How to Quiet the Mind for Meditation

People talk about meditation being easy, but it’s difficult when your brain won’t shut up! Of course, I could tell you to take a shower or go for a walk, but we all know that won’t precisely stop your mind from chatting with you. So, today, let’s talk about how to quiet the mind for meditation. 

Meditation is a short practice for stilling the mind. In essence, it means to “focus one’s thoughts.” So it’s natural that to begin, you will need to still your thoughts from racing. This focused concentration will ultimately help you address stress, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and high blood pressure. You owe it to yourself to give this a shot! 

Here are some ways to quiet the mind down: 

Get Creative

Crazy as it might sound, the adult coloring book craze has a lot of merits.  Studies have found the connection between coloring and stress reduction. It’s simply a way to focus on a thing or activity other than your rambling thoughts. Give it a try sometime to quiet the mind! 

Breathe

When your anxious and stressed out, your heart rate and body temperature can rise. When you take long, slow, deep breaths, it can help you physically relax. It can also decrease some of the physical sensations in your body. Take a moment to just sit, breathe, and relax your muscles.  

Sensory Awareness

Are you tired of focusing on your breath? Try thinking about the world around you instead. Sensory Awareness is taking a moment to notice the things around your environment, such as the clock ticking, the chair’s feel, etc. 

Distanced Self-Talk

The idea of “Distanced self-talk” is a relatively new concept conceptualized by neuroscientist Ethan Kross. Chatter results, Kross teaches, when we get stuck in a mental grind, retreading the same worries repeatedly without reaching any helpful conclusions. Breaking out of that routine requires putting some emotional distance between you and whatever is troubling you. (It’s hard to figure out how to solve a difficulty when you’re super upset over it!) 

All you need to do is hold your inner voice from saying “I, I, I” and practice some other word or pronoun instead. Research even showed that children who were asked how Batman would solve a problem reasoned more constructively about it. So, next time encourage yourself to think through your issues as a concerned outsider. 

Finally…

Did these suggestions to quiet the mind help you? Was there something I missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul Newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each Friday. If this helped you, click here for more mindfulness exercises.  

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