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Create a more peaceful you

Candice Lawrence M.Ed. | Interrobang | Opinion | September 19th, 2005



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Urban life is more hectic today than 20 years ago. Most people in their daily lives spend considerable time in the pursuit of success, money and material possessions. Somewhere, in all of this, our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical selves suffer.

In order to bring ourselves back to our center, to our core selves, we need to really stop and get off the treadmill, for at least 20 minutes each day. One way to do this, is to focus on our interests and attempt to bring them into our lives in a practical manner. For example, if you like to spend time in natural surroundings, and you like to walk, allow yourself to take time before you head off to work in the morning and go for a walk to a nearby park, or simply walk around your neighbourhood. If you cannot do this in the morning, try fitting this into your schedule during the day, such as on your lunch hour.

Another way to improve your overall state of wellbeing is by taking 20 minutes out of your day for you. Make this a priority. Sit comfortably and close your eyes; take a deep breath. Place your hands on your belly and breathe in to a slow count of four. Allow yourself to breathe deeply enough that you can feel your belly rise up with each inhale and fall with each exhale. Once you have done this a few times, imagine a place in nature that you have visited before. It could be a park, a beach or a hiking trail. Mentally go back to that place. Imagine that place using all of your five senses. What did you hear when you were there? The sound of birds? Waves caressing the rocks? What are the sights you saw? Green trees gently blowing in the wind? Did you feel that gentle breeze on your face? Was the air warm, or cool and damp? You get the picture.

There is ample evidence to demonstrate that if people allow themselves at least 20 minutes each day to engage in any activity that brings them calm, peaceful serenity, they will begin to de-stress from their hectic lives.

Common wisdom teaches us that it takes 40 days to create a new habit. What have you got to lose? Make this, and yourself a priority. You will be absolutely amazed at the results. You will likely find yourself a calmer, more centered and serene being. And that, to quote Martha Stewart, is “a good thing”!
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