Chances are, at any given moment, you have multiple thoughts running through your mind. Rarely are we truly “in the moment.” Even walking my dog, I’m planning the next 5 things I need to do, rather than acknowledging the changing leaves or crisp air.
This weekend I truly learned the difficulty I have quieting my mind.
At the Museum of Science and Industry there is a game called Mindball. Essentially both “players” wear a headband with sensors. The object is to push the ball to your opponent side, simply by quieting your mind. The lower your alpha & theta brain waves, the faster the ball moves.
Basically you’re trying to out-relax your opponent.
My kids held the ball at a stand still for nearly 2 minutes, my husband almost instantaneously drifted to “zen” mind set (hmmm…maybe he really doesn’t hear me when I ask him to do something!) and quickly beat his challengers.
I was feeling relaxed, not thinking about much else besides enjoying a nice evening with my family, figured I was sure to give my husband a challenge. I lost. Within 5 seconds. 4 times.
Obviously, I need some work in reaching a relaxed state of mind.
After watching other women play Mindball, I’m definitely not the only one who could use a little coaching.
These tips will help you put your mind at ease.
Write It Down: To-do lists, dream patterns, work project ideas. These items take up precious brain space. Write them down so you can work on completing the task, rather than remembering what needs to be done next. Plantable notepads fit easily in your purse, car, or even pocket. Keep it by your bedside table if random “to-do” jobs keep reawakening your mind.
Deep Breathing: If “meditation” sounds too formal, focus instead on mindful breathing. Close your eyes (it’s hard to relax when you’re looking at piles of laundry), and take 8-10 slow deep breaths in and out through your nose. If it’s difficult to focus on your breath, chose a background noise to direct your attention (birds chirping, hum of the refrigerator).
Express Your Creative Side: Skip vegging out in front of the tv, and get coloring. Pick up an old coloring book or create your own works with botanical paint pigments. Painting has been shown to decrease stress and improve a positive mindset. Quieting your mind through this creative process leads to clearer thinking and better problem solving.
Go For A Walk: Allow a few moments for your mind to relax from solving the world’s problems. Try to spot 3-5 things you’ve never noticed before: changing leaves, a new bird’s nest, a house for sale, the color of your neighbor’s front door. Leave your phone at home, or in your pocket, so you aren’t tempted to return phone calls or sneak in an extra game of Candy Crush.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep: We’ve all been there…if I fall asleep right now I’ll get 6 hours sleep…5 hours…Random thoughts seem to surface as soon as we hit the pillow. Quiet those thoughts by reading or using essential oils. Third Eye Chakra Essential Oil blend helps bring clarity, focus, and concentration back into order. Add a few drops of the essential oil blend to a warm bath, directly to the center of your forehead, or simply inhale for relaxing effects, and a good night’s sleep.
Quieting your mind takes practice, especially when our daily tasks seem never-ending. By allowing your brain a few minutes of dedicated relaxation, you’ll have a greater sense of clarity and focus for the job at hand.