Journal
Stillness as self-care
1:30 min
Mental Health

What is stillness?

In our hectic, noisy, modern lives – filled with work, relationships, kids, social commitments, sport, and more – stillness and its benefits have all but been forgotten. But stillness is something that used to be an inherent part of our existence. According to Cédric Etienne, an interior architect and curator of stillness, it goes as far as being a basic human need; it’s in our DNA.

Stillness requires finding a quiet place, where the chaos of the outside world can be temporarily shut out. This allows the mind to rest and reflect, so that we can travel inward and examine our internal world. It’s an excellent tool for nourishing our mental health, as well as lowering blood pressure, improving insomnia and increasing focus.

How to integrate it into daily life?

With everything else you have going on, it may seem like an impossible task to find time for stillness. Start with an intention to practice, and create a ‘still room’. This doesn’t have to be a dedicated room – though it certainly can be – but rather a ritualized spot within another room. It could be a cushion facing a window or a space in your bathroom. What is key to calming the mind and allowing inward travel is a horizon of stillness, with no clutter or distractions in sight. This can be achieved wherever you are – in a hotel room or even under a tree outside.

3 steps to stillness…

How to shape stillness in your own space? These 3 points, from Cédric’s 9-step manifesto on the architecture of silence, which is explained in-depth in his master class, will help you get started:

01 Light: Honor daylight, avoid all unnatural light, or use only candles; the room should be as dim as possible.

02 Abstraction: Play with layers and monochrome tones to create depth, instead of figurative ornaments.

03 Silence: This is meant as a feeling, not as a concept; think of it in terms of ‘softness’, for example a space where you take your shoes off or put down a mat.

Ready to learn more and complete your still room? Take Cédric’s class now.

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