The mind is like water, when it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.
To get the best from life, you must be completely present, calm and mindful in every minute of every hour of every day.
As Abraham Maslow wrote, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”
Yet, on most days, our minds are in ten different places at one time. Rather than enjoying the walk to work, we wonder what the boss will say to us when we get to the office or what about the project that is still due to deliver or how our children will do at school today. Our minds are like curious monkeys, climbing from place to place without any pause for peace.
The benefits of a calm mind
1) Reduced anxiety and stress – you will reduce the levels of stress hormones produced in your body.
2) Better judgement– you will have a better sense of judgement and reasoning that will help you to see things the way they really are.
3) Improved attention span – A calm mind has a better attention span. When you don’t have any stress in your mind, the ability to focus will get better.
4) Better sleep – not only will you fall asleep faster but the quality of your sleep will be improved.
Peace of mind is often associated with yogis, hermits or monks, sitting alone in a far off place, in an ashram, cave or monastery, praying or meditating all day long.
The truth is that peace of mind can be attained and enjoyed right here and now, even while leading a normal, ordinary life, with a job and family.
The good news is that you can practice becoming more attentive and develop this skill within a short period. Here are some of the ways to calm your monkey mind:
1. Focused Reading
Every time your mind wanders from the page into a daydream or a worry, make a checkmark in the right-hand margin of the page. This simple act will increase your awareness of how poorly you concentrate and since awareness is the first step to change, help you to build the skills you need for a clearer, quieter mind.
2. Practice Yoga
Unfortunately, Yoga is considered to be a set of physical exercises called Yoga Asanas but it is much more than that.
You can use Yoga to improve your focus and manage stress before a speech, musical recital, exam, job interview, gather your thoughts before a difficult conversation, deliver bad news or whenever you need to keep a clear head in difficult circumstances.
Yoga controls your nerves so that you can communicate clearly, compassionately and effectively.
Step 1: Focus on Your Breathing
Concentrate on breathing deeply, using your diaphragm to draw air all the way down into your lungs (pranayama in Yoga). Mindfully release the tension in your body. Relax any muscles that feel tense by clenching them and then releasing them.
Step 2: Find Your Center
Locate your “physical centre of gravity” (which is visualized as being about two inches below your navel. )
When you begin to feel stressed, turn your attention to your centre to remind yourself that you have balance and control. Once you’ve found it, breathe in and out deeply and feel the sensation of being poised.
Step 3: Redirect Your Energy
Finally, channel your energy into achieving your goal.
Once you’ve mastered Yoga, you can use it any time you feel stressed and out of control. It will also teach you to trust your instincts when faced with a difficult situation.
3. Practice Writing
Some people feel more relaxed after they write about their feelings. One way is to keep a journal. Whenever you feel blue or helpless, vent all your anger or disappointment into your journal. You’ll feel more calm and serene.
Meditation heals your inner self and helps you in getting close to yourself, it may seem like the person is sitting around and is doing nothing but that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, it is great for the brain. It helps to destress, helps you to sleep well, helps you think clear and straight.
As said by Rumi: Listen to Silence, It has so much to say.
No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.-Louise L. Hay