Introduction to the Blue State of Stillness

12. Focus on your comfort

Option 1: Shorter Silences

Option 2: Longer Silences

Welcome back.

In this practice, you scan for signs of comfort and calmness. These pleasant experiences that arise during stillness act as bio-signals, indicating increased Parasympathetic Rest and NeuroCalmness. They also serve as bio-signals of inner wellbeing and equilibrium.

Sensing even the slightest comfort and calmness, arising from your stillness practice suggests progress beyond simply suspending movement and remaining still. It indicates a slowdown in body and mind, marking a gradual transition into a deeper, more restful state of stillness.

As you begin to sense the benefits of restful stillness —the comfort, calmness, and sense of wellness it brings—your motivation to engage regularly in this practice will naturally increase. The deeper your experience of comfort, calmness, and wellbeing, the more profound your restfulness becomes, further motivating you to explore this incredibly important physical and mental state.

Sympathetic mobilization vs parasympathetic rest

Suspending movement and remaining still is the foundational first step in the practice of stillness, demonstrating your ability to gently resist the enactment of your Sympathetic Mobilization. Even while you refrain from moving and maintain stillness, you may still experience restlessness, stress, and tension, which are indicative of a chronic and dominant Sympathetic Mobilization.

However, stillness goes beyond merely refraining from physical movement. Facilitating rest during the practice of stillness involves actively engaging in the practice of resting. The emergence of comfort, calmness, and a sense of wellness during this practice indicates a successful transition in your nervous system’s activation from Sympathetic Mobilization to Parasympathetic Rest.

Signs of comfort

To recognize the activation of Parasympathetic Rest and increased NeuroCalmness, pay close attention to signs of comfort. These may include the pleasant sensations of softened muscles, the calming effect of following your breath, the tranquility of a restful mind, and the warmth of your resting and grounded body.

Transitioning from paused movement to slowing down and ‘activating’ restful stillness takes dedication and practice. If you don’t immediately notice significant signs of comfort and calmness in your initial attempts at stillness, don’t be discouraged.

Signs of excitement

The practice of stillness prioritizes the sense of comfort and wellness associated with NeuroCalmness, which differs from the experience of pleasurable excitation linked to NeuroExcitement.

Although both comfort and excitement are inner experiences we yearn to extend and intensify, they manifest distinct qualities. Excitement is characterized by muscle stimulation and bodily arousal, offering a sense of pleasurable exhilaration. In contrast, comfort is defined by muscle relaxation and a state of restfulness. Compared to excitement, comfort is subtler and more ‘neutral’, marked by feelings of pleasantness, wellbeing, contentment, and calmness.

PROGRESS CHECKLIST

  • Can I sense the pleasantness of relaxed and softened muscles?
  • Can I sense the calming effect of following my breath?
  • Can I sense the tranquility of a resting mind?
  • Can I sense the warmth of a resting body?
  • Can I recognize my experiences of comfort, calmness, and wellness as bio-signals, indicating a transition from merely suspending movement and remaining still, to actively resting both body and mind?
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