As work stress increases each year, more people are asking: is there any way to quiet the mind? Here are some quick tips to help you figure out how to quiet the mind.
Four Unusual Mindfulness Meditation Exercises
A well-established way to quiet your mind is by developing a mindfulness practice. Here are five meditations you can incorporate into your day-to-day life.
1. The Leaf Meditation
One way of overcoming the egoic mind is to focus on the complexity of something outside of yourself. Take a leaf and hold it in your hand, set a timer for five minutes and give the leaf your full attention. This will help to slow down your racing thoughts.
2. Five minutes of mindful eating
Your lunch break at work can be an ideal opportunity to practice mindfulness. Mindful eating helps strengthen the mind-body connection and take your mind off negative thoughts. All you need to do is train your brain to pay full attention to your eating experience. Concentrate your focus on what you are eating and the sensations you notice. Pay attention to where your mind wanders from moment to moment.
3. Short breath break
This is an effective way to settle mind chatter, especially when you do not have the time for a full meditation practice. If you are having a busy day at work and feel yourself becoming overwhelmed by stress, this could help with quieting your mind. You can take a short breath anytime you feel the need to take your awareness away from stressful thoughts. You just need to bring your attention to your breathing and noting how it affects the rest of your body.
4. Five Senses Exercise
This is another exercise that allows you to quiet the mind chatter that could be diverting your focus at work. You do not have to go anywhere special for this meditation practice. Just take a moment to notice three things you are currently experiencing through each of your five senses.
Four Quick Breathing Exercises
1. Abdominal Breathing
This is an excellent exercise for introverts. Try this before heading into a meeting or social event to keep your mind peaceful. Set a timer for ten minutes. Sit comfortably and place your right hand over your chest and your left on your belly. Take deep breaths inflating from your diaphragm. You’ll know you’re doing it correctly when only your left-hand moves with your breath.
2. Alternate Nostril Breathing
If you practice yoga, this exercise will be familiar to you. This is a way to calm and balance both sides of your brain. Sit comfortably and press your right thumb against your right nostril and take a deep inhale through your left. When your lungs are full, press your right ring finger against your left nostril and gently exhale through your right nostril. For the next breath, reverse the pattern and inhale through your right nostril and exhaling through the left. Keep alternating like this for five minutes of deep breathing.
3. Balanced Breathing
This balanced breathing exercise can help reduce anxiety and tame the monkey mind. You can start by inhaling for a five count, then exhaling for a five count. Make sure you are breathing through your nose. As you become more adept at this breathing practice, you can build up to a 12 count. As you progress in your balanced breathing practice, you will notice an increased focus, reduced stress, and peace of thought that extends to your day-to-day life.
4. Progressive Relaxation
This exercise is ideal after a high-stress day. It helps you to reestablish a strong mind-body connection by aligning what you’re thinking and feeling. Close your eyes and sit comfortably. Progressively turn your attention to each muscle group, starting with your forehead and working down to your toes. Focus on each muscle group for five seconds before moving down to the next. Keep your breathing slow and deep as you feel for stress in different parts of your body. When you find a particularly tight muscle group, take a deep breath while paying attention to the tension and then gently exhale as you relax.
Ten Tips for Your Pre-bed Routines
For most people, a quiet mind is most critical just before bedtime. Improving the quality of your sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being. Will your thoughts be focused at work? Will you stick to your diet? Will you maintain your calm under stress? All these things are influenced by sleep quality. So how do you quiet your mind for sleep?
- Avoid electronic screens after sunset.
- Create a to-do list for the next day.
- Take a mindful bath.
- Read fiction (but not in bed).
- Live by candlelight in the evenings.
- Sleep in a dark, cool room.
- Set an alarm based on sleeping in 90-minute cycles.
- Try to sleep and wake at the same time each day.
- Place your alarm somewhere far from the bed.
- Do not lie awake in bed for more than 20 minutes.
Why a Quiet Mind Works for Entrepreneurs
While many of us embrace our busy minds, full of ideas, and strategies, quieting your mind can be good at times to be able to focus. Stepping away from your daily schedule and busy mind can really help you propel your personal and business growth.
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