It’s no secret that our minds are constantly swirling with thoughts. Sometimes, when those thoughts get overwhelming, we need a way to quiet them down and come back to reality. It can help us focus more clearly on the task at hand or just enjoy the moment by simply being present in it rather than letting our minds wander off into the past or future. There are many different techniques you can use to quell your overactive imagination.
15 ways to quiet your mind
Meditation is one of the most popular ways to quiet your mind, and it’s something that anyone can do. You don’t need any special equipment or training; all you need is a place where you won’t be bothered for a few minutes.
It also doesn’t have to take up too much of your time—you can meditate for as little as five minutes at a time! And there are many different techniques, so even if one method doesn’t work for you, there will be another technique out there that does work for your personality type and lifestyle.
Most importantly: meditation works! Even if it seems challenging at first (which it will), keep practicing until the benefits start rolling in.
Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This can help relax your body and quiet your mind.
To try deep breathing to quiet your mind:
- Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down.
- Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- As you breathe, try to focus solely on the breath. Notice the sensation of the air entering and leaving your body.
- If your mind wanders, gently redirect your attention back to your breath.
- Continue to focus on your breath for a few minutes, or longer if you wish.
Be more mindful.
Mindfulness is the basic ability to be aware of and focus on what’s happening in the present moment. You can be mindful at any moment, even during something as simple as washing dishes or walking down the street.
Mindfulness can help you quiet your mind by helping to focus your attention on what’s really important—the present moment. If you’re constantly worrying about something that happened yesterday or planning for something that will happen tomorrow, it’s easy to lose sight of all the good things going on right now in this moment. If you’re like most people, though, these kinds of thoughts are probably running through your head often throughout each day without even realizing it!
To practice mindfulness more effectively, try to be Present In The Moment. Take time out each day to sit quietly and focus solely on being present in the now. Try focusing on breathing or other sensations around you (such as sounds). This practice will help quieten both your body and mind so that they don’t become distracted by unrelated thoughts as often throughout each day!
Breathing is a natural process that helps us stay calm and focused, but it’s easy to take this basic function for granted. When you’re feeling anxious or stressed out, try consciously bringing yourself back to the present moment by focusing on your breathing. If you find yourself getting worked up about things in the past or future, take a few deep breaths to bring your mind back into the moment.
Paying attention only to your breath instead of letting thoughts run wild through your mind will help keep distractions at bay.
Repeat a mantra.
A mantra is a simple way to focus your attention and quiet the mind. You can use any word, phrase, or sound—a prayer, for example—that has meaning to you. The most important thing about mantras is that they have meaning for you and make you feel good when repeated out loud or in your head.
You can also repeat a single sound that has a special meaning for you: try Mmmmm, or Ommmm (like some people do during yoga class), or any other sound that relaxes you or calms your spirit.
Start an exercise program.
Exercise is a great way to clear your mind. It releases endorphins, which help you feel better and make you feel more in control of your life.
Take nature walks.
Getting outside and spending time in nature can be calming and help to clear your mind. The fresh air and being around plants and animals can help you feel better. You can also spend time meditating while walking, which is called “walking meditation.”
Learn to say no.
Saying no is an important skill to develop. It’s not so much about the things you say no to, but more about the ability to recognize when saying yes doesn’t serve you. Sometimes saying no means doing something for yourself that makes your life better—like going for a walk, reading a book, or taking a nap.
Other times it simply means refusing to do something that is against your values or beliefs. Saying no does not need to be filled with guilt or anxiety if done from a place of self-care and inner knowingness: “I am worth this time spent on myself!”
Make a list
- Make a list of your worries and fears.
- Then, write down one thing you can do about each one.
- Do this as soon as possible.
If you’re having trouble focusing because of your thoughts, making a list and then following through on it can help to focus your mind on the task at hand and calm you down. If the thought of making a list makes things worse, try writing out what’s bothering you in a journal or electronic device instead—either way has been shown to reduce anxiety levels and calm your mind.
Engaging in a good book can take your mind off of your own thoughts and provide a sense of calm. Reading is a great way to relax and focus your mind on something other than your own thoughts. If you’re not sure where to start, try reading some fiction or nonfiction that interests you—you can also try reading something that will help you learn something new.
If you don’t have a book, try reading something on the internet. It may not be as effective as reading an actual book, but it can still help distract your mind from its current thoughts.
Listen to Music
Listening to soothing music can relax the mind and body. It can help you relax and focus your mind on something other than your own thoughts. Try listening to some classical music or soothing instrumental pieces, which are often played in spas.
Start drawing or coloring
Engaging in a creative activity can help distract the mind and bring a sense of calm.
Creative activities require focus and concentration which helps to keep distracting thoughts at bay. When our minds are focused on any task it becomes easier to “tune out” all of the other mental chatter and concentrate on something positive.
Drawing or coloring can encourage mindfulness through creative self-expression. Connecting with an artwork that you’ve created can provide moments of joy and satisfaction that allow us the opportunity for escaping from thoughts for just a few moments. This allows us time for reflection and contemplation without feeling overwhelmed by our (sometimes overactive) minds.
Also, researchers have found that creating art increases dopamine levels in the brain which brings about meditation-like effects such as relaxation and contentment.
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Practice Yoga or tai chi
These practices involve physical movement and deep breathing, which can help quiet the mind.
Yoga and tai chi are two ancient practices that have been utilized for thousands of years around the world to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. They both have a focus on connecting the body and mind, leading us to a place of peace within ourselves.
When we practice Yoga or tai chi, it helps to quiet the mind by forcing us to move slowly and become aware of our breath, stretching muscles in order to release tension held deep in our bodies. This gentle movement helps calm the nervous system and brings relaxation throughout the body. The meditative aspect of these movements also assists in calming activity in the brain as well as providing an opportunity for stillness helping us let go of any negative thoughts or worries that may be present.
In addition, focusing on stretches while practicing these forms of exercise can help redirect wandering minds away from distractions and towards concentration on bodily sensations instead. This allows us a period of respite from daily stressors. By slowing down the breathing pace through controlled breathing techniques such as pranayama yoga or qigong meditation, our mind naturally quietens.
Talk to a friend or therapist
Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone else can help you feel heard and understood, which can bring a sense of calm.
Talking is such a powerful tool for helping us to relax and quiet our minds. When we talk to a trusted friend or therapist, it gives us an outlet for what’s going on in our heads. We can verbalize our feelings, express our thoughts and generally just get it all out. It feels so good afterward as we allow ourselves to be seen and heard authentically. A friend can lend a loving opinion and provide support if needed, while a therapist applies professional strategies to help clear the mental fog. Instead of letting anxiety swirl in your head like dark clouds on a stormy day, talking allows the lightheartedness you’ll often find on the other side.
Journal before going to bed at night
Journaling is the best way to clear your mind, especially before bed. You can write down all your worries, concerns, and thoughts on anything that you have been thinking about throughout the day. It doesn’t matter if grammar and spelling are not your strong suit or what other people might think of what you have written in it. The most important thing is that you let go of everything that has been bothering you throughout the day in order to get a good night’s sleep.
All right, we’ve covered a lot of ground. You may feel a little overwhelmed at this point, but don’t worry—we know it can be difficult to change your habits. The most important thing is that you keep working on it! If one technique doesn’t work for you today, try another tomorrow. And if all else fails? Go ahead and take a nap or two—they really do wonders for clearing your mind!