Recently, I read that we as human beings have 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day. Broken down that is approximately 1 every 1.2 seconds. That’s a lot of thinking. And I would venture to guess that many of those thoughts are like a recording that plays over and over in our head from day to day, maybe even throughout our life. We get stuck in our thoughts and our stories like we get stuck in a traffic jam and can’t find a detour.
For many of us, we were taught doing more is better and that being busy will reap greater rewards. And when we are constantly over-scheduling ourselves our mind doesn’t get a chance to rest. Our society doesn’t typically reward us for doing nothing, so spending time restoring our body and mind may seem like a waste of time for some and a luxury for others.
So how do we handle these moments when the busyness of life becomes overwhelming and our normal routines screech to a halt? I am a firm believer that when we feel it happening in our body and mind so do those around us. This constant mental clutter stops us from listening, tasting, seeing clearly and even feeling and understanding. The mind becomes like a crowded elevator and we are just waiting for the door to open to free ourselves. The noise inside your head gets so loud that you don’t know how to stop it.
For me, this is when I turn to things like yoga and meditation. The word yoga means to unite-to yolk- mind/body/breath. It provides me with the tools to help calm my nerves and allows me to begin focusing my mind whether in a noisy room, sitting in traffic, listening to the noise of a construction site or sitting with a friend or beloved.
SO what can you do? Besides yoga and meditation, aany practice that brings you to a place of balance- body/mind /breath will make a difference. When you commit to trying and finding ways to quiet the noise will begin to subside. Below are a few ways to help you focus on the now so you can create space, gain more clarity and be in the moment. These tips will not only help you on a personal level but will help put you in a better place when dealing with those around you.
- Exercise– almost any form of exercise from yoga, to running, to spinning etc. can act as a way to quiet the mind and relieve stress. Physical activity activates the production of endorphins, our brain’s feel-good transmitters.
- Talk– call a life coach, a loved one, a friend or a family member you trust. Ask them to just listen. Sharing can help lighten the load.
- Hug– hugging is known to lower stress hormones and release hormones that make you feel good. A 10 second hug a day can lead to biochemical and physiological reactions in your body that can improve health.
- Journal– the act of putting thoughts and feelings on paper can make you feel better. Write about what happened and your feelings about what happened. Conclude with a list of 5 things that you are grateful for.
- Laugh and Smile- smiling and enjoying a good laugh can improve your mood and make you feel happier. Watch a funny movie or TV show, seek our funny people or do something silly.