Is it a No-Brainer?
Humans are thinking creatures. That is the most fundamental way to describe our species. However, in our daily lives, our thinking can become fragmented, disjointed, and chaotic.
We live in a hectic, pressured world and are pulled from one task to another. We are constantly interrupted, whether we’re relaxing, working, studying, or simply enjoying peace and quiet.
Our thoughts still need to be completed, and many of our tasks are diverted before we can finish them. There’s always a backlog of something to do. There is a way to unify our thinking, but it could be more intuitive and go against the grain for many people.
The way to think more clearly is to take about ten minutes a few times a day and stop thinking at all.
To say, “Quieten our minds” is very nearly to say “stop existing” for many people, as they confuse their thoughts and thought processes with the essence of who they are. Are we the tumult of mostly incomplete thoughts that we live with daily?
Not at all. Ideally, we should define our thoughts, not the other way around! So many of our thoughts arise from the necessity to plan, act, and do. The essence of us lies deeper under that busy, busy cacophony of voices that tumble around in our heads.
However, the only way to access that deeper core is to take a little time and allow our minds to still, even if it means gently silencing our running mental commentary.
When we are quiet in our minds, when our thoughts stop, we don’t cease to exist. This type of pause allows the inner aspects of our minds to organize, arrange and rebuild our mental capacity, to sharpen the knife of the mind that so much use has dulled. Another benefit of a quietened mind is how well it prepares us to meditate.
Don’t confuse a quiet mind with running on autopilot. A quiet mind is still active, still processing. With a calm mind, you’re still accomplishing your daily work.
You haven’t become a hermit on a high mountain. You’ll be far more attuned to the essential things that all need you to be right there in the present moment!
Just think of how much more effective you’ll be in all life’s circumstances without all that jumble of interrupted thoughts running through your head all the time.
Quieting the mind can be challenging, especially in a world of constant stimuli and distractions. However, mastering the art of mental stillness can provide profound benefits, including increased focus, reduced stress, and a greater sense of well-being.
Here are some techniques to help quiet your mind:
Sit in a comfortable position.
Focus on your breath, the sensation of the air entering and leaving your nostrils or the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen.
If your mind wanders (and it will), gently bring your attention back to your breath without judging yourself.
Listen to a recorded meditation that guides you through a particular visualization or process.
Slow, deep breaths can activate the body’s relaxation response. Try inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and then pausing again for a count of four.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation:
This involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body. This can be very effective for quieting the mind, especially when combined with deep breathing.
5-4-3-2-1: Identify five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste.
Holding an object, like a stone or trinket, and focusing on its texture, temperature, and other physical qualities.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and certain medications that might make it harder to achieve a calm state.
Set aside times when you put away all electronic devices, particularly screens. This can reduce mental chatter and promote relaxation.
Exercise, such as walking, jogging, yoga, or tai chi, can effectively clear the mind.
Spend time outdoors. Being in nature, away from man-made environments, can have a calming effect on the mind.
Mantras and Affirmations:
Repeating a calming word or phrase can help focus and calm the mind.
Limit Multitasking: Focus on one task at a time. This can help reduce mental clutter.
Ensure you are getting enough rest. Sleep is vital for a calm and centred mind.
These techniques can help you cultivate a quieter, more peaceful mind with practice. Remember that it’s normal for the mind to wander, so rather than getting frustrated, approach your practice with patience and compassion for yourself.