I remember when I first tried meditating. I sat there relaxed and listened to a guided meditation that was less than 10 minutes. Yet, that seemed like the longest 10 minutes of my life because my mind was bouncing around with all this distracting noise. Instead of being less stressed, ironically, I felt even more stressed because I wasn’t doing meditating “right”. Gotta love that perfectionist mentality!
Fortunately, over the years I have learned ways to calm my noisy mind, and now enjoy meditating at least once every day for 10-20 minutes per session. And when I notice my mind starting to get distracted, rather than criticizing myself for it I just acknowledge it happening and bring myself back to center to continue my meditation.
But what if you are experiencing a noisy mind at other points during the day, such as during a meeting or conversation you are having with someone else? Here are a few ideas that have helped me minimize the noise in those situations:
- Journaling – sometimes it is just thoughts that need to get out of your head, and journaling, when consistently used, works great.
- Schedule worry time – often our noisy mind is because we are anxious about something. If we tell our minds that a certain time of the day is dedicated to worrying, you get into the habit of calming the noise until the appropriate time.
- Deep breathing – by consciously slowing your breathing down, you tell your body and mind that it is okay to calm down.
- Laughing – it is a great way to release positive hormones and clear your mind, sharpening it and giving you heightened concentration.
- Affirmations – a great way to redivert your thinking patterns in a more effective and productive direction, especially before an event you may perceive as stressful.
So next time your mind feels noisy, try one of these ideas and enjoy a more calm and peaceful experience and the stress relief that comes with it.
Please note that there is no guarantee a particular stress relief tool will work for you. Thus you must take complete responsibility for using them and for your own physical and emotional wellbeing. Further, Professor Pete Alexander is not a licensed health professional. Please consult qualified health practitioners regarding your use of any stress relief technique. Medical advice must only be obtained from a physician or qualified health practitioner.