If slowing down your mind feels impossible, there’s a good reason. When “mind” is telling “mind” to be quiet, something is always talking, either as brain chatter or an internal reprimand against it. Neither is soothing. For this reason, many have shared with me that they aren’t able to meditate.
People typically want to meditate for the sake of feeling better. We want to de-stress, relax, slow down obsessive thinking, feel free from critical inner dialogue, feel more grounded, centered, and focused. Meditation is a profound way to give you a respite from daily stressors, which leads to the next point and suggestion.
Meditation is not the only way to get relief from the burden of an overworked mind. Sometimes we need reminders for what we already know—get involved with what you deeply value. For me it’s creativity, spirituality, nature, beauty, nurturing, and freedom. When I attune to those values, I carve out time for poeting, painting, quality time with loved ones, having meaningful conversations, writing articles, taking photographs, creating healthy new combinations for meals, etc.
It’s fun to see what happens to a busy mind when you give yourself to your loves. You can start by simply choosing one and soaking in it. As you do, the mind naturally concedes to quietude. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be thought-free. A rich experience of quietude is mind being in harmony with the present moment, and so it doesn’t feel noisy.
When you engage with your loves, you don’t have to think hard—you feel mentally balanced. Rather than willfully trying to stop the mind, you give it a different focus. Mind naturally moves out of Crazyville when your entire nervous system settles into enjoyment of being and doing.
What about during the work day when there isn’t time for such things? Taking a ten-minute walk during a break or lunchtime can be very helpful; although, a brief walk may not be enough to alleviate head noise when you’re hooked on a stressful point of view. For those times, I’ve created another option that can be very helpful (especially when you don’t have time for a full meditation), and that is a 3-5 minute relaxing journey through video--merging art, photography, video clips, words and music to help you de-stress and feel a greater sense of peace.