Chances are if you are reading this post, then you have an overactive mind like mine. Whether it’s ongoing chatter filling up space in our minds, inattention, distraction, or busyness, we often miss connecting with ourselves and the world around us. A quiet mind cultivates an open heart by enabling us to be better listeners so we can be more compassionate by actually hearing ourselves and others. The word compassion means “to feel with,” so a compassionate heart, or an open heart, which can truly feel, depends on a quiet mind that is able to find peace in stillness.
Walking, breathwalking in particular, is a very effective way to bring the mind to the present moment.
Take time to literally “smell the roses.” Consciously arrange a seasonal bouquet of fresh flowers paying attention to how they look, feel, and smell.
Every evening, write down whatever comes to mind—I call this the “mind dump.” Jot down your hopes, dreams, fears and disappointments. This not only helps to promote a good night’s sleep, but starts the next day off fresh with a clean slate.
Cuddling up with a pet, child or loved one is a beautiful way to slow down and enjoy the present moment. It also releases oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone.
Sit outside and bring your attention to all of the different sounds—your heartbeat, breath, the wind blowing, children playing, an airplane passing above, the crickets or birds chirping… you get the idea.
Taking a restorative bath with essential oils and mineral salts is a soothing way to cleanse your mind while nurturing your body.
Preparing a special meal is one of my favorite ways to get outside my head. Be sure to take in the different colors, textures and scents as you do.
Reading an uplifting book or connecting to an ancient text is a great way to bring you out of your head.
Connect with nature. Soak in the sun. Bird-watch from your backyard. Gaze at the stars. Watch the ocean waves lap onto the shore. Observing nature always brings our awareness back to what’s right in front us instead of what’s going on in our minds.
Listening to music and singing is sure to quiet the mind. It can be done anywhere—in the shower, car, or in a choir—find a song that speaks to you and focus on the lyrics and melodies, paying attention to how the song makes you feel.
Image used with permission by Nirrimi Firebrace.