete “silence” for the majority of the trek.
If you don’t have regular periods built into your routine for the kind of positive and intentional solitude, you should think about scheduling them in.
Mindfulness (doing one thing at a time)
Multitasking is a popular trend, and it’s common to hear people boasting about how busy they are, and how many different things they are juggling at once.
According to psychological research on multitasking, though, all of that is misplaced. Because, it turns out that multitasking is bad for the brain, increases stress, and makes us less effective at the things we are trying to do.
These days, mindfulness is a big trend – and some people admittedly take it to extremes. At its heart, though, the idea of mindfulness is essentially to do one thing at a time, and to pay attention when you are doing it.
It might be that developing your capacity to do one thing at a time could yield serious benefits not only to your sense of well-being and emotional balance, but also to your ability to focus, in and of itself.
Some commentators have noted that it’s less common these days than perhaps ever before for people to actually sit down and engage in deep concentration. Instead, we tend to jump between many different things in a shallow way.
But focusing on one thing at a time, to the best of our ability, may just be what it takes to experience an enduring sense of calm as we go through our day-to-day lives.