Wouldn’t you love to slow down those never-ending thoughts, worries and fears swirling around your head? To enjoy a few peaceful moments and even sleep a little easier.
I know that when you have an overactive mind, that can seem easier said than done. But, you’re not alone. We’ve become so accustomed to today’s fast-paced world that it can feel like a challenge to cultivate calm in our lives. Many of us can often go days or even weeks without nourishing that part of us that craves a little peace.
For me, creating time to calm my mind is an essential part of my day, but it wasn’t always that way. It takes time to find what works for you...and everything worthwhile takes time, right.
So, I’d like to share a few habits that have helped me transform my very overactive mind into one that can happily welcome peace even on those challenging days that we all experience.
SHOW YOURSELF KINDNESS
We’re often so unkind to ourselves, don’t you think? We let our inner critics use harsh words that we’d never unleash onto anyone that we loved. It may have been a while since you showed yourself much kindness and so it’s okay to start small. When you hear criticism and blame, distance yourself from your thoughts and replace them with something that you’d say to a friend. Or try a few positive affirmations throughout your day. Here are a few more tips to help you become kinder to yourself.
When you have a busy schedule I understand that it can feel counterintuitive to slow down, I used to feel the same. But, I soon discovered that slowing down doesn’t have to result in getting less done, quite the opposite. Mindfully approaching and completing tasks eliminates the need to multi-task, increases your focus and your efficiency. This reduces the number of open tasks that you’re managing and cultivates a calmer mind.
LEARN TO OBSERVE
You are not your thoughts. Once I’d got this, it changed everything. Seeing your thoughts as separate to yourself helps you to stand back and observe those consistent - and often negative - thought cycles playing over in your mind. This allows you time to pause and ask a few questions...is what you’re thinking really true? Could there be another way to look at this? Is this a healthy thought for me? You get the idea. 99% of the time our minds have fallen into old thought patterns and are creating meaning that isn’t true.
I’ve found meditation to be the best practice to cultivate this habit of observing your thoughts. Even a few minutes a day can make a world of difference...Here’s how to make meditation your new wellness habit
Most of us know that there’s a deep connection between physical exercise and our mental health. But, how many of us are managing to exercise daily? Regular exercise is known to help lower stress levels, ease anxiety and is even considered helpful for depression. It’s not necessary to force yourself into a gym if that’s not your thing. Try swimming, running or taking a brisk walk. My passion is yoga but I also love to build up a sweat doing Zumba and running around the park with my dog! Try a few things and see what works for you, remember that you can take many classes online if that’s more comfortable for you.
It sounds like a mysterious word but in it’s simplest form it means to be present in the moment; which is the only moment that really matters. Often our minds are so busy ruminating over the day or worrying about things that haven’t happened yet that we miss the important things that are happening right in front of us. When you feel your mind wandering into a world of ‘what if’s…’ gently guide it back to the present. Look around you and focus on what you can see, smell or hear - if you’re new to the idea of practising mindfulness then I encourage you to read one of my earlier posts to help you tackle distractions and live more mindfully.
MAKE A LIST
Now, this is a simple one that you can do straight away and it feels good! Grab a notebook (or few sheets of paper), and a warm drink while you sit down and write it all out...everything that’s spinning around your head no matter how small it seems. When you think you’re done give it a few more minutes because there’s always more hiding at the back of your mind.
Not only does this clear your mind and create a sense of calm but it helps you to identify any worries and concerns that you have - some of which you may want to action and some you can happily let go of.
CREATE A CALMING RITUAL
Welcome calm into your day by creating space for it. Even on those days when time is short, a few minutes here and there can work wonders. Your workday ritual might include taking a few deep breaths at lunchtime or a walk outside. Once home you might want to enjoy a shower before changing into comfortable loungewear and lighting your favourite natural candle. Small things in our day have the ability to make a difference to how calm we feel - try it and see.
With a little time and attention, it’s possible to calm your mind and create more of those peaceful moments that we all need to help us feel grounded and connected to what inspires us. I hope that you can use one or two of these habits to help you get started today.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.