Steps to Creating a Peaceful Mind

Apr 18, 2022

Your brain isn’t designed to operate at full capacity all the time. Often, people get stuck in their minds, and those thoughts can inflict anxiety or negative emotions. So how do you calm your mind and give your brain a break? The first question to ask yourself is, “Are you fully aware right now?” Take a moment to take 3 deep breaths wherever you’re, observe your breath and sit at the moment. How do you feel?

            To create a peaceful mind, we need to reinstall what is already in our nature, calm and balance. In a society that struggles with burnout, it’s become imperative for us to focus our thoughts and filter the nonsensical noise that’s been cluttering our minds. Your body wants to create homeostasis. The secret is that a sense of calm and peace of mind is not something you have, it’s something you create. Similarly, you don’t have focus, you do focus. Thus, there is a process for peace and quiet. The following are five quick ways to quiet your mind.

Firstly, stop in your tracks and inquire within. What do you need the most right now? What are you grateful for? Who are you most grateful for? What is the most delightful thing you’ve seen all day? What will help you release the physical tension you’ve experienced today? When you ask questions, you redirect your focus. Ask better questions, and concentrate on what’s most important in the current moment. This practice will also help you remain rooted in the present. When we’re overwhelmed with thoughts about our future and are hyper-fixated on what we have to do next, we leave no room for ourselves to simply be in the present.

The second step is to unplug. It’s crucial to disconnect, so you can reconnect. Our mind is under never-ending assault. From social media notifications, bright blue lights, client meetings, email alerts, etc., we don’t realize how overstimulated our minds are every day. Additionally, hustle culture feeds into the lack of work-life balance that has become a common struggle for most and that plays a major role in producing a burnt-out society suffering from high-performance anxiety. Hustle culture tells us that constant intense work is positive, and that breaks are laziness. However, science disagrees. There are a plethora of benefits from profound states of stillness. Stillness is not always structured in terms of yoga, or meditation. It may also look like stroking your pet, watching the sunset, going out for a hike, or simply sitting out on your patio. Simple acts of disconnecting can serve as a strong grounding tool.

A third tool is activating our vestibular awareness and proprioception, which is our body awareness senses. It tells us information about our body parts relative to each other, called spatial orientation. It also gives us information about how much force to use when doing certain activities, like how to crack an egg open without crushing it all over our hands for example. In relation to having a calm mind, scientists now know how to regulate how aroused you’re through your standard 5 senses and the additional two senses, our vestibular and proprioception awareness. Thus, techniques such as dimming the lights, listening to nature sounds, or sitting under a weighted blanket, will help you to get into your body and out of your mind. Redirecting attention back into our bodies using certain sensory integration activities is designed to help us sense our own bodies. These techniques also promote progressive relaxation and give us an opportunity to unwind.

The fourth tool is exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, which is a strong source of mind relaxation and often serves as a form of therapy for many. Neuroscience has identified a strong link between aerobic exercise and cognitive clarity. Additionally, exercise leads to neurogenesis, the birth of new brain cells that pop up in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the region of the brain that is associated with learning and memory. Thus, this could help to explain why so many studies have identified a link between aerobic exercise and increased improvement of memory.

Finally, transcendental meditation is one of the most widely practiced and researched meditation techniques. It’s really defined as a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, or mantra to achieve an emotionally calm state. When your brain is scattered, you can calm it down in seconds if you make those seconds count, like slowing down your breathing and ensuring your exhalations are longer than your inhalations. Furthermore, guided meditations may be a better option for people with monkey minds, or those that feel uncomfortable sitting in silence. This is because there is no pressure on the individual to actively try and quiet their mind, and instead their thoughts are guided by a third party.

Let’s begin to measure our success by the quality of our peace of mind, rather than profits or prestige. We don’t have to be stuck in our heads with an endless loop of fears, projects, plans, and frustrations. By learning how to give your brain a break, you can become more peaceful, productive, and creative.