Strategies for Quieting Your Mind
Has the chatter of thoughts inside of your head ever kept you up at night? Or have you just found your mind racing due to being overwhelmed with what you have to do?
Yes, I have been there many times before.
There was a time when my thoughts would overwhelm me and cause me so much anxiety. I would sometimes break out in a cold sweat just thinking about everything that I had to deal with.
My anxiety drove me to be tense and irritable. This caused some friction in my relationships. And on really bad days, I just didn't feel like dealing with anyone. Are you with me?
When I reached my breaking point, I began searching out ways to help me cope with the demands of my life. I was tired of feeling overwhelmed.
Over the years, I have discovered some strategies that have helped me to successfully quiet my mind. A quiet mind creates a sense of peace and calm that allows you to BREATHE and FOCUS.
As I implemented my strategies, I found that I became more peaceful and a whole lot less anxious. My life didn't slow down, but I slowed down my mind long enough for the rest of me to catch up with it.
If the voices inside of your head are causing you to lose sleep or feel anxious, I recommend that you try one or more of the following strategies to ShhhShhhh! your mind.
Understanding how to quiet your mind is the beginning of your peace.
Take a deep breath. As a matter of fact, take three very slow inhales and exhales. Slowing down our mind begins by slowing down our pulse and heart rate. When we breathe slowly, we inhale a much needed nourishment - oxygen. Also, the process of breathing deeply relaxes your whole body. Try it.
Do a "brain dump." I learned this strategy from studying how to be more productive. A brain dump is simply writing down everything that is on your mind. If you are trying to keep your "to do" list in your head, then this is most likely the source of your inside chatter. Your brain is trying to remind you so you won't forget. Putting it on paper is a great way to release it from your brain. Set a time for 5 minutes and write out every "to do" you can think of. Don't try to put it in any particular order. Just write. You can use this list later to plan your days or week.
Take a shower or long warm bath. There is something about immersing ourselves in water that revives, relaxes, and nourishes our spirit. Water is one of our main life sources. The key to this kind of shower or bath is this: don't rush through it! Feel the water on your skin. Lather slowly. Use a scent that you love to fragrance your experience. Let your mind wander and think deeply about a few items on your mind. You may be surprised at the calm that comes. And often ideas come with that calm. Those ideas can inspire and motivate you to action.
Journal your thoughts. I am a cheerleader for journaling. The process of writing out your thoughts allows you to brain dump in a different way. In this process you can release your emotions and tell your journal exactly what is on your mind - without edits. Being brutally honest with your journal is one way to release both thoughts and emotions that may weighing on your mind. Try doing this at bedtime for a few nights in a row. Write for as long as you want - until you have no more to say. This releases your mind to quiet down so that you can get a good night's rest.
Ditch the sugar and the caffeine. I am sure this is not what you want to hear. But what you eat has an impact on your mind's function. And a constant intake of stimulants like sugar and caffeine can wind you up, especially if they are combined. Lower your sugar and caffeine intake and up your water intake and see how it affects your mood. If you get more irritable, it could be the sign of an addiction to sugar and caffeine. Consult with a health and fitness coach to see what you can do to get past those addictions.
That is the short list for strategies to help quiet your mind. There are no easy solutions to this but you can make progress if you try two or three of the above strategies.
Here is to a good night's rest! Cheers!