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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

5 Techniques to Quiet Your Mind And Stay Present

5 Techniques to Quiet Your Mind And Stay Present

Everyone wants to live a good life. The good news is that you can improve the quality of your life by learning how to quiet your mind and stay present.

This article presents 5 techniques on how you can do this. With persistence and patience, you can successfully learn and master these techniques. But before that, let’s first discuss a few things about your mind and thoughts.

The Mind in General

The total sum of your knowledge and experience is acquired through your mind. Every ability, every performance, every recognition is conducted by your mind. Yet, you are not your mind! This is paradoxical and quite irritating, especially when we can’t see the difference between these statements.

If everything I know and everything I can experience must pass through my mind, then how come I am not my mind?

You’re not—at least not entirely.

You’re not the thoughts you’re producing unless you put them into action, but this is another topic. Here, we want to find out how to manage and quiet the mind and not get managed by it. The techniques explained here will help you do that so you can face all your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

The mind’s purpose is to construct thoughts and produce reason as a result. This includes combining thoughts, feelings, emotions, and logic; making recognitions, creating mental skills and virtues, and dwelling in revelations, celebrations, and disconsolation.

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Using the mind for these purposes and being aware of them exhibits mastery over the mind.

Normally, when the mind is not used as per the above mentioned mental qualities and activities but only for a random and superficial use, it becomes not only busy and dynamic but also mostly dominant. We get trapped in the easiest and laziest patterns that the mind sees as comfortable—then comes the need to quiet the mind (thoughts, feelings, and emotions).

Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions

Because our mind is overwhelmed by the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that it creates, it makes us believe that that’s what reality is—our reality, which isn’t actually. Our mind is tricking us with its infinite capacity and velocity of constructing all kinds of thoughts.

Therefore, the techniques to quiet the mind and stay present helps us see that our reality is not our thoughts, feelings, or emotions. Our mind is the most beautiful tool, capable of understanding the world with everything good and bad in it—making life a great and valuable experience on every level.

And surely, our thoughts, feelings, and emotions are also tools for making that happen.

By using the techniques in this article, you can better understand your feelings and emotions and not only quiet the mind but also acquire emotional intelligence.

At first, you might experience a state of bliss and nothingness. But our goal here is to quiet the mind and make use of the present moment.

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These techniques are meant to quiet your mind and show you that your feelings of sadness, happiness, or any other emotion are not the essence of your reality—the essence of the present moment.

Using Your Senses as Tools

The techniques I created involve the five senses, and they will be closely working with your feelings and emotions. They are designed to get your mind’s focus on only one of your senses and make you see how your mind can calm down.

While you execute these techniques, you’ll be able to realize the presence of your action—the present moment—by creating a mindful bond between you and your feelings. Through practicing and acquiring the knowledge you’ll get to the experience of emotions, which can positively influence sensory processing and add value when dealing with difficult everyday life situations.

Very important instruction: Try not to get involved with your emotions right away. Just let the feelings you produce quiet your mind and settle you in the present moment.

Once you become confident with the experience of the feelings, you can then deal with facing, decoding, and managing your emotions.

5 Techniques to Quiet Your Mind and Stay Present

Here are 5 techniques to help you quiet your mind for a better quality of life.

1. The Subtle Seeing Technique

A vision is born with closed eyes!

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  1. Simply close your eyes and project an image of something you really like—something that is present at the point of creating the image. This could be the face of a loved one or a specific element of nature that’s meaningful to you; the sun, the water, the wind, a landscape with trees, a mountain, a river, and so on.
  2. Breathe gently and deeply into this image. Try not to involve memories or create further imagination into that subtle seeing. Become one with this image. Life is how you see things within you.
  3. Use your feelings that this subtle seeing has created, and see how your mind instantly calms down and how your concentration makes use of your present moment.

Breathe gently into your feelings and enjoy the beauty of your vision.

2. The Subtle Hearing Technique

The silence is your inner sound!

  1. Cover your ears and feel the sound streaming inside your head. With closed or open eyes, focus on the streaming of that sound.
  2. Focus on the stream of your breathing and recognize the difference between these two sounds. They are different but constant. Try to connect as deeply as possible with these sounds.
  3. Use your feelings that this subtle hearing has created, and see how your mind instantly calms down and how your concentration makes use of your present moment.

Breathe gently into your feelings and enjoy the harmony of your rhythmic melody.

3. The Subtle Smelling Technique

A good smell can knock you off with a feather!

  1. Take a scent that you really like—one that takes you deep within you. Inhale the smell gently and deeply, and focus on the feelings that emerge from it.
  2. It doesn’t have to involve any memories nor create any imagination. Just identify what you feel from the scent.
  3. Use your feelings and see how your mind instantly calms down and how your concentration makes use of your present moment.

