Quieting Your Mind

Have you ever wondered during a stressed moment how to quiet your mind?  I found an article that gave several ways to try to do just that.  Use your breathing to find stillness, but be more careful and conscious about it.  You need to pay special attention to the rhythm and move toward slower, deeper breaths.  Your belly should rise and expand when drawing in air and fall as you let it out.  Try for six breaths a minute.



Watching fish in an aquariums may make you feel calmer, more relaxed and less stressed.  It isn’t only the water, but they found that the more types of marine life added to an aquarium, the happier people got.  The heart rates and blood pressures tend to drop.

Aerobic exercise, like a brisk walk for 5 minutes could calm your mind.  This releases endorphins that make you feel good and can help to improve your mood, focus and sleep.

Listening to music always tends to calm activity in my brain.  Fewer neurons fire in your amygdala that may lead to fewer signals sent to other parts of your brain.  A good distraction of pain can be listening to music.  Listen very closely to the music and not just the background.

Helping someone seems to light up parts of the brain and makes you feel pleasure and connection.  It always helps lower stress and lessen feelings of loneliness when doing something for someone else.  This can even boost your heart health and immune response.

Spending money on other people also causes the body to release more endorphins than when spending it on yourself.

Nature is a great way to make you think more clearly and feel more relaxed and refreshed.  The brain isn’t required to work so hard in a greener environment.  Spending this time outside can also bring down your heart rate, blood pressure, stress hormones and even muscle tension.

We all have a connection with our body that will soothe the mind.  Any part of the body will work by tensing it for a few seconds, then relaxing for 10 seconds.  Switch to a different part and keep going until your whole body feels less stressful.

What about those pets?  Maybe a family or therapy dog or another pet can make you feel less anxious, tense, confused and restless.  It will lower levels of stress hormones when releasing oxytocin that plays a role in bonding and trust.

Take your mind to a favorite spot that makes you feel calm and happy.  A beautiful sunset, fresh beach or just in front of your fireplace where you can focus on details.  Smell the scents around you and hear the familiar sounds.  Audio recordings can also be used.

Engaging in Yoga with the poses and controlled breathing can help you turn your awareness to being in the present moment rather than to judge yourself or others.  A regular practice of this will lessen anxiety and takes the edge off your natural stress response.

Any activities or hobbies like knitting, scrapbooking, pottery or any other activity can offer an escape for a busy mind.  That repetitive action can help to redirect your thoughts and tune out the chatter in your head.  For me it’s quilting and sewing.

If you feel your mind is beginning to race, changing your focus to stretch, daydream, walk, snack or chat with a friend can help.  Take that needed 5 minutes or so to recharge and reset.

Working in the soil or exercising outdoors is great.  Soil has microorganisms that might help to focus and lift the mood.

You can always work with a therapist to control your reactions to stress.  Hooking to a computer showing your brainwaves could track your heart rate, skin temperature and breathing.  There are many ways to try in calming your mind and body.

Dr Fredda Branyon