Many of us have minds that are constantly running. As soon as we wake up our brains flip on and begin to run through lists, projects, and people. For the rest of the day our minds are whizzing and when our heads hit the pillow, it can be hard to fall asleep because we feel wired though tired. Just last night I received the most wonderful full body massage, but I had the hardest time relaxing my mind. I tried everything. I tried focusing on the music, deep breathing, repeating a comforting word or phrase…nothing could turn off my mind. (And I can’t even tell you what I was really thinking about!) I have been working on creating peace in the mind over the last couple of weeks especially. I can remember a time not that many years ago where I was practicing relaxation methods several times a week. During this time I was able to get my mind and body into a deep relaxation-sometimes 10 minutes felt more restful than sleep! This took finding techniques that worked for me, patience, practice, commitment, and focus-just like a good HIIT workout does! Time to get the mind (one of the strongest “muscles”) back in shape! Here a few of my best tips to do just that!
Commit to 5 minutes of meditation.
Find a comfortable position and a quiet place. It could be in the parking lot before you walk into the office, on the train on the way into work, or in your bed before you drift off to sleep at night. Anywhere, anytime really. Meditate on a comforting phrase or word. Repeat in your mind something like this; The Lord is my Shepherd, peace, let go, breathe, etc. If and when some thoughts come into your mind just acknowledge them, don’t fight them. Say to yourself, I will deal with this when I am done with my meditation, and allow it to drift away. (Talk about a discipline! This takes some practice!) There are some great apps to download for your phone to guide you through meditation. I am sure you can find one that will work for you!
Get out in nature.
Go outside and sit in nature OR get out the door and go for a leisurely walk. Many times when my hard-working husband is stressed from work I will say, let’s go for a walk. He sometimes resists but is always glad we did. Being out in the sunshine, fresh air, sunset, and natural beauty of the current season is a great tool that will bring peace and tranquility to your body, mind, and soul.
Be around your loved ones and enjoy a good conversation.
This will help you appreciate the people you love and the conversation could lead to opening up about things on your mind, or just having a good laugh. Both are extremely beneficial in creating peace.
Help someone in need.
This doesn’t have to be planned or with an organization. Simply seeing someone in need throughout your day, asking another if they are “ok” or need help, or lending an ear or hand counts for this! If you don’t have the opportunity to be a good Samaritan, then check into helping or donating to a local charity close to your heart and/or values. This will give you peace by creating a positive and grateful mindset. What tends to happen when you think you are serving those in need is that you are the one who ends up feeling truly blessed.
Life is stressful and full. Go to God and tell Him your problems. He wants to hear and provide for you. Connecting in prayer can give you a peace that passes understanding.