We all get caught up once in a while with a racing mind. Often after work or when doing something that we are fully engaged in, the problem comes when you want to switch off and your mind won’t allow for it. Racing with thoughts, images and dilemmas it can all be pretty confusing. This is not abnormal especially in today’s hectic and overwhelming society…..
Thankfully there are ways to quieten the mind that are easy to do and implement into your everyday life. Let’s have a look…..
1. Deep Breathing. Luckily when we learn to deep breath you can escape the noisy restless mind whenever you like. It’s as simple as having the ability for a 10 minute lie down, place you hand on your stomach (to make sure your breathing deep), breath your your nose and down through your body, 3 seconds in – 3 seconds out – and 3 second pause. Get in the rhythm of this and stick with it for 10-15 minutes. I like to play a meditation loop which automatically ends after 12 minutes. You will get up feeling refreshed, relaxed and peaceful.
One thing to note is not to rely on this as an escape method rather view it as a daily relaxation technique which has benefits that will build over time. Practice daily.
2. Mindfulness. This is so important in everyday life and will allow your restless mind to ground itself once again. Mindfulness is simply paying full attention to whatever your doing, and doing it well. It doesn’t matter if your washing the dishes or taking a walk just pay attention and do the job well. This could mean observing what is around you while walking, taking note of the route your walking or feeling your feet plop against the ground. This is by no means an easy practice but with time you can become more mindful in everyday tasks. Whenever your feeling restless or have too many thoughts just remind yourself that you are here and now.
3. Reading. Getting stuck into a good book is a great way to stop thoughts and get you focused on one thing. The first few pages maybe tough but if your reading something of genuine interest to you then you should have no problems settling into the book and engrossing yourself in the moment. You will probably notice once you finish reading your mind will be much more flexible and relaxed. I recommend reading on the way home from work if you commute using public transport.
4. Walk. Rusty over at Fitness Black Book did a great post on walking over here……Not only is walking one of the most effective forms of exercise going its also a great way to unwind and get your mind off things. When we walk our thoughts are naturally brought into the present moment, this is especially true when walking in nature. So next time your feeling restless just head out for a walk and admire the surroundings.
5. Listen. Luckily we cannot listen and think at the same time, this means when your fully engaged in listening you cannot possibly re-run your own thoughts and worries through your mind. In order to achieve this though you need to truly listen and pay attention to what is being said. You practice this in conversation with someone or just by listening to your favorite podcast. Just make sure you listen, don’t try to do other things or focus elsewhere. Listening to calming music is also great….
6. Get Active. This is probably the best option if its available. A racing mind is purely excess adrenaline which needs to be burnt off. Go for a run, play some sport with a friend, do some housework or clean the back yard. Anything to get you off your seat and into action burning off the excess adrenaline. This all rounds up to doing something constructive rather than let a racing mind get in the way of what needs to be done.
At the end of the day we never have control over emotions or feelings but we can control our actions. Try these tips next time your feeling overwhelmed and see how good you’ll feel.
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