Work, deadlines, appointments, run here, get this, book that, meet at this time, don't be late for this. As much as we hate to admit it, life is stressful.
Do you ever unconsciously lock yourself out of your house or car? Have you ever driven somewhere and your mind is so busy running that you don't even recall how you got from point a to point b? Instead of counting sheep, does your mind keep you up at night counting tomorrow's tasks and recapping the craziness of the day? If you answered 'yes' to any or all of these, it sounds like you've got a case of “busy” brain and could use a little time and space to yourself to zen out.
At the end of the day, coming home to a serene environment is just what your mind and soul need in order to unwind and recharge. Here are a few DIY tips for creating the perfect zen paradise, right under your very own roof.
Find your Zen Space.
Decide where you want this secluded space to be within your home. It can be a whole room or you can simply transform a corner of a room into your zen space. Whatever you choose, be sure that it is quiet, calm and gets some natural light. You really don't need a ton of space to make the magic happen.
Settle on a color scheme.
Gravitate toward earthy tones when choosing what color scheme you want in your zen sanctuary as they promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. If you want to add a touch of color, pick your favorite in a muted tone to complement the other chosen tones of the room.
Light it up.
Harsh fluorescent lights tend to be too intense to encourage peace and serenity. Keep in mind that soft light angles coming from the floor create a more soothing environment than those beaming down from the ceiling. You may also want to think about choosing a light that can dim or brighten so you can set the lighting to your mood and liking.
Take a seat.
When deciding what kind of furniture, if any, you want for your sanctum, think simple furniture and simple lines. Again, make sure to keep the colors calm, muted and not distracting. Maybe you don't want anything but you and your yoga mat, and that's perfect too. When choosing, think about how you like to sit when you meditate. For instance, if a seated position is most comfortable for you, investing in a meditation pillow for your sits bones might be wise.
Bring nature inside.
Placing plants throughout your zen zone offers a multitude of benefits. They clear the air of toxins to improve the indoor air quality and add a burst of natural coloring to brighten up your space. Stick to low-maintenance options so you don't have to stress about keeping them alive. Our top suggestions are succulents or a bonsai tree.
Removing all electronics is one of the most important steps to creating your DIY Zen Zone. Not only do electronics create positive ions, which, despite the name, actually negatively affect you. They also distract you from delving into complete serenity and disconnecting (no pun intended) from your typical day to day tasks. The one exception is if you are using your phone or iPod to fill your oasis with music or sounds of nature. If you do choose to use your phone for that purpose, be sure to set it on airplane mode so no one can interrupt you during your in-home retreat.
Let your personality shine through.
When it comes to decorations, stay as minimal as possible while still allowing your space to show your personality. Fill your zen zone with things that will not distract but instead complement your quiet time. Things such as Buddha heads, tapestries, stones, bamboo and water fountains are all peaceful additions. However, be sure to avoid clutter. If you enjoy using a singing bowl or chimes during your meditation, include them in your decor.
Soothe your ears, soothe your soul.
Replace the busyness of your mind with soothing sounds. Perhaps it's sounds of the ocean or rain forest; or maybe a calm, relaxing piano and violin duo. Getting a small water fountain to trickle as your background is a great way to feel closer to nature, even if your zen zone happens to be in a high rise with traffic rushing below.
Add the final touch.
When everything finally feels right and perfect, clear the energy by burning some sage in the area. Also, think about adding a soothing scent to calm all of your senses. Things like incense, essential oils and candles are all calming, relaxing and delightful ways to make your space smell dreamy. Remember, the main goal is to make this space appealing and serene to you.
Ready, set, “om”!
Creating an inner Zen Zone.
Now that you have transformed your space into the ultimate Zen Zone, it's time to work on the one inside of you.
When it comes to this part, there is really no right or wrong way to go. Do what feels right for you. Some general pointers include getting seated in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, relaxing your body and focusing on your breath. Try breathing in through your nose and out through the back of your throat. You can also try any of these simple meditation techniques.
1. Focus on each part of your body one muscle or joint at a time and physically feel it completely relax, as though it's melting into the floor. Start from your toes and work your way up to the crown of your head.
2. Imagine that there is a white light entering through the crown of your head and passing all the way through your body and out the soles of your feet. Let the movement of that light guide your breath.
3. If you find that your mind is busy, try focusing on a mantra or one word to help keep the chatter of your mind at bay.
Remember, the point is to get out of your head and into your body and spirit. Whatever accomplishes that result is the type of activity that should be going on in your zen zone. Try coming to this space for 5 minutes a day and making it a part of your routine. Bonus points for carrying the zen you created out into the world for the rest of your day!