It is a common tendency nowadays to look for an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. It’s no surprise that people of this generation are drained and exhausted from multiple facets, all at the same time. However, practicing certain Zen habits can empower you to unwind, pause and let go of all the stress and negativity around you.
Zen Habits, in simple terms, are used to reorganize focus, bring calm and reduce the anxiety of the future to peacefully dwell in the present. It involves changing the basic entities of our lives – from how we start our day to how we wind it up, how we interact with people, and how much we take in from it. All of it collectively falls under the umbrella of what is known as Zen Habits.
What is Zen and, consequently, Zen Habits?
Zen originated as a part of Buddhism which aims at gaining refinement and meditation as a medium of attaining self-sanctity. The life and ways of Zen monks can be a great pointer to what the message of Zen collectively is.
In particular, these monks focus on being present in all things at all times, and on being generous to others. They adhere to a central value of compassion and aim to serve others. Hence, the very purpose of inculcating these habits is to attain those quaint attributes and become a better version of one’s self.
Zen as meaning is dissected to several interpretations by many. But the ultimate goal of a Zen lifestyle is to gain calm, clarity, and self-awareness. By taking on Zen habits and practicing associated techniques, one can reach a state of tranquility and peace that makes you happier in all aspects of life.
But what are Zen habits?
Basically, it’s a way of behaving or thinking, or living that reflects and embodies the key values of the Zen lifestyle and philosophy.
Key values of the said Zen Lifestyle include tranquility, compassion, authenticity, calmness, and mindfulness. Some of these habits are personal, others are interpersonal, and yet more concern our attitudes to material possessions. The collective bundle of all these form the Zen habits and lifestyle, which is in rave popularity, for all the right reasons.
11 Zen Habits That Can Alter Your Life
Acquiring a Zen Lifestyle can be an eventual process, to begin with. But with due patience, one can add on more Zen Habits with time and achieve whichever personal goals they set for themselves. Regardless of which you choose, all of these Zen practices can be done without any specialist knowledge or equipment.
All you need is curiosity, open-mindedness, and a willingness to move toward positive change. Here are a few helpful Zen habits:
1. Practicing Positive Thinking –
Zen teaches us to see obstacles and discomfort in life, not in the negative way that they appear or feel. Instead, it changes how you view suffering. Consider how you grow from your difficulties and obstacles. Just as our muscles strengthen after hard workouts, our minds and character evolve as we go through challenges. Shifting our perspective this way can make us more positive.
2. Being One with Nature –
In the modern world, living without really connecting to the natural world is just another day in our lives. Thanks to our phones and computers, our attention is being competed for by these gadgets. Little to no time is actually devoted to the real world outside.
Zen teaches us to dissociate from the gadgets for a while, be out in the world, take in the smell, sunshine and breathe the fresh air. Just for the sake of it. It rebuilds the connection with the real, natural life all around us and grows gratitude for the living Earth has given us.
3. Remembering to live in the present –
Dwelling on the past and being anxious about the future makes us miss out on the present, the only thing that is in our control. Zen philosophy emphasizes that the present is all we have and we can thrive in it if we appreciate every moment as it appears in front of us.
4. Breathing exercises –
It is an essential part of the Zen lifestyle that we are dwelling on. Breathing works as a kind of mindfulness technique, helping in better focus. It calms your body, regulates your heartbeat and ultimately, relaxes you.
5. Keeping a Happy and Helpful Nature –
Helping people with warmth and positivity is the essence of Zen. Thus, maintaining the outward aspect of openly being of service to humanity helps to embrace Zen.
6. Doing One Thing at a time –
The modern world demands to multitask as it is. But Zen teaches you to invest yourself in one thing at a time. Given the Zen value of mindfulness, try doing one work at a time with your full focus, attention, and time. Attaining perfection at one task and then moving on to another, is much better than doing a lot of tasks half-heartedly.
7. Self-Enquire –
Asking ourselves “Is it Necessary?” can be fundamental in knowing what truly matters in our lives. We normally own a lot of things and emotions both, which are surplus and a burden on us, additionally. Reducing over-compensation and acquiring just what is necessary for us and our happiness is the key to a light, free-flowing life.
8. Meditation –
Integrating Meditation into our daily lives. Zen meditation doesn’t look like the traditional one. As per the Zen lifestyle, almost anything can become a meditation with the right mindset and attitude. It improves focus, brings calmness, and completely freshens up your mind.
9. Follow a structured routine –
The Zen message of following a structured routine is not about having a rigid lifestyle lacking spontaneity. Rather, it focuses on the same message as doing one thing at a time. Focusing on the perfection of the task at hand is the ultimate aim, then we can move on to the next.
10. Be Minimal –
The Zen lifestyle revolves around simplicity and living like so. More often than not we buy things more than we need, we say things more than we need, we let more people in than we actually need. It forms a chaotic cluster in our life, in every sense. A minimal and simple lifestyle clears this casualty and removes the chances of toxicity growing in our lives.
11. Setting up Daily Goals to reach –
Testing our own selves with new goals to reach does work wonders, but only when they are realistic. Setting realistic aims to reach fulfills both our potential and the focus given on it. One thing at a time. It asks us to immerse ourselves in what we love and attain the goals, slowly but with grace and in peace.
Zen, finally, tells us to invest the rest of our energy in recreation and much-needed self-care. This fulfills the circle of Zen as a philosophy and implements it as a lifestyle to attain the calm and satisfaction this generation direly needs and pursues.