Be zen… Right now it’s the new quest for the Grail. The key that is supposed to open the doors of well-being. The absolute quality that everyone desires. How many times have I heard this sentence pronounced with envy: “You’re Zen you at least, I don’t know how you do it, I can’t do it.”
It is true that it does not happen a week without a press article, a video, a website, or a report presents us THE Ultimate method to wait for the “Zen”. Today, moreover, everything becomes Zen: The decoration, the food, the clothes, the aesthetics, the art, the lights, the music, the objects… So much so that we have even forgotten and diverted the first meaning of the word. Zen is a branch of Japanese Buddhism.
It is based mainly on meditative practice, in a specific posture, says Zazen, and the study of koans, kinds of small puzzles, of absurd and irrational appearances, to be solved in a given time. I submit one to your reflection: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Not bad, huh?
Hard to be Zen on this side of the planet
That being said, Zen today is synonymous with appeasement, serenity, calm, at the heart of a world that revolves at a phenomenal speed. But in this turmoil, stopping to make “nothing”, to catch his breath, is to get out of the game and lose contact with the “real life”. It’s even a bit of guilt. You are being looked at in a slanted way by pointing fingers at the flank that you are. What a paradox! We aspire to this famous release-Take, but we reject the implementation. And yet it is so essential, even vital. As evidence, a study by the World Health Organization recently showed that we undergo an average of 50 stressful events per day. Physiologically, we can not absorb more than 4 per week! A phenomenon confirmed by the findings of Dr. Herbert Benson of the Benson-Henry Medical Institute: Today, 80% of medical consultations are related to stress.
Even worse, between 2010 and 2018, depressed pathologies increased by 30%. These are, of course, only statistics, but they have to come to us.
Serenity is often a façade
The evil is profound. I have been able to judge myself over the past two decades in the world of health and well-being. The most striking is that the therapists themselves are affected. Behind Zen attitudes often hide impressive levels of stress. The quietness displayed is only facade.
That’s why I wanted to register this article in the event “3 essential habits to be Zen everyday” of the blog Zen Habits. A very well done blog that teems with advice and information. Through this operation, I hope to transmit to as many a simple, effective protocol that I have tested and which I have clinically validated the efficacy by regular tests of cardiac biofeedback (measurement of stress level).
To begin with, you have to know your enemy to fight it better. I strongly encourage you to consult The excellent Article by Sylviae Jung That will give you many ways to decipher and overcome your stress.
Just 15 minutes a day to be Zen in all circumstances
Being Zen is good, but it does not have to encroach too much on work, family and leisure. To solve the equation, it is imperative to propose techniques that are fast, efficient, easily integrated in everyday life, little consuming, which do not require a learning of several years or multiple sessions with a coach. The ideal is of course… that all this is as cheap as possible.
That is exactly what I would recommend. This will take you 15 minutes in your current schedule. Only constraint: A commitment to follow the protocol at least 3 weeks. This is the time it will take you to measure the impact and assimilate the routines.
≠ Routine N ° 1: Practice Cardiac coherence
Cardiac coherence is a fabulous tool. It was Dr. David Servan-Schreiber who made him known to the French general public in 2003 in his book “Cure”. Just thirty years ago, the technique was developed in the United States in the late 90. It is then Dr. David O’Hare who will popularize the practice. His book “3.6.5” is also a reference. I highly recommend his reading while waiting for the release of my own work planned for the spring 2019: “No more stress with cardiac coherence”.
She finally obtained the consecration in 2014 when the French Federation of Cardiology propels her to the first place of the “10 golden rules to reduce stress” and its consequences on cardiovascular risks (3.6.5 method).
Cardiac coherence is therefore accessible to all, regardless of age or shape state. Its setting up does not require any special talent. Just breathe.
To begin with, the easiest and easiest method is to stall your breathing on a forced rhythm. But not just any one. I breathe calmly on 5 seconds and I exhale slowly at the same time. It’s really within the reach of everyone. Scientists call this procedure “a return to neutral”. A kind of complete reset of our nervous system. In a few minutes, the mind, the physical and the emotional balance. It is a natural physiological mechanism that is triggered automatically. If you stick to the rhythm, the results will be immediately on the go. To consolidate the benefits, it is advisable, as Dr. David O’Hare recommends, to practice the exercise 3 times a day for 5 minutes: morning on waking, before lunch and in the middle of the afternoon. An extra session, before bedtime, will be beneficial if you have a disturbed sleep.
