Simple Ways To Quiet your Mind
Everybody loves the idea of being relaxed. However, not everyone gets to experience it because relaxation doesn’t come naturally all of the time. For overthinkers, perfectionists, and those who constantly worry, the most challenging part about self-care isn’t making the body feel relaxed, but figuring out how to quiet the mind.
Concerns about quieting the mind are normal for everyone. As children, some might find it difficult to sit still and to stay in one place for longer than a few minutes at a time, or some constantly seek out new ways to keep themselves entertained. Upon reaching adulthood, even the most mundane activities, like going for a walk or watching a movie, can be sidetracked by the frequent urge to scroll through our phones just to have something to do to keep ourselves occupied.
Boredom is something that nobody ever wants to have to go through. But, as people seek constant stimulation to counter boredom, it becomes harder and harder to relax or to quiet the mind. This need for stimulation causes the brain to forego shutting off while wandering randomly from one thing to another. As a result, it’s fairly common to worry about something that isn’t even an issue at the current time, or things that have never been an issue before. These reasons help to explain why a person often feels mentally exhausted and burnt-out, but it is important to find ways to overcome this exhaustion in order to help quiet the mind.
Ways to Help Quiet the Mind
When we are busy, it can be especially hard to ease the mind from anxiety. It is important to identify strategies to cope with stress and other mental burdens; the following are ten strategies you can try to help quiet the mind: exercise, meditation, making/creating something, writing down lists, decluttering living space, sharing what’s on your mind, reading a book, formulating an action plan, turning off your phone, and forced focus.
Apart from the many physical benefits, exercise also does wonders for the mind. When a person gets out of their head to work at their body, any scattered energy is directed to different places. Exercises such as weightlifting, kickboxing, interval sprints or walks, and dancing can all cause you to focus in different ways and help to ease the mind later in the day.
Meditation encourages a person to sit still, trying as hard as possible to not react to their thoughts. This is one key feature that makes meditation important, especially for those who “live in their own head”. Although meditating can be difficult in the moment, most who even attempt the meditation process will feel calmer almost immediately after a meditation experience. A recommended form of meditation is called the guided body scan. This mental activity helps to shift a person’s focus to their body and to move attention away from their thoughts.
Making or creating something
Making or creating things is an excellent activity that people can do to quiet their mind. For example, people who are into cooking can follow recipes that they haven’t tried before, or cook familiar, comfortable dishes; people who are artistic can sing songs, or draw pictures, or apply their skills in other ways. Being able to do something successfully can distract the mind and give us a well-earned break.
Writing down lists
Making a detailed list of the things that are going through our minds at specific points in time is another great exercise to do daily. A person can list everything from their to-dos, their calls that they need to make, emails they have to respond to, or even their general everyday worries - think of a journal, or a diary. The Ivy Lee Method is one technique that can be used specifically for those who are looking to make the most out of a regular workday, and especially in order to gain more free time to spend at home. One example is to write the six most important tasks at any given moment, in order of importance, and accomplish each, one-by-one until they are all complete.
Decluttering living spaces
Our surrounding physical environments have a huge impact on our emotional and affective well-being, particularly our mental states. Although not everyone is affected by everything in the same manner or intensity, many people get stressed out or overwhelmed when their living spaces are a mess. A surefire way of getting rid of that stress is to declutter those messy spaces. This is done by taking out the things that are no longer needed, organizing piles of stuff, and cleaning parts of the house that haven’t been cleaned for long periods of time.
Sharing what’s on your mind
People can often dwell on their thoughts or keep things locked-up in their heads, rather than getting them out or sharing those troublesome thoughts with others. When a person has something on their mind, especially if the idea is causing stress or anxiety, it is healthy to get it out - especially if the problem is something that they want to prevent from rehashing. As an alternative, writing down our thoughts (discussed above) can be a replacement for people that want to get the thoughts out, but when we don’t necessarily have anyone to share them with. Additionally, there is the possibility of putting thoughts up on social media for anyone who’s willing to listen, which can also be a great thing to do in the process of quieting the mind.
Reading a book
Reading books is another activity that can help to ease our minds. Book with fictional themes can especially allow the mind to transport into fictional worlds and escape from the real-world, even for just a bit. Non-fiction books, on the other hand, offer the possibility of placing a person’s thoughts into overdrive - providing new concepts to learn and explore. The mind has a tendency to think about ways to put things that we learn to use, or we sometimes have realizations about things that we might have been doing wrong all along.
