During the drive home I had the most amazing conversation. The thing is I was the only one in the car. That’s right, I had a jolly good chat with my inner self, the person that shares my body and mind with me, the one I just can’t seem to shut up.
This isn’t an entirely bad thing. There are times though, like when I’m stressed when her voice becomes so loud and ornery I want to silence her with duck tape.
Does this sound familiar?
What about this? It’s Monday you get up, blink and it’s Friday. You think, whew, where did the week go.
If you experience either of these i) internal chatter or ii) time flying, it’s a sign it’s time to slow down and smell the roses a.k.a – live in the moment and be more present.
“Life is a journey, not a destination” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love this quote. When I get caught up in my head it rings loud and clear and signals me to pay attention to life. After all, how hard is it to be present when your engaged in two things, one the conversation in your head and the other what you’re meant to be doing i.e. driving, sitting in a meeting, listening to your friend/child/parent etc.
The question is how do we slow down, quiet our inner beast and be more present? Here are five things I came up with maybe you can add others.
Trust yourself, you know what you believe in and what you want. Sometime just reassuring yourself of this will quite your world and allow you to focus on what’s really important to you. Is the job, the Jone’s syndrome and all the rush what’s making you crazy or is it that you to need to spend some quite time doing something you love with someone you love?
Take a deep breath in hold for 5 second and slowly let it go. This is a sure fire way to help you slow down. For one thing you have to think about the breath and doing so makes you realize what’s happening around you or in your head. Do this several times an hour and you’ll be more in the present in your own life.
Accept that life is full of challenges and stumbling blocks. When you stop fighting or getting upset by life challenges you free up mental space to let life shine in. This brings to mind something my doctor said to me, “don’t worry about the things you can’t control.” These are wise words ones I try to life by as worry gets us nowhere but stressed and lead to a what if… life.
Get out for some exercise. Sometimes it takes a few minutes or 20 to stop the gribbles spinning in your head, but they will stop and you’ll feel better having had some exercise.
Don’t get hung up. When your brain just won’t stop, let it go. It’s ok to not engage with it. Let your mind be like a flowing river, the thoughts come and go sometimes swiftly other times slowly. No matter, it’s ok to watch them drift by, pay them no particular attention they’ll still be there when you tune back in and it’s far better than getting swept away with them.
Today the conversation in my head was welcome and it left me with positive energy for my life. Tomorrow or possibly tonight it may not be so positive or it might come at a time I would rather be asleep. The trick is to have a tool kit of ways to help us live in the here and now when we need or want to.
Ultimately it is our mind and while we may not be able to turn it off like a light switch we can certainly manage it in ways that empower us to live fuller healthy lives where we are more present and engaged.
Share additional ways to quiet the mind by leaving a comment.