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Published on September 14, 2020

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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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 September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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