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5 Techniques to Quiet Your Mind And Stay Present

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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.

relaxation techniques 6 Relaxation Techniques to Calm Your Busy Mind 3 Mindfulness Techniques for Living in the Present Moment 5 Techniques to Quiet Your Mind And Stay Present 4 Signs of Emotional Exhaustion (And How to Get Over It) 3 Self-Help Techniques for Better Mental Health

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Published on January 18, 2022

How to Stop Being Anxious And Regain Your Calm

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How to Stop Being Anxious And Regain Your Calm

Are you sick and tired of wasting your mental and emotional energy worrying about (and replaying) events in your mind? Even sabotaging yourself, your performance, and your relationships, at times? Constantly playing the “what if” game in your mind?

Let’s be honest, feeling anxious is miserable and unequivocally sucks the enjoyment out of life. It does this because it is impossible to be in the present moment when you are constantly worried about the future or past events. Here’s the deal—it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s talk about some tips on how to stop being anxious and get your calm back.

The Difference Between Feeling Anxious and Having Anxiety

Feeling anxious is just part of the human experience and is a normal stress response. When the stress is removed, the anxiety usually goes away, too. With an anxiety disorder, the stressful trigger is removed but the anxiety can still be present.[1]

There are multiple anxiety disorders with varying characteristics. If you are concerned that you may have one of them, it is best to be evaluated by your doctor, especially since anxiety is very common. According to research, up to 33% of all Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetime.[2]

What Can You Do to Manage Feeling Anxious?

The good news is there’s a lot that you can do to stop being anxious. Science is learning more and more every day about ways we can manage feeling anxious.

I am a strong believer in being proactive and preventative. If you have a lot of stress in your life or are prone to feeling anxious, I always recommend establishing a foundation of good daily habits. That way, when something happens to poke the anxiety bear, you are already in a position to handle things.

Twenty tips may be overwhelming for some people but remember: you are not expected to incorporate every tip on this list. Look at it as a menu of potential helpful options. You can pick and choose whatever you want and leave the rest.

Here are 20 tips on how to stop being anxious:

1. Eat the Right Food

It might come as a surprise to some, but certain foods can make anxiety worse, such as sugary foods, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners.[3]

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Here are some foods you can try instead that can help reduce anxiety: Brazil nuts, fatty fish, eggs, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, Turmeric, Chamomile, yogurt, and green tea.[4]

2. Stay Hydrated

One simple tip to help you stop being anxious is by staying hydrated. Even being mildly dehydrated has been shown to worsen anxiety.[5] So, drink up! Water, that is.

3. Work Some Mindfulness Into Your Day

This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Meditation and diaphragmatic breathing (breathing into your belly and engaging your abdominals upon exhale) are what usually come to mind, but there are some other fast and easy exercises that can help calm you down almost immediately.

One of my favorites is called Five Things, and it’s based upon our five senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch). It can be done in any order.

For example, you might start by picking five things you can see. As you list each item, it’s important to take in the detail of each one. Next, you pick four things you can feel, noting each item with the same attention to detail. Work your way down to one item accompanying your last sense.

4. Get Some Exercise

Completing 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week may significantly improve symptoms of anxiety. Even as little as 10 minutes has a positive impact.[6]

In one study, exercise was shown to be as effective as medication in the treatment of symptoms of anxiety, with higher intensity exercise more effective than lower intensity exercise.[7]

5. Sit With It/Observe It

Dr. Judson Brewer recently penned a book (and an app) entitled Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind in which he discusses turning toward our emotions as a way to process them rather than distracting ourselves or bottling things up (turning away).

He encourages people to be an observer of the emotional response in their bodies, almost as if conducting a research project in great detail and noting the exact location of physical sensations (stomach, right or left side, front or back) with as much detail as possible.

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6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach that utilizes the cyclical connection between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as a means to control unwanted (anxious) thoughts.

