Welcome, dear readers, to the next installment of my series on calming the mind (and improving your life in the process). I hope you enjoyed Part I and found those first few suggestions to be helpful and calming ones!
In Part I, I wrote about some reasons as to why so many of us have trouble slowing down our thoughts and relaxing our minds. Suffice to say that our super fast-paced society and ever-present media are definitely major culprits directly related to this “unnerving” problem.
And, if you’re experiencing issues like relationship problems, a recent loss, or other persistent life stressors, then self-soothing may prove to be an especially big challenge—like rolling a huge rock up a steep hill!
But there’s hope, with many practical ways to calm yourself—once and for all.
Here’s 6 more for your perusal…
Be Spontaneous—Have More Fun
Too many of us operate strictly by the clock. We work, come home, watch mind-numbing T.V., and repeat the same thing over and over, ad nauseam.
Why not be more spontaneous and shake your life up a bit, like starting to do those things that you really enjoy and truly satisfy your soul?
Why not focus on the fun aspects of life, instead of on all those extraneous, mind-pounding thoughts?
After all, studies show that with heightened spontaneity and more fun (and humor), in your life, your brain chemistry and thought patterns will change for the better. And with these kind of positive changes, it’s a “no-brainer” that you’re likely to experience a “new and improved” peace of mind.
Lose the Control!
Controlling people are never calm and often drive lots of other fellow humans (like me) nuts!
People who need to control are the ones usually popping prescription pills, losing sleep, and walking around like tightly-wound springs!
The fallacious thinking about control goes something like this:
If I can’t control everything and everyone around me, I just mind lose control over myself!
Talk about crazy thinking!
The truth is, that when we relinquish control, and really let go of all those things that make us feel stuck and bothered, we can actually empower ourselves, and, best of all, finally unwind!
If you’re having trouble with control, stop it, already, and go directly to the following 12-Step Prayer, and use, as needed:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
Now let go and relax…
A good way to quell that constant flow of supersonic thoughts, is by journaling.
Externalizing all those needless ruminations, through writing, is one great technique and healthy outlet guaranteed to slow your mind down.
I like to keep a journal by my bed and make entries, whenever the spirit moves me. I write about anything I’m thinking or feeling in the moment; my anger, fears, sadness, aspirations, etc.
Sometimes, I write in a neat, step-by-step way. Other times, I just let it flow out of me, in no particular order, and with no need to make sense. Sometimes, I just draw pictures, and other times, I smatter the page with the nastiest expletives known to mankind…just to vent in a healthy way!
If I remember a particular dream, I simply jot down the details, without the need to know its meaning.
The point is, whatever ends up on that page is all good, because I can get it all out, stop those incessant thoughts from littering my mind, and eliminate all that psychic junk that keeps me in a perpetually uptight state.
Through journaling, I can self-soothe…
Nurture with Nature
Nature has long been a release for restless minds.
Take the time to connect with nature, and soothe yourself with the earthy scent of the pines, the sounds of sweet chirping birds, or the gentle mantra of a cool mountain stream. (Sounds relaxing, huh?)
Hanging out with nature will help you to truly live in the moment and experience a new-found sense of serenity, balance, and harmony with all things.
Anxiety and worry can’t thrive when the mind is at peace with itself – nature delivers…
Be Here Now
One of the great spiritualists and sages of our time, Baba Ram Dass, (aka Richard Alpert), penned these simple words, in a classic book by the same name, Be Here Now.
Another highly spiritual guy, named Eckhart Tolle, wrote a book called, The Power of Now.
And I like this delightfully descriptive saying, although I don’t know the genius who first said it:
“If you have one foot in the future, and one foot in the past, then you’re pissing all over the present.”
Well, that’s one way of putting it!
Actually, this idea of one living solely in the present moment, has been discussed for centuries, and still remains a basic spiritual truth, today.
People with overtime minds are always thinking about the past or the future. I’ve found that this kind of thinking causes a lot of unnecessary anguish and a restless mind.
Of course, learning from the past and looking towards the future, in itself, isn’t a bad thing. It’s when we obsess on these things, that life becomes unbearable. Then our thoughts amp up, and we become, in a way, disembodied―we’re just not present.
This is a surefire way to turn one into a nervous wreck―hardly a good way to exist in the world.
Love more–Fear less
Psychiatrist and Bay Area writer, Gerald Jampolsky, in his classic book, Love is Letting Go of Fear, talks about love being our true essence and fear as something manufactured in our minds.
So, if you realize your true love essence, and routinely share this reality with others, (and yourself), then there will be no room for fear-based thoughts to fill your head. And this, in turn, will lead to a less tangled mind and an elevated sense of stillness and inner tranquility – just what we’re after, right?
So, that concludes my little list of some more practical ways to calm your nerves for a better life.
I only hope these suggestions are helpful to you, as you navigate your way through the sometimes deafening, rough waters of life.
I wish you success, inner peace, and a completely calm mind.
*Now, I know that there’s a lot more ways to calm the nerves, and if you know of some, or have other additional observations, please leave them in in the comments section below. I’m a glutton for new ideas!