Modern life is
We never stop to slow down.
As we’re running through life taking care of the daily business, most of our minds are running away on us. They’re jammed full of thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and stimulation from our environment, stress, hurt. It’s all there running around in circles.
But the truth is, if we want our mind to stop running around on overdrive, swirling with thoughts, we have to give it a chance to chill the f*$k out. We can’t just assume that in amongst the craziness of this world and the constant stimulation that somehow our minds will just switch off and calm down; finding that place of calm is something we need to actively practice. And once you make it a habit, creating those moments of calm can become quite addictive. Our minds LOVE to slow down if we give them the chance…but it does take a little dedication.
Here are my top 4 tips for creating a moment of quiet and teaching your mind to slow down.
Immerse Yourself in a Hobby
Doing something you truly love, and immersing yourself in it for a period of time, has the ability to quieten your mind. When you become so involved in what you are doing your mind turns off the background chatter and just concentrates on the moment. In psychology, such a state is referred to as experiencing Flow.
This sense of losing the mind chatter is one of the reasons why hobbies have the ability to help revive us. They bring us into the present moment and take us out of our heads.
Literally Turn Off the Noise
Can you remember the last time you were in a quiet house? Or a quiet car? Or surrounded by nothing more
When you are at home you don’t need the TV on as background noise, or the radio going. When you are in the car turn off the radio and drive without the noise. Life has a sense of calm and stillness to it when you take away the unnecessary noise.
Another way to do this is to go for a run or a walk in nature without the headphones. Concentrate on what is around you rather than escaping the moment by filling your mind with other information. Exercising can be a form of active meditation. Your mind may well wander and think through things, but having a conscious intention of bringing it back to your surroundings can help you focus and quieten the mind while you move.
Take a Technology Time-Out
Part of the reason our minds are so strung out these days is that we are constantly filling them full of stuff. We are incessantly stimulating them. And truth be told, a lot of it isn’t useful.
Social media is one of the biggest time sucks EVER! Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but the danger is when you jump online every single time you have a spare moment. Stealing all of these spare moments and using them to mindlessly scroll through social media doesn’t give us a chance to just be quiet. It stops us from connecting with ourselves and giving our minds a chance to unwind. We’re just adding more stuff in.
One way to help quieten your mind is to take technology time-outs. You may make it a day that you choose to stay off social-media, or periodically take offline opportunities when you know you’re getting overwhelmed. Maybe leave your phone in another room between 3 pm and 8 pm?
Many of us know that meditation offers a solution to calming the mind…but the problem is actually doing it. When you first start out, meditation can be really difficult. Your mind isn’t used to slowing down and switching off. When I first attempted mediating a number of years back, I diligently sat there in silence hoping magically my mind would become quiet. But it didn’t happen like that. I downright sucked at it.
It was only after I found the Headspace app that I really committed to a meditation practice. For me, it was the guided meditations that made all the difference. Guided meditations help you train your mind to meditate, and slow down, and provide just the right amount of support.
** Are you a Mom? Listen to the Mindful Mom herself, Ali Katz, talk through how to keep your stress levels under control on the Here to Thrive podcast, including easy ways to start meditating. http://www.thrive.how/podcast39/ **
We all have different things that will work for us. Some of us will also find that some things are much easier for us to do than others. It is about tuning in and listening to what you feel will work best for you. But the power of quietening the mind cannot be overlooked. Moments of quiet in the mind help you develop a sense of inner calm. Consciously removing some of the stimulation that comes with modern life can go a long way in helping you to chill out.
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Hi. I’m Kate Snowise. I’m a Life Coach and host of the Here to Thrive Podcast. I help people get clear on what they want, need and crave, and then helps them take the steps to move towards that.
I believe life is about more than surviving and being good enough. Each of us truly has the ability to thrive and live a beautiful, aligned life where we remember and connect with our authentic selves. I have an MSc in Psychology (the positive kind that concentrates on what is right with you). To read more about my signature coaching program The Thriving Life Project