Do you play a scenario in your mind over and over and over again?
How about constantly thinking about what you are going to next?
Is work preoccupying your thoughts?
Even if the answers are no, we are still burying our noses in our phones, iPad, televisions, computers and even our watches. We are being constantly entertained and expected to be in constant contact with the world while being told what we want through advertisements.
Because our minds are constantly engaged, there is little time for it to relax.
All of this can add up to feelings of isolation, exhaustion, and depression just to name a few issues.
This is why it is important to give your mind a break.
What can you do to calm your mind? Here are 11 ways to calm the mind.
1. Practice mindfulness
This is about being aware of, not only, your surroundings (as in is it clean, cluttered or just the way you like it?), but it also refers to being aware of the direction your mind is going and if it is helpful or harmful thinking.
2. Practice mindlessness
Here I am referring to the activities that help to empty the mind. Through the practice of yoga, or you can meditate , stretch, practice breathing exercises, even gardening as long as it help you to clear and calm the mind.
3.Write in a journal.
Writing in a journal is an excellent way to help get your thoughts straight. I use two journals. One is for the everyday and my second one is what I personally refer to as my ‘negative dump journal’. In this journal I write down, all my negativity, be it correct or not. It’s a safe space for me to vent all of those negative thoughts floating round in my head.
4. Brain dump
With our lives being so busy, sometimes it’s hard to keep track. To help me with that I have a notebook and pen at the ready next to my bed and before I go to sleep, I jot down every bit of information that I need to remember for the next day.
5. Listen to calming music
Music has a major effect on our mood. Personally I find classical music soothing, but you need to find what works for you. You can even listen to nature sounds. For example Australian morning bird song, or the sound of rain in the Australian outback.
6. Have a slow day, or my version the‘ I don’t have to’ day
This is a day for you to take it slow, let things go and just relax. It’s a self-care day.
7. Drink herbal teas to aid relaxation
Herbal teas are already associated with calming the mind and health. If you are not familiar with them then try some camomile, or peppermint tea, perhaps lemon, lavender, or passionfruit flower to name a few.
If herbal tea is not your thing then perhaps aromatherapy is. There are endless combinations to try out. I prefer a citrus smell, or lavender or eucalyptus. You can use a diffuser and create your own blends or buy scented candles.
9. Go for a walk
Getting out of the house or the office for a few minutes can make all the difference. Getting out can help put the world into perspective or clear and calm the mind.
10. Unplug from screens
We are constantly being stimulated by our screens. There is always something to watch or to read or someone to reply to. There is not much time left in a day to calm the mind. We wake up with our phones in our hands and we go to bed the same way. Try going screen free for one day and if that is too hard then try it for a morning. Give you mind a chance to rest. You will find that you are able to think more clearly.
11. Stare out of the window
Watch the world go by. You can do this from home or at a café and people watch. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is literally sitting and watching people go by. You can also do this at home, but instead of watching people you can just observe nature.
Just an extra note:
If you are like me and have an obsessive mind, or are worried about something and you cannot switch your mind off, there are some extra steps you can take to help you let go of those thoughts.
Firstly, acknowledge that it is happening and just accept it, don’t fight it.
Secondly, practice self love and be kind to yourself. Don’t become angry or frustrated with yourself, it dose not help you.
Thirdly, be active. Do something to distract yourself and if this does not work for you, write it down.
These are just a few ideas for you to get started.
Don’t forget that there is no one way to calm the mind. It’s a personal thing and you need to figure out what works best for you. Lastly practice makes perfect. The more often you do this the easier it will become.
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