Why stillness? What is stillness anyway?

Nurses' practice of stillness for at least 5 minutes during personal time every day is essential for the effective practice of Careful Nursing.

Stillness is "a state of freedom from disturbance"

The daily practice of stillness calls on us to free ourselves from disturbances that all too easily overwhelm us. Stillness practice helps us develop a consistently calm way of being in our practice setting.

Our practice settings are often very hurried, demanding and stressful. The calmness we develop by practicing stillness every day enables us to practice with greater patience and kindness. Our calmness also strengthens our composure and professional self-possession.

When we are calm, we can think more clearly, care better for our patients, care better for ourselves and one another, and take the lead in establishing a calm, healing culture in our practice setting.

But what is the practice of stillness?

In Careful Nursing, stillness is any meditative practice which we begin by sitting comfortably in a chair, closing our eyes and breathing in and out slowly and deeply. We relax our body and then still our mind by focusing our attention on only one thing.

The one thing may be, for example, an inner watching of the deep, rhythmic flow of our breath in and out of our body, or seeing in our mind's eye a calming colour, or bringing to mind and feeling in our body a place in nature where we have felt calm, or recalling something beautiful we have seen or heard.

In Careful Nursing we aim to practice stillness for at least 5 minutes during our own personal time every day. We keep at it every day so that stillness practice becomes second nature to us. After a few weeks or months, we begin to feel different in ourselves; more calm, stronger, and quietly confident generally, but especially in our professional practice.

Therese Meehan


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