Most of us could benefit from having a calmer headspace. We all know how important it is to keep our homes and offices clear of clutter. However, few of us think to declutter our minds. Try these tips to quiet the monkey mind and get some much-needed peace.
Do a brain dump
Make yourself a cup of tea and sit down with a big piece of paper and write down everything that is on your mind. Include everything you have to do, everything you want to do, things you need to buy, tidy or repair and people you need to speak to. You can sort this list later, prioritizing, deleting and diarising what you will get done and when. This is a great exercise for when your mind’s activity became overwhelming. It’s also a great technique to use at bedtime to create a calmer headspace ready for sleep.
Don’t chase the rabbits
Ask yourself do I need to think about this. Thoughts will come and go like rabbits at dawn but remember you don’t have to chase them down the rabbit hole, you can just let them go. Try to take a step back from your mind and its chatter. Remember you are not your thoughts, you are the one watching the thoughts and you can choose not to engage with them.
Often, a particular thought will keep going round and round in your mind: a conversation you wish had gone differently, or a problem that seems insurmountable. These repetitive thought patterns are a waste of time and energy but can be difficult to stop. In these cases, distraction can be helpful. The point of distraction is to reset your brain to a more positive setting. Good methods of distraction include writing a list of five things you are grateful for, writing a list of achievements you are proud of, singing along to some upbeat music, having a conversation with a positive person, or working on a project you find relaxing.
Repeat a Mantra
Sometimes, the only way to stop listening to the mind chatter is to drown it out. Try repeating a phrase over and over such as ‘I am peaceful,’ or ‘letting go,’ while taking some deep breaths. When your mind draws you in again just bring your attention back to the present moment take a deep breath and begin repeating the phrase once more. You can use your chosen phrase whenever you notice anxious mind chatter. The more you use it the more easily you will find it to ignore the thoughts and stay in the present moment.
Focus your attention
Try to focus your full attention on whatever you are doing. If you are talking to someone give them your full attention, listening to them with your whole mind. When you are undertaking a practical task focus entirely on the job. If you are washing up, focus your mind on the sensations of the warm water, the scent of the soap and the rainbow bubbles. At work, focus on one task at a time. Give all your attention to what you want to get across in that meeting, the next step required in the project, the customer you are serving or the line of prose or code you are writing.
Take care of your Headspace
And like decluttering your home, clearing out the rubbish is only half the battle. Once the space in your head is clean and clear you need to keep it that way. You do this by being careful what you allow to enter your nice calm headspace. So try to avoid bad news, negativity, gossip, judgment. Speak to yourself kindly, and fill your head space with things that bring you peace, love, creativity and joy