Breathe gently into your feelings and enjoy the enchantment of your scent.

4. The Subtle Tasting Technique

Flavour shapes character!

  1. Take a natural flavor that you really like—for, me this would be dark chocolate, Jasmin tea, or a coffee. Take any natural flavor that you like. After consuming it, have your tongue run through your palate.
  2. Try to connect deeply with that flavor, and see what kinds of feelings emerge from it. Acknowledge that this whole process takes place in the present moment.

Breathe gently into your feelings and enjoy the richness of your flavor.

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5. The Subtle Touching Technique

Palms can heal!

  1. Start slowly rubbing your palms. Notice the heat being created through the friction.
  2. Place your palms on your face and feel the heat entering your face. Rub your palms and place them on your eyes or any other part of your head. Feel the heat of your palms entering your head.
  3. Feel the quietness of your mind through your palms. See this process as one long moment of presence. Breathe gently into your feelings and enjoy the energy of your touch.

Meditation and Breath as the Primary Technique

All of the above exercises are meditations on certain sensory perceptions. The breathing is used as a central element to support the continuity of the meditative process and intensify your experience when using the senses. You can benefit in many ways when practicing these meditative techniques.

These techniques will take you through these four phases:

  1. Focus on your sense-perception;
  2. Focus on the feeling your sense perception is creating;
  3. Calmness of mind through the feelings;
  4. Connection with the present moment during that process.

Final Thoughts

Working this way, you will not only learn how to quiet your mind and stay present but also develop a strong sense of how feelings turn into emotions. This moment, which is the key to learn about feelings and emotions, is mostly overlooked and underestimated, resulting in the experience of emotional imbalance.

Once you get connected to that moment (which always lies in the present moment), you can learn how to move along with any emotion or feeling that is overwhelming your present moment—your life.

After a serious, diligent work, you can reach a state of equanimity where you expand your insight and your inner growth. Once there, you are a master of emotions! Using these techniques, you’ll always be able to quiet your mind and stay in the present moment.

More Tips on How to Quiet Your Mind

Featured photo credit: Haley Phelps via unsplash.com

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More by this author

Marcin Gil

Marcin is a spiritual being just like anyone challenging to uncover what we already have โ€“ spiritual freedom.

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Published on May 25, 2021

How To Recognize the Most Common Types of Mental Illness

How To Recognize the Most Common Types of Mental Illness

Have you ever had chills, a stuffy nose, a sore throat, a cough, or perhaps even a fever? More than likely you must have experienced at least some of these symptoms at one time or another in your life. You knew that you were sick, perhaps with a common cold, maybe the flu, or possibly a viral infection of some sort.

Either way, no matter what the diagnosis might have been at the time, you didn’t feel well, and therefore, you probably took some form of action to help alleviate the symptoms so that you could feel better, perhaps some medicine, followed up with maybe a little chicken noodle soup, a glass of orange juice, and some bed rest. Nevertheless, when it comes to seeking treatment for symptoms of mental illness, there seems to be a big difference between the way that we look at healing the body and the mind.

First of all, there are some common stigmas associated with mental illness. People, in general, seem to have a hard time admitting that they are having a problem with their mental health.[1]

We all want our social media profiles to look amazing, filled with images of exotic vacations, fancy food, the latest fashion, and of course, plenty of smiling faces taken at just the right angle. There is an almost instinctive aversion to sharing our true feelings or emotionally opening up to others, especially when we are going through a difficult time in our lives. Perhaps it has something to do with the fear of being emotionally vulnerable, open, and completely honest about our true inner feelings—perhaps we just don’t want to be a burden.

Additionally, throughout history, many people with mental illness have been ostracized and subjugated as outcasts. As a result, some may choose to avoid seeking help as long as possible to elude being ridiculed by others or presumably looked down upon in some way. Furthermore, rather than scheduling an appointment to meet with a board-certified psychiatrist, many people find themselves self-medicating with mood-altering substances, such as drugs and alcohol to try and cope with their symptoms.[2]

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We all want to have a sound mind and body with the ability to function independently without having to depend on anyone—or, for that matter, anything else for help. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness, you may just have to find the will and the way to reach out for help before the symptoms become unmanageable.

Lastly, although we may all have the ability to gain insight into any given situation, it’s almost impossible to maintain a completely objective point of view when it comes to identifying the depth and dimension of any of our own symptoms of mental illness given the fact that our perception of the problem may in fact be clouded by the very nature of the underlying illness itself. In other words, even though symptoms of mental illness may be present, you may be suffering from a disorder that actually impairs your ability to see them.

