All day long we have thoughts that go on in our minds whether or not we are aware of them. I call it mind noise or chatter. That voice talking in our heads, assessing, forming opinions, observing, planning, worrying about the future, regretting the past, etc. It is always on. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an off switch? Sometimes you just need a break from it. There isn’t really a way to turn off your mind. You might be able to have a fraction of a second that’s silent, but inevitably, the voice comes back to say, “Did I stop thinking? This must be what it’s like to stop thinking. Oh, wait but I’m thinking about thinking!” However, just thinking about your thoughts is a step toward the freedom from your mind chatter. There are a couple of ways to quiet the mind. I like to think of it as micro meditating; tiny doses of meditation throughout the day that create much needed space in your mind. These are small things you can do during the day that don’t take any time or effort.
One way to quiet the mind is to breathe deeply a few times. Breathe in through your nose and let it fill your belly, then out through your nose. When you breathe this way, you’re focusing on your breathing instead of your thoughts. You may start to hear your thoughts better when you do this and that could lead to forming opinions about your thoughts. Try to redirect back to your breath and let any thoughts pass, without judging them. Thoughts will always be thoughts, nothing more.
Another way I find helpful is to find a small object and hold my stare. Do you ever experience that fuzzy outline when you stare deeply at something for a long time? That is when you can stop and really listen in on your thoughts! Again, don’t get sucked into the assessing, planning, and judging of your thoughts. Let them pass like a breeze. They’re just thoughts, they will always be there, ready for you when you need them, but let them go for now because you’re taking this time “away” to charge back up.
You might find it easier to be more direct. Try going inside your mind for a moment. Listen to your thoughts. What is your mind saying? Without judgement about your thoughts, just listen as if they weren’t your thoughts. Then, notice how quickly you can let them go when you don’t attach to them. Sometimes I even stop and think “Wait! That’s important, don’t let that go!” Let it go, if it’s important it will come back to you, and with more clarity because you will have freed up some mind space from your micro meditating.
An awesome way to bring peace and space into your mind is by using essential oils either topically, aromatically, or both. I will either put a drop into my hands, rub together, and cup over my nose, or rub a drop or two behind my ears and down the back of my neck. I do this every night with German Chamomile and I have never slept better. I recently used it on my son the night before he started a new school and he fell asleep almost instantly, having a worry-free sleep and morning too! It is a must-have in my house! I also love Peace & Calming, which does exactly what is says. I wear Peace & Calming on my bracelet and aromatherapy ID badge at work, it is also a necessity for me. There are so many calming essential oils to name, but some others I love to use are Lavender, Patchouli, Cedarwood, and Valor. As soon as I smell these oils they bring my mind chatter to a halt, creating space in my mind so I can come back refreshed and ready for the next task.
Some might say they don’t have time to pause and let go of their thoughts, but taking those moments creates more space in your life which leads to using your time more efficiently. For example, when I am having trouble finding a solution or I’m becoming frustrated at a task, I breath deeply and let go of my thoughts. 100% of the time I come back to the difficulty with more clarity and solve the problem I’m having. It never fails, yet still always amazes me!
These techniques are also great for falling asleep. Micro meditating is especially helpful for those middle of the night pee-runs! I get back into bed and breathe deeply and just listen and let the thoughts drift. I use these techniques many times a day to help me focus, release stress, relax, and to sleep. Micro meditating is an essential part of my day. I hope you’ll get started on freeing your mind and creating that space in your life. Your mind and body will thank you! As always, love, peace, and happiness to you all ❤