Formulating an action plan
Whenever a person gets worried about how things are going or how to get a specific number of things done in the following days, making an action plan is the most sensible thing to do. Making an action plan should help in identifying what needs to get done, how long it will take to complete each task, and the specific deadlines that the tasks need to be completed by. Formulating an action plan can put the mind at ease and give us a break from thinking of ways to make everything fit in our current schedules.
Turning off your phone
Whenever our minds are all over the place, it can be common to think that browsing our phones can provide an escape. There are definitely ways to make this happen, like by visiting sites that do have a calming effect on the mind - or using meditation apps. However, the content that most people consume on their phones most of the time can often overwhelm them and cause people to overthink even more. Taking a break away from gadgets is a more effective way to soothe and calm the mind down, as it takes the mind off of activity, rather than giving it more activity to work with.
Forced focus activities provide people with strategies to block distractions and overcome barriers in order to maximize our brain’s efficiency. Sometimes, there are activities that we can do if we needs focusing, like when our mind isn’t being cooperative. The following are some of these forced focus activities that might help force the mind to get into the zone:
- Placing mobile phones on airplane mode, or do not disturb mode
- Snoozing notifications or emails on both phone and computer
- Utilizing OneTab, a Chrome extension that consolidates millions of open tabs into just one
- Using Facebook News Feed Eradicator, another kind of browser extension that blocks the newsfeed on Facebook, allowing individuals to only see notifications whenever they log in
- Applying the Pomodoro Technique, which allows individuals to focus on a specific task at hand for 25 minutes before taking a break
Benefits of a Quiet Mind
Like an ocean, the human mind never ceases to move and flow. We may not always be aware of these constant movements in our heads, but sooner or later we might recognize that many thoughts that span different topics constantly pass through our minds, taking turns to try to claim our attention. Sometimes this flow of ideas can become overwhelming, causing stress, anxiety, or discomfort, but sometimes there are things we can do to overcome it and ease our mind.
There are also times when these mental movements become overtly apparent, usually when we need to pay attention to details, or when we need to study, work, or complete some important task. During these times, when we discover how restless our minds are, we also may find out that we don’t have as much control of this restlessness in our minds as we thought or hoped.
These are just some of the reasons why learning how to calm the mind is very important for humans. Once a person learns to quiet their mind, everything can be different, and our thoughts can change for the better. Some benefits of learning to quiet the mind include: a better chance at being focused, enhanced reasoning and common sense, stress-free states, deeper understanding, and total control.
A better chance at being focused
A quiet mind makes it easier for people to seize the moment and focus their attention on whatever they are doing. This can help to avoid restlessness and the process of jumping from one thought to the next, which saves a lot of time and can help to avoid errors.
Enhanced reasoning and common sense
Having a quiet mind makes it easier for individuals to act reasonably and display their common sense. By being more in control of our thoughts, we also gain the ability to handle things more efficiently, by having more control over our actions and reactions.
With our mind is in a state of peace, we are safe from any form of stress. A quiet mind can help release physical strain and mental stress, while also protecting our health and conserving our energy.
Once individuals learn to calm their mind, the way they will think, act, and handle everything in their life will be free of stress, fear, or worry.
The only time that people can think clearly, see deep inside themselves, make the right choices, and arrive at the correct conclusions is when their minds become quiet.
Thoughts tend to run non-stop in our heads, which constantly pull our attention here, there, and everywhere. Our heads become different when our minds go at ease, since there are no more distracting thoughts to turn our attentions away.
A quiet mind gives us control over our thoughts, fears, and behavior. As soon as we are able to quiet our minds, we gain the ability to refuse unwanted thoughts and accept the thoughts that we want at any given time. Imagine the power to block out bad thoughts and invite good thoughts, whenever you want - that is the power or achieving a quiet mind.
Keeping unwanted thoughts at bay helps to save a great deal of time and energy that can otherwise be wasted on correcting mistakes or trying to avoid stressful behavior.
The process it takes to quiet your mind requires some inner-work; it can start with just a few minutes per day, and then what you get out of it will gradually improve as you put more time into it. After a while, wonderful changes can be seen and you will experience the benefits of having a quiet mind.
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