An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Ah yes, a cliche phrase we have all, at some point, stumbled across. Sure, it holds some validity. Apples are a great addition to our health. Low in calories, sweet, lots of fiber and vitamins, apples do help sustain our health. Added bonus, they’re yummy. Yep, apples are a great find for our physical health and our taste buds.
I’ve always preferred Granny Smith apples. Traditionally used for cooking, the tart apples never failed to light up the pleasure centers of my brain. They have a special knack for making my tongue dance and my taste buds sing.
But I’m not here to rave about how much I love granny smith apples. Though I could. I really could.
I’m here to explore with you, my little buggies, the hidden benefit of eating a Granny Smith apple, or an apple of your choosing.
Part of my routine, that you are all learning more and more about every day, is to implement several minutes of stillness each day. Stillness is important to someone like me. I’m busy, often discouraged by the world, and frequently feel out of control. Having several quiet moments where I regain control over my time, my mind, and my stress is important. Knowing that somewhere in my day there are 5-10 minutes set aside for dedicated “nothing” is great.
Except, for a long time, it wasn’t. Sitting and forcing myself to appreciate moments of stillness did nothing but lead me to dread the time I had carved out for myself.
In theory, meditation or moments of stillness should be amazing. Revitalizing and calming they help us to regain control over our lives and relieve accumulating stress. But when you start looking like this guy, it’s safe to say the medication is not doing its job. You should not be forcing yourself to relax.
I did. It was awful. Dull, boring, and bland I found that all I was doing was forcing myself to endure something that I really didn’t like. Sitting still and yelling at myself not to fidget did NOT do anything to ease my stress. No matter what I tried, none of them satisfied me. There seemed to be a fundamental component lacking in my stillness practice.
I’ll cut to the chase. My practice did not invite me and it was not joyful.
What good is a stillness practice if it’s neither of those things? Meditation is a wonderful option to practice cleansing the soul and working on discipline. However, this is not what I was searching for. It has its place in my life, but not as a way to relax. Regardless, anything that we do for ourselves should not be dreaded. I felt antsy and angry. While sitting, I would be perpetually focused on how I wasting time doing nothing. And a nothing I did not enjoy. This is not acceptable.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I gave up on it. I quit.
Thankfully, this didn’t last forever. Living under the stress I do, I subconsciously returned to the search for stillness. This time, greater success found me. Now, I end every day relaxed. Well, most days. At my most hectic moments, I know I’m a second away from five minutes of stillness. And, best of all, I wanted to enjoy that time. Excitement scurried up from my toes to my head.
All thanks to this guy, Mr. Apple. Now the lengthy preamble makes sense. The pieces tumble into place, the gears get moving. My place of stillness revolves around my happy apple friend.
Two weeks after noticing I had been eating one apple a day, I officially brought it into my daily routine. At night, I would plop down somewhere comfy and spend a few moments enjoying my apple. The habit gave me sustenance to get through the final chores of the night. It gave me a smile and relaxation too! Everything about my new stillness practice made me happy. I was excited to have a couple minutes to relax and munch on my Granny Smith Apple.
Over time, it grew to be more than a habit. It grew into a practice, true and deep. With open wings, it soared. Dropping low, banking left and right, my practice opened up. Some nights I read while I snack. Others, the TV threw color against my face as sweet and tart flavors ran around my mouth. Particularly crazed days led me to eat in the car and belt out my favorite rock songs. There was freedom to my stillness that I had previously dreaded.
Long story short?
Buzz the Bee Tip no. 3: Implement a moment of stillness you ENJOY.
An apple a day keeps my stress away. Ultimately, it may not be an apple. It might be a cup of coffee, cocoa, or tea. Any snack you want, pretzels, apples, carrots, absolutely anything. Personally, I suggest something healthy so that you don’t kick yourself later.
Practice stillness. Carve out some time for yourself to do NOTHING.
Test it, find something (like my apple) that creates a space you look forward to and enjoy. Find the apple that keeps your stress away.