As a professional dual-diagnosis interventionist and a licensed psychotherapist with over two decades of experience working with people all over the world battling symptoms of mental illness and substance abuse—combined with my own personal insight into the subject, perhaps now more than ever—I am confident that you will appreciate learning how to recognize a variety of symptoms associated with some of the most common types of mental illness.

1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent flashbacks and nightmares associated with previously experienced or witnessed life-threatening or traumatic events.[3] The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

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  • recurrent and unwanted memories of an event
  • flashbacks to the event in “real-time”
  • nightmares involving the trauma
  • a physical reaction to an event that triggers traumatic memories
  • avoiding conversation related to the traumatic event
  • active avoidance of people, places, and things that trigger thoughts of the event
  • a sense of hopelessness
  • memory loss related to traumatic events
  • detached relationships
  • lack of interest in normal daily activities
  • feeling constantly guarded
  • feeling as if in constant danger
  • poor concentration
  • irritability
  • being easily startled
  • insomnia
  • substance abuse
  • engaging in dangerous behaviors

2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent unwanted thoughts followed by urges to act on those thoughts repeatedly.[4] The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

  • anxiety when an item is not in order or its correct position
  • recurrent and frequent doubt if doors have been locked
  • recurrent and frequent doubt if electronic devices and appliances have been turned off
  • recurrent and frequent fear of contamination by disease or poison
  • avoidance of social engagements with fear of touching others.
  • hand-washing
  • counting
  • checking
  • repetition of statements
  • positioning of items in strict order

3. Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent depressed mood that impairs the ability to function. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

  • overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and sadness
  • lack of interest or pleasure in activities normally enjoyed
  • overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • sleep disturbances such as both insomnia and oversleep
  • overwhelming feelings of restlessness and irritability
  • lack of concentration
  • lack of appetite as well as overeating
  • thoughts of suicide

4. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder that may be characterized by uncontrollable mood swings ranging from severe depression to extreme mania. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

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Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

  • easily distracted
  • racing thoughts
  • exaggerated euphoric sense of self-confidence
  • easily agitated
  • hyperverbal
  • markedly increased level of activity
  • overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and sadness
  • lack of interest or pleasure in activities normally enjoyed
  • overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • sleep disturbances such as both insomnia and oversleep
  • overwhelming feelings of restlessness and irritability
  • lack of concentration
  • lack of appetite as well as overeating
  • thoughts of suicide

5. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a thought disorder characterized by a breakdown between beliefs, emotions, and behaviors caused by delusions and hallucinations.[5]  The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

  • delusions with false beliefs
  • hallucinations with a false sensory perception
  • disorganized thought with a meaningless unintelligible pattern of communication
  • disorganized behavior with catatonic appearance, bizarre posture, excessive agitation
  • flat affect
  • lack of eye contact
  • poor personal hygiene

6. Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat and excessive exercise. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

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  • extreme loss of weight
  • emaciated appearance
  • eroded teeth
  • thinning hair
  • dizziness
  • swollen extremities
  • dehydration
  • arrhythmia
  • irritated skin on knuckles
  • extreme food restriction
  • excessive exercise
  • self-induced vomiting
  • excessive fear of gaining weight
  • use of layered clothing to cover up body imperfections

7. Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight due to a distorted body image where large amounts of food are consumed and then purged. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

  • self-induced vomiting
  • consuming abnormally large amounts of food with the intent to purge
  • the constant fear of gaining weight
  • excessive exercising
  • excessive use of laxatives and diuretics to lose weight
  • food restriction
  • shame and guilt

Final Thoughts

From bipolar disorder to bulimia, major depression to dysthymia, there is a mental health diagnosis to fit any combination of symptoms that you may be experiencing. There are also a variety of corresponding self-assessment tests circulating all over the internet for you to choose from.

However, if you are looking for a proper diagnosis, I strongly suggest that you make an appointment to meet with a well-trained mental health professional in your community for more comprehensive and conclusive findings. Similar to cancer, early detection and treatment may significantly improve the prognosis for recovery.[6] And like I said, it’s impossible to be completely objective when it comes to self-diagnosing the condition of your own mental health or that of a loved one.

Furthermore, although the corner pharmacy may have plenty of over-the-counter medications that claim to help you fall asleep faster and even stay asleep longer, at the end of the day, no medication can actually resolve the underlying issues that have been negatively impacting your ability to sleep in the first place.

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Just like in business—and in the immortal words of Thomas A. Edison—“there is no substitute for hard work.” So, try to set aside as much time as you can to work on improving your mental health. After all, you are your most influential advocate, and your mind is your greatest asset.

More Tips on Mental Wellness

Featured photo credit: Sydney Sims via unsplash.com

Reference

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