This technique requires only one thing: a breathing guide. To start, it will allow you to integrate the right cadence. It is for this reason that I created in 2012 the application for Smartphone “Respirelax”. It is free and available on all platforms.
Today there is a new tool that I experienced in preview. It’s neatly awesome. It’s Zenspire. It will be available at the end of this year.
With Zenspire, no need for a smartphone or computer. It does not use Wifi or Bluetooth connection, ideal for electro-hypersensitive. Very design, it comes in the form of a half-sphere of 7 cm in diameter. Pleasant to the touch, it guides your breathing to the rhythm of a blue light and/or pleasant vibration. You can place on your desk, next to your bed, or in your pocket. Much more effective than the breathing guides used with hyperactive children, it opens up the practice to older people who may not be familiar with smartphones. It is also the ideal object for the therapist who wishes to initiate his patients to cardiac coherence during a consultation.
In prevention, cardiac coherence strengthens physical and mental adaptations.
In an emergency, when the machine is racing, it limits the impact of shocks, whether physical or emotional, stops the deleterious effects of stress and refines your clarity of mind when making a decision.
≠ Routine N ° 2: Boost your coping skills
Stress has deleterious effects on the organism. It’s obvious. This second routine will take you a few seconds a day, but its impact will be huge. His name: magnesium. This trace element, indispensable to life, participates in many physiological reactions of which… adaptation to stress and muscle relaxation.
According to Dr. Jean-Paul Curtay, an undisputed specialist in nutrient therapy, we need daily 420 mg of magnesium per day. By following a perfect lifestyle with a balanced diet, organic or reasoned, favouring short circuits, the cooking modes at low temperature we bring 300 mg. The balance is already unbalanced. Stress still amplifies the phenomenon. So we have to compensate. Quality dark chocolate helps, of course, but it’s not enough. It is imperative to complement. Again, you have to be careful. Magnesium should be assimilated and not cause stomach aches and diarrheas. You have to flee the great classics generally offered by the doctors. Wear your choice on magnesium glycérophosphates. They are soluble in fats and without annoying side effects. I would not advertise for a particular brand. Check with your pharmacist and then experiment.
You will oppose me that millions of people do not take magnesium and are doing well. Indeed, our body can adapt to this deficiency, but it works less well. Consequences: Irritability, agitation, bad sleep, weight gain, compensatory addictions… Our goal is to make you more efficient as long as possible in the greatest well-being.
A statistic is quite indicative of the limits of our Organization’s ability to adapt. Of course this is not just about magnesium, but about all the deficiencies, excesses and imbalances accumulated over the years. In France, the average life expectancy in Good health is only 64.1 years for women and 62.7 years for men *. These figures are unknown, because we prefer to present those of the general life expectancy, much more flattering. But where does your preference go?
Grow old, dependent and bedridden or take age in full possession of your means?
≠ Routine N ° 3: Learning to Love in the morning
In the morning, waking up… This is the one and only time of day that we fully master. The one you need to use to take care of the most important person in the world: you. Don’t think of it as self-centered. My philosophy in this area is clear: we do not care for others unless one is perfectly balanced. To illustrate this mode of operation, I always use the same example. He’s very well known. In a plane, in case of depressurization, if you are accompanied by your child, it is up to you to first grasp the oxygen mask. Then you can devote yourself to securing your piece of cabbage. Panic and survival instinct help, the reverse can be dramatic.
Now I’m going to ask you something unimaginable. An action that will seem to you above your strength: to get up earlier. Start by shifting your awakening by 15 minutes to gradually arrive at an hour. Of course, you will have to adapt your bedtime to not impact your recovery. In the morning silence, your neurons are more active and receptive. This is the perfect time to improve your wellness and performance potential.
You will divide this time into slices of activities: cardiac coherence, organization and goals of the day, physical activity, motivation and visualization, writing, intelligent reading…
When the time of the start of the day points the tip of his nose, you will be serene, motivated and organized. It takes three weeks of practice to measure the effects. To go further in this step I advise you to read “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod and “The Magic of the Morning” by Isalou Regen.
This last routine is perhaps the most delicate to put in place, I agree, but it will drastically change your life. It will not impact your schedule.
You have the procedure. Now it’s your turn to play. Never forget that health is not a due, but a daily job.
* Directorate of Research, Studies, evaluation and statistics of the Ministry of Health — January 2018