One exercise to stop ruminating thoughts includes picturing a stop sign in great detail, instructing yourself to “stop,” and then changing the narrative to something positive, encouraging, or even more realistic or likely.

Another CBT exercise involves challenging negative thought patterns and beliefs for validity by asking yourself:

  • Is there evidence for my thought or am I making assumptions?
  • What’s the worst that could happen? Is this likely?
  • What’s the best that could happen?
  • What’s most likely to happen?
  • Will this matter in a week, a year, or five years from now?

7. Realize What You Can and Can’t Control

Take action where you can. Many of us spend time worrying and feeling anxious over things we can’t control.

Figure out what you can do and take action from there. Studies show that taking action reduces anxiety.[8]

8. Gratitude

Reminding ourselves of the good things in our lives not only brings positivity to us but also reduces anxiety. This is because it is neurologically impossible for our brain to focus on negative and positive information at the same time.[9]

9. Volunteer or Do Something for Someone Else

Helping others feels good. It also reduces stress, boosts our immune system, and can help us live longer.[10]

10. Journal in the 3rd Person

The practice of journaling has long been known as a valuable tool to help us manage our emotions, and it can also help us stop being anxious and regain our calm.

Making a point to name the emotions you are experiencing (“name it to tame it”) is a principle Dr. Dan Siegel discovered that heightens the value of journaling. More recently, Dr. Kross, in his book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, noted that journaling in the 3rd person (as if narrating your life) creates further value by creating some distance between you and the emotion you are experiencing, thus allowing you to breathe easier and gain perspective.

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11. Go Out Into Nature

Spending time in nature has been shown to improve attention, lower stress, improve mood, reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders, and even cause upticks in empathy and cooperation.[11]

12. Spend Time With Animals

Dogs are not only your best friend, but it turns out they are good for your mental and emotional health, too. The fact that cats just allow you to live with them as their servant doesn’t detract from the positive impact they also have on our emotional well-being.

Spending time cuddling with your pet on the couch can decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have also found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.[12]

13. Get Good Sleep

Getting good sleep can be difficult when we feel anxious, but being tired can worsen the issue. Try sticking to a consistent bedtime, make your bedroom dark, the temperature cool, and limit screen time before going to sleep.

14. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol changes the level of neurotransmitters in our brain. This can lead to a heightened sense of anxiety. Caffeine is a stimulant, specifically stimulating our fight or flight response, which is already more sensitive for those struggling with anxiety. Use both in moderation.

15. Show Yourself Compassion and Encouragement

What would you say to your best friend? Many times we make things worse by shaming or berating ourselves for feeling anxious because we fear it makes us appear weak or vulnerable. This makes the problem worse.

What would your best friend say to you? Stop beating yourself up and be your own best friend.

16. Spend Time With Friends

Healthy friendships make us feel included, improve self-confidence and self-esteem, and thus, help reduce anxiety.[13]

17. Create Balance in Your Life

Set healthy boundaries and priorities, and don’t be afraid to enforce them. Nobody else can do this for you. Value yourself. You are worth it.

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18. Have a Plan

Another tip to help you stop being anxious is to have a plan. Knowing what you will do takes away a lot of the “what if” thoughts in your mind. Being certain about some things and managing your expectations can help give you peace of mind.

19. Remind Yourself of a Past Event

You can also try to remind yourself of a past event in your life that you were anxious about but still ended up okay. Have confidence that you will make it through this situation, too.

20. Have Some Structure or Routine in Your Day

Knowing what to expect can significantly reduce anxiety and the fear that can accompany uncertainty.[14] Give yourself as much structure as you need. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult to manage feelings of being anxious. Take charge and pick a few of these to try out. Be consistent, and see how you feel.

You can always discard what doesn’t work for you, and pick something else to try. Confide in a friend that you are implementing some new strategies, and get some support.

Always tell your doctor your concerns, and don’t hesitate to get help if you are having difficulty managing things on your own. Good luck!

More Tips for Calming Your Mind

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

Reference

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