One of the reasons people get stressed out is because they let their thoughts run amok.
Instead of controlling their thoughts, they let their thoughts control them. Since your thoughts affect your emotions, when one runs loose, the other is bound to be adversely affected too. You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.
If you mind is constantly racing with negative and distressful thoughts, it’s inevitable to get stressed out. Your brain has too many tabs open and you have no idea where to even begin.
The English scholar, Robert Burton once said, A quiet mind cureth all.
While this may not hold true for some exceptional circumstances, when it comes to managing stress, quieting your mind is absolutely necessary.
In this article, we’ll look at 5 ways to quiet your mind. Use them daily or even several times a day and you’ll slowly start feeling your stress dissipate.
These techniques are highly effective but require daily practice.
1. Meditate Without Stress
Meditation is a fantastic way to control stress. Yet, there are people who even stress out over meditation because they feel like they’re not doing it right. The first step is to relax.
The ability to shut out all thoughts from your mind is EXTREMELY difficult and takes a long time to master. Most of the advice in meditation books makes it sound easy… but it’s not. Trying to clear your mind of all thoughts is going to be stressful when you discover that thoughts keep creeping in.
All you need to do is meditative breathing where you focus on your breathing. Sit in a comfortable position with your neck and back straight. Make sure your head is straight too and you’re in comfortable clothing that doesn’t feel restrictive.
Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. If there is any tension in your body, feel it dissipate away as you exhale slowly. Your focus is entirely on your breathing. Count each inhalation silently and ‘hear’ your breaths.
By focusing on your breaths, other thoughts will be less likely to pop up… and if they do, quietly let them pass and refocus on your breathing. Do this for about 15 to 20 minutes. You will feel much better after that.
2. Control Your Thoughts
Since your thoughts are often the things that stress you out, you must proactively control them. The first thing you want to do is monitor your thoughts. You’ll notice that it’s the same negative and worrying thoughts that keep reappearing.
It could be worries at work or anger towards someone who wronged you or something someone said that is unfair, etc. Whatever it is, these thoughts are stressing you out.
The cure is to write them down. Now analyze these thoughts and replace them with pleasant thoughts. If it’s something someone said to you, write down a positive thought about yourself. Anytime you notice the negative thought rising, immediately think of the positive one you replaced it with.
By doing this repeatedly, you’ll develop the habit of only focusing on the positive. Do not allow negative people and thoughts to rent free space in your mind. Focus on the positive.
Imagery is another technique to quiet your mind. You may wish to look at peaceful sceneries and imagine yourself in these places. It could be a sunset by the sea or under a coconut tree by the beach or even sitting on the top of a cliff looking out at the vast expanse.
There are many wonderful pictures online of peaceful scenery. Find one that resonates with you on a subconscious level. You’ll automatically feel drawn to it.
Immerse yourself in the experience and ‘feel’ what it would be like to be there.
This brief mental vacation will work wonders for your soul and spirit. It will be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of your daily life and help to de-stress you.
4. Use Music
Music soothes the savage beast. One way to quiet your mind is to listen to music that will calm you down. Avoid rock, rap and other popular music with lyrics. The goal is to relax and not get hyperactive. You want to listen to music that slows your pulse.
Excellent pieces that achieve this are Water Music by Handel, Canon in D by Pachelbel, Nocturnes by Chopin and Overture #3 by Bach. There are many other pieces. You can research these in greater detail online.
5. Connect with Nature
There’s a saying that goes, “The earth has music to those that listen.” Take a break from your hectic life and get in touch with nature. Go for a hike or a walk through nature.
The goal is to ‘stop and smell the roses’ instead of distractedly walking while you keep thinking about what worries you. Cast your thoughts aside and focus on the simplicity of nature. Give your mind that mental break and know that nature doesn’t rush anything and yet, everything is accomplished.
By applying these 5 tips, you’ll be able to quiet your mind because you’ll be taking your focus away from what’s getting you down and replacing it with thoughts and activities that will lift your spirits.
Practice these tips and you’ll feel much better. Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.