“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” ~Caroline Myss
“There is just not enough time in the day. I really should not have eaten that piece of cake. What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Will my kids get into good colleges?”
Any of that sound familiar? Just about everyone can relate to that pesky mental chatter that consumes our brains on a daily basis. Those who have taken a small step into a spiritual practice know the importance of calming the mind, but also know how hard that can be. The other day, my mind was literally going a mile a minute about the most useless things. None of the thoughts were productive, insightful, or even remotely helpful. In fact, this idle chatter of the mind led me to anxiety and suffering. So frustrating, so annoying. The very next day, I woke up thinking of what I already know I can do to make sure these mental chatter meltdown days are few and far between, and these tips are what I can share with you:
–Meditation: Meditation in itself is the quieting of the mind. We learn from The Practice that daily meditation, even for just a few minutes in the morning, can drastically change the projecture of your day.
–Mantra: Having a sacred mantra in your life is so important. A short phrase or prayer that you can turn to in situations of strife, or when you simply can’t get your mind to stop. Of equal importance, choosing a mantra that really resonates with you, so you’ll feel connected to it each time you recite it in your mind. For help in choosing a mantra, visit the website to learn more about The Practice.
–Breathe: If you’re short on time, close your eyes, take a few deep breathes and simply ponder the magnificence of your breath.
–Yoga: In my first teacher training session, my teacher said to me, “Yoga ceases the chattering of the mind.” His translation of the first Yoga Sutra really stuck to me, because I began to notice how at ease I was feeling as I deepened my practice.
–Get Out and Do Something: Most of the time, I find, that when my mind is really acting up, it’s when I am too idle or bored. Allowing myself to sit around and stew about the past and the future starts a downward spiral of thoughts. When this starts to happen, take the initiative, go do something to keep yourself busy, do something nice for someone else, and keep your thoughts at bay.
So, if you’re having one of those days…which we are all bound to have at some point in our lives, try out one of these tips and watch the useless mind chatter fade away. Let us know! What works for you? How do you calm your mind?